I have been told many times that J.R. Ward is a genius. I finally decided to see for myself. I was not disappointed. Covet (Fallen Angels, Book 1) is a work of art. It depicts the epic struggle between good and evil in a fresh new way.
The basis for the plot is that a man named Jim Heron is “chosen”, so to speak, to be the quarterback in the football game of life. According to the book, God has tired of watching the angels and demons play their little games and is forcing them to finish it once and for all. They are made to choose one person to determine the fate of the world. This person of their choosing will be given the opportunity to “help” seven pre-picked people who are at a crossroads in their lives. If Jim gets the person to choose the right path, score one for the angels. If they choose the wrong path, well, you get the idea. Here’s the catch, he has to figure out who the people are and what crossroads they’ve come to on his own. He also has to be able to figure out which path said person needs to take. It is not as easy as you might think figuring out the last part. Evil likes to wear an innocent face.
Jim was chosen by evil because of his troubled past and his history in being a special ops agent trained to kill and by good because the love for his dearly departed mother keeps him essentially good on the inside. If the demons win then Heaven will cease to exist, and therefore so will his mother. If the angels win it will be peace on Earth and Jim gets a free ride to Heaven to spend eternity with dear old mom. Such is his motivation.
Jim is a conflicted character from the beginning. Throughout the story you can sense his inner struggle. I kept picturing him as a cartoon character with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, both trying to goad him into doing their bidding. Which really wasn’t far off course.
The book on a whole, had something for everyone. Paranormal lovers have angels, demons, rituals and even a seer who predicts death. For the action junkies and thrill seekers, there is a mob undertone running through the plot as well as murder, stalking, bar fights, prostitutes, dirty money and an attempted rape. Romance lovers, don’t despair, there is even a love story amongst it all, but don’t expect it to be too mushy.
When the story concludes, Jim has only helped one of the seven people so I presume we are in for a series of seven books. Unless, of course, one the other stories has him help more than one person. According to J.R.’s Facebook page the next installment is due out on October 5, 2010, but the bookselling website Fishpond, claims it will be available on September 30, 2010. I was unable to get confirmation from her at the time of this review.
Irregardless, I am actively looking forward to the next book, as I’m sure it will be as incredible as Covet.
J.R. Ward’s edgy style full of cutthroat action and suspense puts her, in my opinion, in the league of extraordinary writers as John Grisham and James Patterson. She most certainly is not what I expected from a female author. So book sellers please do not plop this one up on the paranormal romance shelf at least give her the urban fantasy genre she well deserves. This respite from my usual reading choice was a pleasant and welcome surprise and the book has earned a spot on my “keeper” shelf.
Thank you Ms. Ward for an amazing read.