After centuries have passed, the End of Times draws near, and Heaven is preparing for God’s return.
After centuries of imprisonment in Heaven, Ariel is given a chance to redeem herself in the eyes of the archangels. Years after her last descent, Ariel must return to the mortal land to fulfill her mission for the coming of God. But the memories of her past sins catch up to her, and Ariel must decide where her faith truly lies.
The city of Chicago was the chosen residence of the eccentric demon, Caelum. His taste of entertainment sets him apart from the rest of his kind, driving him to walk amongst the mortal men. But when he is presented with an opportunity to have a hand in Hell’s grand plan, temptation beckoned him to take the risks. Walking through shadows and nightmares he crosses paths with an angel from Heaven, and the memories of his forgotten humanity begin to resurface.
Both Heaven and Hell have plans for the End of Days with the angel, Ariel, and the demon, Caelum, at the center. When faith is threatened, two natural enemies become unlikely allies in a war for all humanity.
|The Damned and the Pure book 1
Beckoning Darkness by JD Stonebridge
I need to start off this review but profusely apologizing to the author, for I forgot about this lovely book until I started clearing out my emails. It’s a shame really, because I adored Beckoning Darkness by JD Stonebridge. It is exactly my type of tea! The pacing was fast, the action never dulled, and the characters had such a spark!
I’ve always found it to be a fine line when reading supernatural stories about angels. At best, they tend to create an almost infallible protagonist that suddenly falls for the bad boy and a love triangle ensues. At worst, it is covered in heavily overt Christianity (not that there’s anything wrong with those that want that; I, however, prefer most religious messages out of my literature.) Beckoning Darkness, however, was one of the shining examples of angel fiction done right. There is angel mythology there. There is Heaven versus Hell. But, never once did I feel as though a message of righteousness was coming for me. Nor did I feel like the characters were ever simply one-dimensional tropes, even when they are so extremely in their role.
Angel Ariel knows her place and knows where demon Caelum’s place is. They are not friends, they are born to opposite ends of a spectrum. She is the ultimate angel, faithful and a believer, even when things don’t feel right. Caelum is the lovable charmer, whom I am completely smitten over. Their places, their roles, clearly defined. And yet, we see the relationship progress, with neither changing their stance for the most part. That is, until the very end, and even then… well, there’s a sequel for a reason! The dynamic between Caelum and Ariel was the best part of the story. These characters just jump right off the page and interact so easily with one another, it’s bewitching to read.
Stonebridge excellently balances out exposition, background information, forward moving plot, and character development in such a short amount of time! It never feels like an overwhelming information dump, nor do you ever truly lose the thread. The story feels as natural as the characters, moving fluidly towards the conclusion that is foreshadowed (and I’m LOVING it). The ending, the questions it brings up, I’m just so excited to dive into the sequel now to see how my theories play out.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced, supernatural suspense that features some great, snappy characters and banter, I wholeheartedly suggest picking up Beckoning Darkness by JD Stonebridge. Don’t be a fool like I was and put it off.
Quotes & Excerpts
“Admittedly, I don’t trust my own kind either. Rather, I don’t trust anyone but myself. But I trust that if given the right push and pull, anyone can be relied upon to do what you want.”
– Chapter 14: The Sinner’s Task
“A demon who does not like to inflict pain. Tell me, what makes you so different from your friend in there and the rest?” Ariel challenged him.
“I consider myself better looking than any of them are,” Caelum said with a grin.
– Chapter 14: The Sinner’s Task