Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review – “Eve of Destruction” by S.J. Day

When you're learning to hunt demons, homework can be hell...
Class is in, but Evangeline Hollis is far from being the star pupil. She's struggling to get through the required training to be a full-fledged Mark -- one of thousands of sinners forced to hunt demons for God. When her class goes on a week-long field trip to an abandoned military base, passing the course suddenly isn't just a matter of pride... it's a matter of life and death. There's a demon hidden among them, killing off Eve's classmates one by one.

As the body count rises, a ragtag team of ghost hunters from a cable TV program unwittingly stumbles into the carnage. Now keeping the Mark system secret competes with the need to keep the "paranormal researchers" alive. With Cain on assignment and Abel investigating a new, terrifying class of demon, Eve must fly solo on her hunt to stop a killer before he strikes again.
Eve of Destruction is book 2 in the Marked series following Eve of Darkness which just released on April 28. The first book left us with the knowledge that Eve was dead or close to dying (Note: this really isn't a spoiler as you discover this in the opening chapter of the book). As there are at least three books in the series we know that she must survive but the answer that is revealed here is surprising, because of its religious implications and the fact that it is downplayed somewhat in the subsequent story.

In Eve of Destruction, Eve is off to Mark boot camp along with a number of other novices to continue their training. Cain and Abel are off on separate missions leaving Eve to fend for herself. Then one by one, the novices are found murdered in horrific fashion. Eve the most experienced of the trainees becomes focussed on finding the killer who may be a traitor among them, an enemy Infernal or something completely new. The quirky and enigmatic personalities of the cadre of Mark novices leaves plenty of room for suspicion to fall upon any of them.

The love triangle is explored further, with Cain and Abel continuing to be fixated on Eve and she on them. Eve recognizes that what she feels for Cain is love and for Abel lust, but it doesn’t make her want either of them any less. The emotional landscape of each of these characters is complex with feelings and motivations often warring at cross purposes. To make things even more difficult to sort out, Cain undergoes a transformation that has a profound effect on the uneasy balance between the trio.

We learn more about the seven archangels in Eve of Darkness and the author continues to use Old Testament mythology to good effect. Good versus evil is never black and white, as we get a clearer picture of the Infernals that have defected or been coerced to work for the side of light, beginning to see them as more than one-dimensional pawns on a playing field.

Eve continues to maintain her agnostic stance towards her situation but foreshadowing suggests that for her to survive and reach her potential as one of the Marked, she will have to find some accommodation with faith. She remains torn about her desire to recover her old life but has difficulty reconciling those feelings with the satisfaction she derives when the predatory part of her asserts itself when hunting Infernals.

As the second book in the series, Eve of Destruction delivers solidly on the action and mystery front, but continues to excel with its layered and nuanced portrayal of the central characters. As with Eve of Darkness, I found myself continuing to think about the story long after I had put the book down. This is urban fantasy with an edge that is difficult to describe. Eve of Chaos the third book in the series has been Marked by me for acquisition on its June 30 release date.


Read an excerpt from Chapter 1.

Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC (Tor)
Published: June 2, 2009
ISBN #: 9780765360427
Format: Paperback
Pages: 414

Marked Series:

  1. Eve of Darkness (April 28, 2009) - my review
  2. Eve of Destruction (June 2, 2009)
  3. Eve of Chaos (June 30, 2009)

View the book trailer:


  1. Cannot wait for Eve of Destruction! So, does Eve get down and dirty with both Cain and Abel? heh heh.

  2. LOL KB now that would be telling. Let me just say that S.J. Day is building the sexual tension... a lot.

  3. LOL. Of course. I think this series is great! I can't wait to see how Eve comes to terms with her mark and her relationship with the two brothers.

  4. Great Review and spot on IMO! Eve Of Destruction keeps tensions high. I love everything about this series.....

  5. Thanks for the great review! I was already anticipating EVE OF DESTRUCTION, you just took it up several more knots. There was already sexual tension building up in EVE OF DARKNESS, so you say there is more... WOW!

  6. KB She sure is making us beg for the third book to get the answers.

    Munk this book had tension in spades.

    Fantasy Dreamer Eve of Destruction is definitely a case of "now I have your attention I'm going to make you wait!"

  7. I think this sounds like such an interesting series!

  8. Lady_tink not to many urban fantasies tackle traditional Old Testament themes. It is an interesting mix.


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