109. Helen Boswell, The Wicked
I was lucky enough to read bits of this as Helen was writing it, but I was thrilled to find out that the whole was much greater than the sum of its parts (and the parts themselves were quite good). This is a sequel to Helen's Mythology, but I think this is one of those unique cases where the sequel is even better than the first novel.
The book opens with Hope and Micah struggling to find a way for Micah to live with his demon status; Micah's values mean that he refuses to steal souls from others, but without this energy, he will die in a matter of years. At the same time, they're drawn into a local conspiracy as young demon boys keep surfacing, dead. As the two struggle to solve this mystery, Hope continues to master her own powers and Micah finds himself as a pawn in still another power-struggle, this time with the powerful Praxidikai, who strive to maintain balance between demons and guardians. All of this sounds like it might be too much, but Helen does such a great job weaving together different storylines.
And at the heart of it all is Micah's relationship with Hope. Where book 1 was from Hope's perspective, book two interweaves Hope and Micah's perspectives. And I have to say, I really love Micah. He's sweet, but real, which means he has flaws--and he makes mistakes with real consequences.
The story itself was fast-paced, the writing generally clean, and the romance itself had some definitely swoon-worthy moments. I really enjoyed this--and I can't wait to read book three! (No pressure, of course, Helen . . . )