This is the sequel to The Demon Lover and now we find Callie McFay still living in her Victorian house, still dreaming of her Incubus lover she had to banish, and still trying to decide if her loyalties lie with her fey side or witch side. Not to mention she still doesn’t quite have a handle on her doorkeeper powers.
I had mixed feelings about this one. I enjoy the world Dark has created, the conflicts between the worlds, the secret societies and all of that. But Callie is a hard protagonist to root for. At least for me. I almost feel sorrier for the incubus, even if he might kill her, simply because I feel he’s trying to be something better. She vacillates too much, and there’s just something about her personality that doesn’t click for me. I don’t know what, but something.
Of course at the heart of every female protagonist’s problem is a man, or in this case two (ok, maybe I’m simplifying a bit but not by much). She is constantly fighting to decide if she is in love with her banished Incubus or the man her friends have found to help her with her magic. I was waiting for her to pluck a flower and start the whole “I love him” “I love him not” thing.
But don’t let my annoyances scare you away. I think I’m just going through a phase where my tolerance level of female protagonists and their constant need of male trouble is reeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllly getting on my nerves. Trust me, Callie has enough on her plate to make her interesting without the love issues.
For instance, she discovers that her grandmother and other Grove members want to use her to shut the last door to the fey ancestral lands for good. Ultimately this means that all fey who are still living in our world will have to choose to remain here (which means their powers will wane and could mean their death) or return to a land which is slowly dying in itself. Either scenario is not good and to permanently close the door means that the witches will hold all the power in our world. No supernatural checks and balances.
Then there’s the little matter of her accidentally banishing her dwarf handyman to a place just on this side of true death, so she has to try and find a way to get him back. Her house is rebelling against her, she’s got a undine trying to kill her…the list goes on and on.
Ultimately Callie has to choose her side and step fully into her power so she can stand strong in that decision.