Thursday, June 11, 2015

*Book Review* Descent by Tara A. Fuller (YA Paranormal Romance)

Series: Kissed by Death # 3
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Galley 320 pages
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance

Easton doesn’t believe in love. He believes in Death. Darkness. Sin. As a reaper for Hell, it’s all he’s known for over four hundred years. When he gets slapped with the job of training the boss’s daughter, an angel who knows nothing but joy, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble.

Though he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her outside of work, Gwen would do anything to get closer to the dark and wounded reaper—even taint her angelic image and join the ranks of her father’s team of reapers. But in all her planning, she forgot to factor in one thing—how far the demons Easton doomed to hell would go to get revenge.

When the dangers of the Hell threaten Gwen, Easton will do whatever it takes to save her. But as the darkness closes in on them both, will he be able to save himself?

Descent is the third installment in the Kissed by Death series. Kissed by Death is a trilogy that looks into the world of reapers, both heavenly and otherwise. It is the reapers jobs to take souls to its final destination. The first book, featuring Emma and Finn, covered a place called the Inbetween. The second book called Blurred, featuring Anaya and Cash, covered a place called Heaven. Now we get our first look at Fuller's rendition of what hell looks like. I do like the way Fuller writes about Hell. It is very descriptive, scary, and a horrific place to be even for a brief period of time. There is nothing fun about being sent to Hell, not even by accident. 

Like previous installments, Descent is told in alternating points of view. This time it's Easton, Hell's Reaper who is best friends with Finn, and Gwendolyn, an Angel of Joy who makes her series debut. Like the previous installments, Easton and Gwen are an unusual couple and complete opposites on the good v bad spectrum. From the moment they meet, they have dissimilar goals; Gwen wants to save everyone by taking away their pain and suffering, Easton grabs the soul by the scruff of his/her neck and shoves them into hell while carrying the persona of a dark, broody, and amazingly beautiful man even with all his scars. 

Easton is a case study of not judging a book by its cover. He's spent nearly 500 years as Hell's reaper and being taunted by his long dead sisters and the man responsible for killing them. He believes he deserves to be right where he is, no matter what anyone else thinks, including Gwen. He has a very dark past, but once you cut through the fog, you get a completely different perspective about what really drives Easton. After Easton's partner Scout makes a really bad mistake by sending a PURE soul to Hell, Easton finds himself working with Gwen to retrieve him.

Gwen, as I stated before, is an Angel of Joy. Her job is pretty simple. Bless humans with happiness, eliminate the dark and bring out the light. Gwen also has the ability to absorb the pain and negative emotions of those she touches. Gwen has no problem breaking rules as long as she doesn't get caught which can lead to her falling from grace. In fact, she makes it a habit of watching over particular people like Tyler and April and ensuring that they find happiness.

Gwen, who just happens to be the bosses (Balthazar) daughter, refuses to stand by and allow Scout's mistake to go unfettered. She grabs the bull by the horn and charges straight ahead. Gwen has never really seen the true horrors until she travels to Hell with Easton. But, the one thing she does know is that Easton isn't a bad man. She can feel his good with her touch. Will her trip to hell forever change her, or can SHE change the man that carries a heavy load?

Apparently I skipped over the last installment called Blurred which I should rectify soon. I don't think it truly matters because Descent can be read as a standalone novel. True, the first four couples make guest appearances in this book, but they aren't the main course, nor does their participation, albeit brief, take away from Gwen and Easton's story. 

Descent really is an quick paced story that brings two characters together that have absolutely nothing in common, and allows them to find romance through hope and love. Perhaps a bit of a rush job with the romance, but at least it isn't love at first sight. Even though Descent is rated young adult, there are some intense, and vivid imaginary that future readers should take into consideration. The trip to Hell is very dark, and there are some scenes that perhaps should come with a bit of a warning. There are places called the Sea of the Dead, and The Meat District where no soul wants to find itself.

It has been awhile since I read Inbetween, but I dare say this series is far from being all about religion. Whether or not you believe there is a heaven or a hell is your call, not mine. It shouldn't really matter one way or the other as long as you can fully enjoy the story and the characters. I find myself not minding the dual POV's. You really can't get through this series until you take each of the characters thoughts and actions into perspective. 

**I received this book for free from (Entangled: Teen) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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