Series: The Eternal Balance #1
Publisher: Embrace on December 30, 2013
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Hell is looking for a way to break loose…
Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world's first murderer, he's plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it's killing him.
After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can't outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she's thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she's been trying to forget.
- Sam strains Jax's control over his darkness, but running isn't an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.
“You didn’t hand an ex-junkie a needle without expecting a relapse. That’s what this girl was to me. An addiction I’d been trying for years to kick. No. Better to stick with the plan. Keep it casual and cool. Act like a dick. I’d do what I needed to do in town and then get the hell out.”
“‘Oh my God. Skulking on the other side of my door? A little freaky don’t you think? Even for you…’ He pushed past without waiting for an invitation. ‘I don’t skulk.’ Turning, he winked. I hated it, but despite the fact that it’d been the night from hell, the quirk of his lips and curve of his cheek sent my heartbeat racing. ‘I loom. Much sexier, don’t ya think?’”
This novel follows Samantha and Jax, childhood best friends, as Jax comes back to the town that he left without notice after kissing Sam one night. So of course, Sam and Jax are having a hard time fighting the attraction between them that’s still held up over the years. Then you throw in Jax’s twin brother, Chase, both of which are cursed with the curse of Cain and Abel. Jax has an inner demon–Azirak–who wants to kill Chase every time he sees him. And to feed the demon, Jax must commit acts of violence. I really liked this aspect of the novel. I have never read anything that has a basis on the story of Cain and Abel, so it was intriguing to read. On top of that, there were tons of unexpected plots twists and turns, and nothing that I was expecting happened. Accardo kept me guessing with this novel.
Samantha was our fantastic heroine. She was the epitome of determined and courageous. She fought for what she wanted, and she wasn’t the weak girl who would just cower away. No, she would stand up and fight. She was awesome.
“Every syllable dripped venom. Too much venom. Jax had anger issues. Authority issues. He had issues with his issues. But one thing he wasn’t, no matter how hard he tried to convince me—and everyone else around us—was cruel.”
Jax was our leading male. A part of the novel was written in his point of view, which was cool for me because I usually don’t like male points of view but I still enjoyed his. He had a cocky, sarcastic way of narrating that was really hilarious. Jax is a walking paradox. Due to his demon, he had to do really bad things to stay alive and in control of the demon. And I’m talking really, really terrible things. But on the other hand, he was sweet, protective, and good at heart, and that really shined through his tough-guy facade.
Chase was Jax’s twin brother. I’m not exactly sure what I think about Chase. He’s definitely not what he appears to be. I feel like there is much more to him that what we see in this novel, and I’m interested to see more of him in the next novel. I really hope that he turns out okay of a character. He seems to be hinting at that after some of the events in the novel, but I’m just not sure.
“We were made for each other, two halves of the same whole. It’d never occurred to me that we wouldn’t end up together. Then he found the courage to tell me he felt the same way, and was gone the next day.”
The romance between Jax and Sam is there from the start. The attraction that carried over from before Jax left is definitely obvious from the first time they see each other again. When the two of them finally let go of their reservations and got together, it was so sweet. There was tons of emotions and chemistry between the two of them it was amazing.
“‘As a kid, I used to make excuses. Blame the dark thoughts and short fuse on the demon, but as I got older, I realized that was bullshit. It’s not all because of the curse, it’s just me. Who I am. And who I am will always have this little voice in my head that whispers, as long as Chase is alive, I’m no good. I’m ruined.’”
As I said, the basis of Cain and Abel made for a very interesting story. I loved the idea of a family line being cursed by demons due to Cain’s wrong-doings. It was definitely an interesting concept and deal breaker for me when debating if I wanted to read this novel. Then to weave a story so intricately from those beginnings? Truly phenomenal. The world that Accardo created was complex and attention-consuming, and I can’t wait to see more of it in the next novel.
The thing that I wanted to mention here was Jax and his demon’s companionship. So at first, I ws thinking, he’s a demon, he has to be bad. But the more we saw of Azirak, the more doubtful of my hasty conclusion I became. We see that Azirak is capable of emotion and good-doings. It was definitely one of those things that I wasn’t expecting to see, and it was very interesting for me, and I can’t wait to see what becomes of it.