Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life? (summary from Goodreads)

The Mephisto Covenant is a stunning story of love and redemption against the backdrop of the biggest battle of all - that of Heaven and Hell.

Sasha desperately wants to know every detail about how her father was killed in Russia a year ago, and pledging an oath to the mysterious Eryx and his secret society, the Ravens, doesn't seem like much to pay for these answers. Especially as Sasha doesn't really believe in this Eryx. What Sasha soon learns however is so much more than she could ever have expected. She is Anabo, a daughter of Eve who feels none of the temptation for sin that humans do. With her mother exiled to Russia and Sasha forced to live with family she never knew existed, she is thrust into a world of Heaven and Hell and its battle for lost souls - a battle fought by Jax and his brothers, sons of Hell whose duty it is to maintain the balance and truce between Heaven and Hell. With Jax's salvation relying on Sasha's choices, can she choose immortality and an eternity of chasing lost souls by his side? Or will she choose a life without Jax?

The Mephisto Covenant was a surprising story with many plots and twists I didn't see coming. Right from the first page something big is happening and the action just kept going until the last page. There's just so much to this book - betrayal, secret love, family rivalries, spies, high school drama, epic love, destiny, angels & goes on. Honestly, it all kind of blew me away as I was expecting the tried but true simple storyline of girl meets boy, she finds out life altering secrets about boy and herself, girl chooses boy despite the consequences. Sure, this storyline is there, but it's in no way simple! With so much going on I was a little amazed with how well the story flowed. The connections between Sasha's father's murder, Eryx and his evil plans, the sons of Hell - it really was brilliantly held together in my opinion. At first, as some of these different plots were revealed, I was a bit confused and worried about how I was going to enjoy The Mephisto Covenant, but I shouldn't have, because it all comes together into a conclusion that left me a little breathless...and continuously pressing the button on my Kindle for the nonexistent next page! I still want more, even now!

In books like this I find it's common for the guy to keep secrets in the hopes of protecting his supposed damsel in distress. Well, not here. Instead Faegen's provided a fresh twist where pertinent information is divulged early on. In this way, the focus isn't on Sasha trying to find out the truth no matter what, but on how she deals with it and what choices she will make because of it. Of course, there's still some secrets kept hidden until the end - we do need some surprising twists, after all - but between Jax and Sasha there was honesty, and I loved it. I really enjoyed their relationship, they were cute and hot, completely drawn to each other from word go. There wouldn't be the much needed tension however if Sasha made her choice too early on, so there is a wait and with it just enough development to keep me truly satisfied.

I can't say for sure if Faegen planned it this way, but sometimes Sasha frustrated me. As Anabo, Sasha is not tempted, she doesn't feel sin the way many do. So basically, she's doesn't get angry, doesn't judge people - and so many times I wanted to shake her into that kind of reaction! The difference between her and us, as it were, are conveyed very well, is my point. Certainly I am tempted by sin, even in terms of fictional characters and storylines! The more Sasha is around Jax, the more she is influenced by, well, the dark side - and I loved every moment of Sasha's transformation. She's a spitfire when it comes down to it! I always give massive kudos to authors who can elicit emotional and physical responses from me, and Faegen has it. I'm thankful I read most of this book at night in bed, otherwise I may have got more than one weird look for my growls, eye rolls, giggles, or cheers.

The sons of Hell are partly to be blamed for a few of these reactions. While most of Jax's brothers unfortunately make rare appearances throughout the novel, when they did they really kind of stole the show. Unused to normal every day relationships with a girl, their interactions with Sasha are nothing short of hilarious. If I had to pick one thing I want most from future books in this series, it's that there be more of the sons of Hell! As for Jax himself...can I say SWOON and leave it at that? This is one boy you want to get to know yourself! He is the epitome of tall, dark and handsome, and I am endeared by his inherent kindness and protectiveness. Welcome, Jax, to my fictional-boyfriend's-I-wish-were-real list!

I will say that there were moments throughout The Mephisto Covenant when the writing felt a little forced, especially in terms of some of the excessive dialogue. There's every chance this is just me, but sometimes I found the use of slang jarring, so much so that it would pull me out of the story. While it tempered my rush to devour this book, it didn't minimise my overall love for it.

Overall, The Mephisto Covenant was a fresh and interesting story that demanded attention right from the beginning. I'm very much looking forward to more, and I'm intrigued to find out if the series will continue Jax and Sasha's story, or if Faegen will go the way of Alyxandra Harvey's Drake Chronicles and have another brother focus each book. I certainly wouldn't mind either way, just as long as I do get more of the Mephisto!


Publisher: EgmontUSA
Published date: 27 September 2011
Pages: 435
Format: e-Galley

Many thanks to EgmontUSA & NetGalley.

Challenge: 2011 YA Debut Author Challenge; Vacation Reads - Telluride, Colorado, USA. Snow & skiing, that sounds like a real vacation, yes? And if I happen to bump into any sons of Hell, well, I won't complain. Unless it's Eryx...