Review: Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I was not prepared for this book. Not at all. What was setting up to be an average, albeit steamy, middle book swooped in at the last second and ripped my heart out. Then took said heart, reanimated it, and ran off with it. Not in the good way either. Or maybe? I’m literally still stunned! I mean… What the HELL just happened?!

For a recap of my thoughts on the first book, Storm and Fury, click here. I’m not going to recap the main character introductions in this review but expand on them so it might be worth checking out. Also, some might consider this review spoiler-ish so be warned. 😉

*

Half-angel Trinity and her bonded gargoyle protector, Zayne, have been working with demons to stop the apocalypse while avoiding falling in love. The Harbinger is coming but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can’t win the race against time as dark forces gather. As tensions rise, they must stay close together and patrol the DC streets at night, seeking signs of the Harbinger, an entity that is killing Wardens and demons with no seeming rhyme or reason. Forbidden to be with each other, Zayne and Trinity fight their feelings and turn to unusual sources for help — the demon Roth and his cohorts. But as deaths pile up and they uncover a sinister plot involving the local high school and endangering someone dear to Zayne, Trin realizes she is being led… herded… played for some unknown end. As anger builds and feelings spiral out of control, it becomes clear that rage may be the ruin of them all. (Goodreads)

*

First and foremost, I want to start by saying that I don’t like how this description is written. It makes it sound as if they ask Roth to help with their growing attraction towards each other. That’s not the case at all. They ask him for help finding the Harbinger and his secret plan. It may not be a big deal to some but it’s a pet peeve of mine when the synopsis isn’t clear. So yeah.

Speaking of attraction… OMG! Is it ever clear, present, and steamy in this 2nd book!! The banter between Zayne and Trinity is still off the charters and one of the things I love most about this couple. However, it ratchets up big time from the first book. The more time they spend together and get to know each other, the deeper their feelings grow. They know the rules say a Trueborn and their Protector can’t be together romantically. But no one really can say why that rule is in place. When the feelings started well before they were bonded, how long can they truly expect to hold out anyway? Especially when denying how they feel for each other is beginning to cause problems. Jealousy, anger, and fear can ruin a good relationship between any two people. But when it’s up to these two people to literally save the world….. Kind of hard to do when you can’t think straight around that person.

Anywho, we learn a lot more about the bond and how it is supposed to work too. I mentioned in my review for Storm and Fury that it reminded me of a Parabatai bond but it’s so much more than that. They can share strength but they also have the ability to feel the other’s emotions. This kind of sucks for Trinity because even though she wants to keep her feelings to herself, Zayne always calls her on it. This forces her to deal some issues that she’d rather keep bottled up. You see a slow maturity happening within Trinity as she works through and copes with her feelings towards Zayne, what happened with Misha, and her place in this fight. The bond also allows them to keep track of each other. For example, Trinity gets this warm feeling in her chest when Zayne is nearby. Seeing how it was supposed to work further emphasised how wrong Misha was for Trinity.

So is this 600 pages of Zayne and Trinity trying (and failing) to deny their growing love for each other? Yes and no. That is a really big part of this book. A part I savored every moment of reading and I think in the end, will be pretty important. It IS a middle book though so plot building over action was pretty much what I expected anyway. That’s not to say that there isn’t any, but it’s a far cry less physically exciting than Storm and Fury. We do learn who the Harbinger is and what is his grand plan for the world. We learn what is killing Wardens and how. Unfortunately that’s about it.

I still want to know why Wardens and Trueborns can’t be together. It’s hinted at but never really confirmed; at least I didn’t take the hint as true enough to be our real answer. I am also still curious about this secret Warden creation history that was mentioned in Storm and Fury. Are they Fallen that weren’t quite made into demons; meant to pay penance by eternally protecting humans? Even Trinity remarks on how similar Demons, Angels, and Wardens look. Maybe (hopefully) it’ll all be answered in the final book, Grace and Glory.

WARNING – Grab tissues when you get close to the end. I’m glad I was home alone when I read the last 50 pages because I straight ugly cried! Those last 5 pages though…? JLA set it up to go a million different ways! I’m anxious and scared to see how it ultimately ends. Sadly, Grace and Glory isn’t set to come out until sometime next summer. 😦 With Rage and Ruin ending on a major, and I mean MAJOR, cliffhanger… I have no idea what to do with myself in the meantime. Maybe read the Dark Elements series? 😀

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