Monday, March 2, 2015

*Book Review* Armageddon Rules by J.C. Nelson

Series: Grimm Agency # 2
Publisher: Penguin/Ace
Released: February 24, 2015
Source: Penguin
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy

*Book Blurb*

Marissa Locks, newly appointed partner of the Grimm Agency, has a reputation for making a mess of magical matters—although causing Armageddon is a new low, even for her…

Marissa is due for a little happily ever after. After all, she did kill the evil Fairy Godmother, end a war, and snag a sweet promotion within the Fairy Godfather's magical-problem-solving Agency. But between maintaining a relationship with someone whose amorous advances can cause third-degree burns, dealing with a killer-poodle infestation, and helping her best friend, Princess Ari, learn to wield spells more powerful than curing a hangover, she’s not getting as much peace and quiet as she hoped.

When an enemy from her past appears to exact a terrible revenge, Marissa’s life goes from hectic to hell on earth. With Grimm inexplicably gone and Ari trapped by a sleeping spell, Marissa decides to fight fire with hellfire—and accidentally begins a countdown to the apocalypse.

With the end of days extremely nigh, Marissa will have to master royal politics, demonic law, and biblical plagues in a hurry—because even the end of the world can’t keep the Agency from opening for business.

Armageddon Rules is the second installment in the Grimm Agency series by J.C. Nelson. Rules picks up 2 years after the end of Free Agency, and once again is told in the first person narrative by Marissa Lock. The same Lock who was once sold to Fairy Godfather Grimm to pay off her family's debts and has spent the past 8 years working for him. This includes hunting down serial killers, putting an end to the evil Poodle infestations, and going up against spoiled princes and princesses in a land where fairy tale characters really do exist.

There are lots of things to talk about in this installment, so I'll get to it. Marissa has earned a bit of a reprieve after killing the evil Fairy Godmother Odette and surviving. But, time marches along and doesn't stop for anyone. She really doesn't have time to dwell on past events when assassins appear at your doorstep nearly every day, and an evil Queen sends Rip Van Winkle to kill you. Marissa's life has been changed since she was first introduced to readers in Free Agency. She met half dragon Liam Stone and fell in love with him and now wants a family. She has a best friend and partner in Arianna (Ari) Thromson who is also a princess/witch she once hated.

In Armageddon Rules, Nelson adds even more suspense, and action. Nelson includes a new character named Beth who doesn't realize that she's a pied piper; continues Marissa's war of attrition with Queen Isabel Mihail who really wants to see her and Ari dead; forces Marissa into facing off against a powerful demon named Malodin who wants to bring about the Apocalypse, which means appearances from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death), and gives readers their first glimpse into the Court of Queens and what could happen next.

I do think that Armageddon Rules is a bit better than Free Agent was. Marissa has received a promotion to partner, and it becomes her job to run the Grimm Agency when Grimm disappears. Her relationship with Liam hasn't exactly stalled, but he is sent on an important mission to protect vampires, and is missing for most of the story. Once again, Marissa's relationship with Grimm takes center stage, and I wouldn't necessarily say that's a good thing. Grimm has been keeping important facts and secrets from her, including the truth about the Queen of Thorns, Isolde. On one level, that bothers me, but on another, I guess you could say that Grimm is trying to give her an actual life without putting the entire world on her shoulders to hold up.

I do believe that Marissa shows a bit of growth as a character in her chess match with Malodin. The results definitely show that when she uses all her resources, anything is possible. This also includes finding a way to save her best friend from a magically induced coma, to putting her hostilities towards wolves away. I continue to say that Marissa's relationship with Ari is probably the strongest storyline of this series. As stated before, Marissa didn't have any real friends until she meet Ari. She also feels a bit remorseful for things that happen to Ari because of her rational but not necessarily good ideas. Then again, Grimm also holds a bouquet of blame for Ari's situation.

Penguin/Ace is releasing the third installment in the Grimm Agency called Wish Bound in September. I definitely am eager to see what happens next as I have fully become engaged with this series after reading these books back to back. The little teaser at the end of the book tells much in what direction Nelson is heading for next. I also want to understand more about Marissa's mother who continues to be mentioned, but not revealed.

**I received this book for free from (Penguin/Ace) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**


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