Ecstasy Unveiled

Ecstasy Unveiled - Larissa Ione Lore is a halfbreed Seminus demon/human and Eidolon, Shade and Wraith’s half brother. He is an assassin who has a slave bond to demon master “Deth” until he satisfies a debt owed to the creature. If you have read the Demonica series, you will know that Lore’s assignment was to assassinate Eidolon, Shade and Wraith as part of the evil antagonist’s plan in the previous two novels, “Desire Unchained” and “Passion Unleashed”. Lore, of course did not fulfill his contract. “Ecstasy Unveiled”, opens 3 weeks following the riveting conclusion of “Passion Unleashed”, and Lore is having to ‘pay the piper’ as it were regarding his failure to succeed in his assignment.

Lore is an enigma because unlike full-blooded seminus demons in the Demonica world his mother was a human which causes the genetics to go awry. What does this mean? Instead of having a gift that can be used for good (Eidolon for instance, can heal with his touch) Lore can kill by touching any creature, human or demon with his right hand. In addition, his dermoire markings, or glyphs are faded snaking from his right shoulder to finger tips. Conversely full-blooded sem’s dermoires are much darker and they have a personal glyph around their neck. Lore also has the ability to resurrect the dead in certain circumstances but because of the slave bond, Deth suffers as a result of that intervention. The penalty for using his gift of resurrection or if he does not accomplish a ‘contract’ is exceedingly unpleasant.

Lore learned soon after his S’genesis (final maturation cycle) that intimate relations with a female as with his touch causes death, he therefore has had to find other ways to satisfy the sexual requirements inherent to Seminus demons. Lore is a lonely conflicted character, he doesn’t particularly like killing, but he has been left with little choice. When Deth gives him the assignment to assassinate a close friend and family member of the Sem brothers, Lore is again in a catch 22 situation. Oh, and Lore? He is HOT...

Memitim or ‘angel in waiting’ Idess is eager for her ascension to heaven and she feels it is close. She has spent centuries in solitude and loneliness and has missed her brother “Rami”, her mentor, terribly. Memitim are ‘Primori’ guardians, which means they have charges to keep safe until they fulfill a destiny important to the world. If a Memitim doesn’t keep their Primori safe then their time on earth is extended. Idess is an ancient, wields considerable power, she is beautiful, and lethal in battle. As fate would have it Lore’s ‘target’ is one of Idess’s Primori and so the hero and heroine of this novel meet under extremely adversarial circumstances.

Lore and Idess’s relationship develops slowly over the course of the story from literally battling each other into a soul deep love. Idess has been celibate for centuries but she not a virgin which I found refreshing and unusual given her “angelic” status. I became completely invested in Idess and Lore's story and could not put this book down for wanting to find out how their tumultuous and at times bittersweet story would conclude.

Ms. Ione introduces Lore’s fraternal twin sister “Sin” who is an anomaly because Seminus demons are always born male. Sin’s gift is even more lethal than Lore’s and she is a character with a giant chip on her shoulder because of a history of torture and abuse. Sin also has a razor sharp tongue, and an attitude to go with it, and as Eidolon indicates in the story she is “like a female Wraith”. Sin like her brother is an assassin and bonded to the same master as Lore, she has an extremely dark past.

Eidolon, Shade, Wraith and their families have significant roles in the plot. A mysterious “aura” has permeated Underworld General causing staff tensions to rise and two of the Sem brothers in particular to be at each other’s throats. In addition, ghosts have infested the hospital and equipment failures are happening daily. Even an exorcist hired to do a “cleansing” runs for the hills.

Readers also meet a very hot dhampire (a vampire/werewolf) who I hope we will see in future Demonica stories. Lets just say, he and Sin have an ‘encounter’. (lol)

In “Ecstasy Unveiled”, Ms. Ione takes readers through the Harrowgates (demon portals) deep inside the Sheoul or “demon realm”. The amazing graphic imagery and prose brings the Demonica world to life.

IMHO, Larissa Ione continues to build the Demonica world with just the right amount of momentum. As part of this, the world and hierarchy of angels is expanded and integrated. "Ecstasy Unveiled" is full of exciting plot twists, turns, surprises, and action packed scenes that get the heart pounding. There are two main antagonists in the story, the identity of one in particular will completely surprise you and is revealed during a riveting climax. In addition, readers are treated to Ms. Ione’s signature dark humor that had me chortling with laughter.

If you have enjoyed the Demonica series thus far, I don’t think you will be disappointed. There is a good foundation to Demonica series written into the narrative and I think the book could be read in isolation. However, IMHO it would be far better to read the series in sequence.