by S. J. Day
1st of the Marked Series
Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel… All in a day’s work.
For Evangeline Hollis, a long ago fling with a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks just became a disaster of biblical proportions. One night with a leather-clad man of mystery has led to a divine punishment: the Mark of Cain.
Thrust into a world where sinners are drafted into service to kill demons, Eve’s learning curve is short. A longtime agnostic, she begrudgingly maneuvers through a celestial bureaucracy where she is a valuable but ill-treated pawn. She’s also become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history…
But she’ll worry about all that later. Right now she’s more concerned with learning to kill while staying alive. And saving the soul she’d never believed she had.
Eve is an interesting character in a subgenre where heroines often seem to be all cut from the same cloth only with an interchangeable name. Just like most of us out there she has a strained relationship with her parents. But she has a good friend in her next door neighbor who is a widowed older lady. She has a career she loves and the only thing missing is a man. Unfortunately all the men she has met have failed to capture her heart like the one who left her ten years earlier without a word.
Eve had an experience ten years prior to the start of this book which started a chain of events that culminates in a tryst in a stairwell and becoming marked with the “Mark of Cain”. Coming from the chosen life on an agnostic, she is suddenly right in the middle of the battle between good and evil, heaven and hell, angel’s and demons. Everything she has believed is turned on its head. What is up could be down or could be sideways or even back to front. One minute she is an up and coming designer the next she is learning that the things that go bump in the night are out there and she is tasked with the charge of working off her penance by hunting down the bad guys and removing them.
A major point of difference with this book as opposed to most other books in the paranormal/urban fantasy area is that this book is about angels. After reaching a near saturation level of vampires, werewolves and demons it’s great to see this branching out. The twist on the biblical story of Cain and Abel makes us challenge the knowledge we grew up with and as a reader you begin to question if the Bible is the equivalent of today’s modern media. It’s also good to see that with this series, S J Day has got the jump on one of the stars of the paranormal world, JR Ward whose angel series doesn’t come out until later this year.