Within the past few months Laurell Pittsman’s mother and beloved grandmother have died. They both died with secrets that will affect Laurell for the rest of her life…..if she lives very long. Laurell’s famous, rich, actress mother, Elaine died of what appears to be suicide; her grandmother, Helen, of cancer. Laurell has not only inherited Graves Manor and her mother’s fortune but an old book, Books of Shadows. As Laurell is giving her last good-byes to her family, a strange feeling comes over her and she hears her name. Following the sound, Laurell is met by Axiom.
Axiom is a gray god on a mission. Gray gods are part white, good and part black, evil. They don’t sit on the Board of Gods and are seen by some white gods as being inferior and not to be trusted. Even the decision to allow Axiom to do a mission on earth was with a great debate and not everyone was sure this was the way to go. Axiom’s mission is to be the father to the Earth Balancer.
The Earth Balancer is a person born from human and god. This person will be able to repeal evil with just a touch. Laurell is the chosen human to be the Earth Balancer’s mother though she doesn’t remember agreeing to it! She also has never heard of such nonsense and wants nothing to do with it. As far as she’s concerned Axiom is a kidnapper and a nut.
The evil ones or Umbra need to kill Laurell before the Earth Balancer is born. They can take over humans and animals to help them in their quest. It doesn’t matter to them if they kill her prior to conception or after, just that she is removed.
To help Axiom in his mission is a coven of witches. The leader has already been killed by the Umbra trying to locate where their base is. The coven has agreed to help keep Laurell safe while she is having the Earth Balancer and to teach her how to use the powers she doesn’t know she has. As Laurell starts reading the Book of Shadows, family secrets come to light and Laurell begins her perilous journey into a world she never knew existed.
Ms Wilds does a wonderful job creating a world within a world. The world of the gods is described in detail giving you the sense that you could actually visit there and know what to expect. This world is put into relation with the world we know. This makes the book believable and the situations now seem possible.
The interaction between the characters was excellent. There was racism within the ranks of the gods making them seem more like us than maybe we would want. Jealousy was seen within the coven by several members. This was from I don’t want her to look better than me, to she wants the guy that I have my eye on, to I have more powers than you realize and why won’t you let me show you. These are all issues that many deal with and it makes sense that they would be visible in a group of relative strangers that are gathered for a common cause. Laurell’s reaction to Axiom was one that let the reader know that she was a strong woman that wasn’t just falling for a pretty face.
There were a few things that could have been done better. I wasn’t real sure about the Umbra. Were they just attackers or did they have a plan and a hierarchy similar to the gods? While they seemed to be able to utilize others to do their will, was someone in charge? Once the Earth Balancer was born, how was it suppose to work and what kind of role is Laurell and Axiom suppose to have? What kind of training was going to be needed? But then again, maybe another book focusing on a member of the coven or someone else?
I found this new world interesting and the characters a joy to read about. I was drug into the battle and while I knew that good had to win, I couldn’t wait to see how.
This is Ms Wilds’ first book and I’m sure not her last. Her writing style, dialog and characters are well thought out and ignite the reader’s imagination. I look forward to her next book as I’m sure that as she practices her craft, she will only get better.