Fans of the Hunter Kiss series will enjoy the additional background information about the bonds between Maxine Kiss and the living tattoos she affectionately refers to as “the boys”. Peeling off her skin at sunset, the five little demons are actually the feared Reaper Kings of old and so violent, the living prison of a line of genetically altered women was designed to hold them. Shortly after a demon-possessed woman delivered a terrifying crystal skull in a bowling bag, things started going wrong for Maxine and her soul mate Grant, the Lightbringer. It was thought the bonds the boys and Maxine shared were unbreakable but one fateful afternoon she learns otherwise, nearly at the cost of her life. The question is, who or what is behind the destruction of the Reaper Kings prison and how bad are things going to get now that they are free for the first time in ten million years.
As Maxine struggles with the sense of loss at the forced separation, Grant, who nearly died in his efforts to save her, works to keep his growing powers under control. With the Reaper Kings and others on the loose, control could be the last thing they need as a major showdown between demons begins playing out, literally in Maxine’s front yard. Maxine must embrace the dark power within if she is to have a chance at saving herself, loved ones and preventing a literal hell on earth.
Liu’s fourth book of the series contributes a wealth of background information to Maxine and the women of her family line plus the role her father and demons played in past events while setting up the storyline for more action. The relationship between the Reaper Kings and Maxine is one of the backbones of this fast moving installment as are the deepening bonds between her and Grant. With an unusual twist to demon mythology, strong character development and a nice sense of history, this series is a treat.