I wasn't sure where the author was going to go with Book 4 after Sin and Salvation tied up a few loose ends but I'm happy to say that a whole new set of delicious intrigue has presented itself in this fantastic series. If you haven't read the previous three books, be warned as there will be slight spoilers below (and if you haven't, what are you waiting for???). I'll also note that you really need to as these aren't standalones even though some of the background is repeated as it's been a short while between books. Book 3 left us with Magnus pondering about Lexi and Sin and Spirit cranks things up in the action stakes as enemies come at Lexi and Kieran from all angles.
Lexi's secret of being a Spirit Walker is well and truly out, spelling trouble and disrupting any plans she had to continue life harmoniously. Life as the resident Demigod's girlfriend shoves her unwillingly into the spotlight where every facet of her life is judged and put on display and Lexi finds it difficult to juggle post-Valens life with her rapid rise in society. Knowing that her rare magic is highly sought after and that the life and fate of previous Spirit Walkers bordered on slavery, Alexis is forced to go to extreme measures to find someone qualified enough to train her. Crossing over into the spirit realm, she's able to track down the best candidate but can he and his unorthodox methods be trusted? Add to that, the Hades Demigods are hatching their own nefarious plans to capture Lexi and use her/possibly kill her, putting her life and the lives of those she loves in great danger. The team is literally under attack and the added danger made an excellent read as things weren't always rosy.
This book had a bit of everything - suspense, action, magic, humour, romance and steam. Breene has assembled such a great cast of characters, I feel as though I'm catching up with old friends every time a new book comes out. Be warned though: there are some heartbreaking moments in this book compared to the previous ones as those around Lexi are in harm's way and tragedy strikes when you least expect it. As usual, the book had this author's special brand of humour and sarcasm - thank goodness, because this is always a highlight. While you might expect some of the over-the-top sassiness and strong personalities that some characters have begin to grate, they actually don't. A couple of new characters are introduced and the usual suspects of The Six as well as Dairy and Mordecai continue to be an absolute delight to read. Be warned though, there's a bit of angst in this book but I felt it added another dimension to the story. There's also a cat that's bordering on pure evil and adds great humour that I really enjoyed (especially being on team cat like I am). Go figure.
As for our favourite couple? Honestly, I love Lexi. She's such a great balance of vulnerability, naivety and second guessing herself while also having great inner strength and determination. It sounds like her characteristics contradict themselves but they just work. I love how Breene has taken the reader on Lexi's journey with her as she struggles to learn and master her particular brand of magic while trying to keep those she loves safe and live a relatively 'normal' life. That's she's sometimes unsure of herself and highly conscious of what she perceives as personal faults and weaknesses makes her so real and relatable and it's one of my favourite elements of this series.
As for Kieran? Holy moly, he just gets dreamier every book. I hate describing guys as dreamy but he's just so wonderful to read about. And for those that chase books on possessive alphas? You have one here in spades that manages not to be a toe rag. There's a good amount of steam firing up the pages as well as a bit of cheeky dirty talk from Kieran who's set some kind of goal to be one of the best book boyfriends ever.
We're given a bit of the story from Daisy's and Magnus's point of view as well, which I really enjoyed. While I was hoping for the Demigod summit to take place or for Lexi to meet daddy dearest, it hasn't happened yet which means there's heaps of fireworks still to come. A note to Breene though - Lexi better get over her dislike of cats. You do NOT want an angry clowder of cat lovers getting up in your face.
Overall, this was another pearler of a read. Unlike the other books, there were a few moments where I found myself feeling really sad but it was once again great to be with Lexi as she learns more about her powers and as her relationship with Kieran continues to strengthen. As with all of Breene's series, I find they end on a bitter sweet note because while I adore reading them, it absolutely kills me waiting for the next one. I already can't wait for Sin and Lightning. Sigh.