This clearer, more streamlined instalment in the Final Prophecy series features a gutsy heroine and an angsty but decent hero.
Sasha always thought the prophesies that her dad, Mayanist Ambrose Ledbetter, talked about were a little bit nuts and nothing more than figments of his imagination, but when he suddenly disappears in the jungles of Central America she rushes off to find him.
In the process, she is kidnapped by the Order of Xibalba, who believe that she holds the key to finding an ancient library. She thinks they’re insane but when she is rescued by the Nightkeepers, a group descended from the original order created to prevent the end of the world, she is forced to think twice.
Michael Stone is a Nightkeeper with issues, issues, issues. He’s spent the last year trying to get away from his past, manage his growing Nightkeeper talents and keep control of his sort of psychotic dark side, which he calls The Other. Charged with finding Sacha and rescuing her from the Xibalbans, he finds himself instantly attracted to her—almost like fate has thrown her in his way—but can he stop himself from going over to the dark side (Anakin Skywalker, is that you?), figure out how to find the missing library, and help the Nightkeepers reach the next step in preventing the apocalypse?
I have been reading this series from the start and I have to say that this is the novel where Jessica Andersen finally comes into her own, and where you can see her improvement and growth as a writer. I found the first two books a bit info-dumpish and a little bit intense in the details (she is critique partners with J. R. Ward, after all). This one is clearer, more streamlined and has taken the elements from the first two books and steered them in the right direction, which is great for us readers.
Andersen has always had excellent world building skills and has been able to integrate historic events seamlessly with the plot. This book is no exception. I enjoyed the use of Mayan mythology and geographic locations in the Americas, showing how well researched this series is. (Don’t ask me how to pronounce half the names, though!)
Sacha was not a wimp, and Michael, despite his angst, was a pretty decent hero. Never mind that I wanted to smack him sometimes for his tendency to over-channel his inner drama king: I have a dark side! I might hurt her/everybody/lose control. All the characters gelled together in this novel, and even the secondary characters did their bits, while keeping the integrity of the story.
I have a tiny pet peeve with the use of sex magic in the story. Part of the growth/source of their power is through ‘sex magic’. When they have sex or are bonded with potential mates, they are able to tap into further energy that makes them more powerful. I get that—it makes sense given the mythology and back story established in the world building. What kind of makes me go WTF? are the moments when they start making out in random temple rooms while the bad guys are trying to find them, and I just want to go, Dudes. There are people coming to kill you. Can you, like, stop making out now and, you know, run or something?!? Because, you know, sex magic doesn’t just make you powerful. When it happens it gives off energy like some kind of beacon letting other people know it is being used. So Stop Doing It And Run, Please.
Yay or nay?
Would I recommend this book? Only if you’ve read the first two books. It’s really not a standalone. I would recommend the entire series, because it is interesting, engaging and it covers a pantheon/source of mythology that isn’t usual for romance—The Maya. It also holds the promise of an ending—in the Mayan mythology the world is meant to end in 2012—so this series should finish, too!
This book was published in the US by Signet. The next book in the series, Demonkeepers, will be released in April.
Where you can buy this book
AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Dymocks | Ever After | FANGtastic Fiction | Fishpond | Galaxy | Intrigue | Rendezvous | Romance Direct | Romantic Reflections | Siren | More
EBOOKS: Books On Board | Diesel | eBooks.com | Fictionwise | Kindle
WORLDWIDE: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository
Books in the Final Prophecy series