A powerful magic user is stealing people’s faces in San Francisco, and empath Ella Walsh and shifter Vadim Morosov have been called in to investigate. Still adjusting to the closeness and permanence of their new relationship, the government-paired mates are soon hot on the trail of an Otherworld cultist from Vadim’s past.
But their target turns the tables, and after he gives Ella someone else’s face, the couple will have to follow him to Otherworld to get hers back. There, in an ancient world of family ties, old grudges and monsters, where living memory stretches centuries, Ella will have to confront the dangerous truth of Vadim’s bygone life.
Because there’s a reason the Fae call him Death Bringer, and if Ella can’t unravel it, she may never see her mate—or her face—again.
This blurb came from the author’s website.
This spring I started seeing buzz on twitter about a new book by Kate Pearce. Years before I read the first two or three of her House of Pleasure books but I had not read anything by her since then. Out of curiosity I took a look at the book and realized that this was paranormal romance so a new genre for her. I devoured it and proceeded to hunt Pearce down on Twitter in hopes this was the first of a series. Happily, Pearce told me that she had another one coming out this same year. Death Bringer picks up immediately after the events of Soul Sucker and it involves the same main characters so there will be major spoilers for the first installment. If you haven’t read it yet I recommend you stop reading this review, go enjoy it, and then finish reading this review.
What do you do when you find out that instead of dying in a week at the age of 27, you are know going to live for a very long time married to someone who is practically immortal? Not to mention adjusting to marriage, something you knew was never going to happen, but you also have to deal with the results of spending the past few weeks as the most obnoxious co-worker ever. Add into the mix an extremely powerful being stealing people’s faces who has ties to her new husband’s past and Ella had some serious stress in her life.
I absolutely loved how Pearce didn’t cheat us out of watching Ella struggle as she dealt with the drastic changes in her life. As a result, Ella wasn’t shown in a positive light for a portion of the story but it made her emotional growth that much more impressive and believable. Of course it also helped that Vadim had lived long enough to build up an impressive amount of patience and he wasn’t reeling from the sudden changes in his life. Instead, he had to deal with his family and their associated political messiness as it spilled over into Earth and threatened all he held dear. Granted he made his share of mistakes but he was willing to give Ella what she wanted while reminding her that wanted their relationship.
I enjoyed the mystery and the associated mess as Ella and Vadim tried to stop the killer without losing their lives or freedom. The view into fae life and culture along with their willingness to use anyone they deemed weaker or who bargained poorly really explained a lot about Vadim. It also made his restraint Earthside around Ella and her co-workers very impressive. Pearce also did not make the solution to the magical murders an easy one. It required Ella and Vadim to trust each other, work together, and decide what they wanted most.
Death Bringer was an enjoyable sequal to Soul Sucker. Pearce expanded her world and really made Ella and Vadim work to continue to build their relationship together. In some ways it was as if they were going through the prescribed order of things backwards. Meet, get married, meet the parents, save the world, and start to really know each other. The character and world development along with new reveals continued to keep the pace moving. I am rather curious about how the events in this installment are going to affect what happens next. So again I am left hoping that Pearce continues this series.