Rage and Ruin (The Harbinger, #2)Featured
Half-angel Trinity and her bonded gargoyle protector, Zayne, have been working with demons to stop the apocalypse while avoiding falling in love. The Harbinger is coming…but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can’t win the race against time as dark forces gather. As tensions rise, they must stay close together and patrol the DC streets at night, seeking signs of the Harbinger, an entity that is killing Wardens and demons with no seeming rhyme or reason. Forbidden to be with each other, Zayne and Trinity fight their feelings and turn to unusual sources for help—the demon Roth and his cohorts. But as deaths pile up and they uncover a sinister plot involving the local high school and endangering someone dear to Zayne, Trin realizes she is being led…herded…played for some unknown end. As anger builds and feelings spiral out of control, it becomes clear that rage may be the ruin of them all.
Trinity is a Trueborn, a nephilim whose father is an Archangel. She is avoiding saying- or thinking- the L-word for the guy she likes but cannot be with, Zayne. Zayne is a Warden, which is a gargoyle shifter that exists to fight demons. Trinity bonded with Zayne to save him, and at the same time, doomed their romantic relationship, as it is forbidden between Trueborns and their bonded Protectors. They are patrolling together while the Harbinger escalates his attacks and begins killing Wardens in horrific warnings. The bigger plots of the Harbinger are coming to a head, but Trinity and Zayne are having a hard time finding any patterns that might allow them to stop them.
A lot happens in this second book, and it certainly does not have middle book syndrome. The plot advances in a huge way here. There are also features by characters from the past books that are really beautifully woven into the story- allowing us to see our old favorite characters without overshadowing this book and helping to advance the plot.
What I loved: Armentrout combines humor, drama, romance, and action in a way that is truly masterful and unrivaled. This book is no different, and I loved the snark, the steamy romance (even those heavy glances and interactions add up to sexual tension you can cut with a knife), and the action that keeps the book moving very quickly. This is quite the page-turner that begs to be read in one (very long) sitting at 600 highly devourable pages.
I really loved the involvement of Roth in particular here, but also Layla and Stacey (and Roth's familiars) that give these characters new life and involvement in this world. We also see plenty of demons, spirits, witches and other creatures that really make this a well-developed and interesting world. There is really never a dull moment in this book between the laugh-out-loud moments, the nail-biting fight scenes, and the heartfelt romances.
Trinity also has retinitis pigmentosa, an invisible disability and one that Armentrout also has. Trinity considers how she looks (e.g. wearing sunglasses that help her but for which people judge her) and how people react to her limitations (e.g. when she does not see a car when trying to cross the road) without being able to tell at a glance. This theme of invisible disabilities, along with themes of deciding when to follow or break rules and what makes someone good or bad (or something inbetween), really add something thought-provoking and deeper to a book that is also a pleasure to read.
Final verdict: RAGE AND RUIN is a fantastically engaging read that will delight old and new fans of Armentrout's and this world. With plenty of banter, snark, and action, this is a book that keeps the reader on their toes- and with a bombshell ending that will leave readers begging for the next in the series. Prepare to laugh, cry, and sigh at this enthralling sequel.