Desert Isle Keeper
From earlier books in this series we know that the powerful Fae known as Death fell in love with a human woman whose health was so fragile that she could see him in the Shadowlands. She named him Shadowman. This woman, who loved Shadowman, call him to her and together they created a half-breed child that the woman lived just long enough to bring into the world. Shadowman wasn’t able to usher the woman’s soul when she died, so he has spent the last couple of decades searching for her. Erin Kellison’s latest book, Shadowman tells of what happens when his quest comes to an end.
As the book opens we find Shadowman using extreme magic to construct a gate to Hell, desperate to get there to find the soul of his beloved, Kathleen, having failed to find her in the Shadowlands or in Heaven. Shadowman fears she has been in torment in Hell since her death. Once the vile gate is completed it immediately begins clamoring for Shadowman to open it, but he delays in order to rest before the ordeal of travelling through to Hell. His rest is interrupted by an altercation outside the warehouse that houses his forge and the gate. He reluctantly intervenes and saves the heroine, Layla Matthews, from rape.
Layla is an investigative journalist very concerned about the wraith phenomenon, researching what causes humans to become the immortal murderers given that name. She is obsessed with the Segue Institute, which is at the center of wraith study, and with the institute’s owners Adam and Talia Thorne. Layla is busted by Segue security after she climbs a wall onto the property in an attempt to get pictures, and is brought inside for questioning. She meets a strange young woman there who tells her to travel to a warehouse in a bad part of town if she wants more information.
After Shadowman rescues Layla, he brings her into the warehouse, where she is immediately overcome by the gate’s demands. Before Shadowman can stop her she opens the gate just the tiniest crack for the shortest instant, but long enough for a devil to escape. The devil almost immediately embarks upon a killing spree, and the whereabouts of Kathleen’s soul quickly become apparent. What follows is sixteen chapters of non-stop action, mystery and suspense.
What can I say? I really dig this series and this latest installment is a marvelous addition. Shadowman is an unusual hero, to say the least, and the way the author resolves the issue of his being shadow in the mortal world is inspired. Although each book has a different set of main characters, the story is not interrupted by the varying viewpoints, and the cast of Angels, Banshee, Humans, and Wraiths remains throughout. I even found the devil character very entertaining. This is another gritty one, although descriptions of the violence are a little more muted than some other paranormals. To keep things interesting, new versions of the antagonists were also introduced.
Technically this book is very good. The story lines of the previous main characters and the latest all flow together very well. Readers of the previous books will find no lapses, and there is no cliffhanger ending with loose threads everywhere. It’s all tied up very well in the end. If Halloween coming has you in the mood for a dark, romantic, urban fantasy this is your book.
Interested readers should try to read the previous two books before starting this one. The backstory is complex and you don’t want to miss a thing. Only the first book has been reviewed here and it received a B.