Wrath is the second book in Denise Tompkins’ Niteclif Evolutions. The story takes up immediately, and I do mean immediately, where Legacy leaves off. (This review contains spoilers for Legacy, book 1 of The Niteclif Evolutions. If you haven’t read Legacy, check out my review, then go forth and read Legacy. It’s a terrific and necessary introduction to the Niteclif supernatural world of Wrath.)
As Wrath opens, Maddy Niteclif’s new life as the supernatural investigator for the High Council has fallen apart before it had fairly begun. The prophecy that she and her newfound love, Bahlin Drago spent all of Legacy trying to avoid seems to be coming true in the worst possible way. Their dreams are in tatters, and Maddy’s trust in everyone in her new world is shattered.
The death-curse of Bahlin’s rival has left Maddy sick, weak and dependent: she’s now an invalid who needs a full-time attendant just to make it to the bathroom!
She’s not even capable of doing her job as the Niteclif, and someone in the supernatural community has turned serial killer. The murderer clearly has some kind of grudge against Maddy, since all of the victims look enough like her to be her twin.
And into the middle of this mess steps yet another prophecy. The first prophecy said that whichever male member of the High Council managed to get Maddy into a sexual relationship would become Head of the High Council. That man was also fated to love Maddy and lose her. Bahlin and Maddy spent all of Legacy hoping to thwart the prophecy, but prophecies do not readily accept being thwarted.
That High Council had three men sitting on it when Legacy began. Tarrek, the fae prince, met his fate by the end of Legacy. Bahlin was the other contender for Maddy’s hand. But what of the third?
During Legacy, the last man, Hellion the wizard, was not “in play”. He had a mate. By the time that Wrath begins, Hellion is available, but still angry at Maddy for her part in in his mate’s death.
However, there’s another prophecy…
Can Maddy manage to get over her betrayal by one man (even if he is a dragon), long enough to figure out if she’s ready to trust another (even if he is a wizard)? Can she stop railing at her fate long enough to listen to her heart? Can Maddy stay one step ahead of the killer long enough to figure out who it is before he kills her and makes all her other problems go away–permanently?
Escape Rating B: There are parts of Wrath that I absolutely love, and parts that made me want to shake Maddy until her teeth rattled.
The whole concept of this supernatural world, and that someone like the Niteclif has to straddle the two, is a terrific concept. The idea that Maddy’s great-grandfather was Sherlock Holmes still gets to me. Maddy has to maintain her balance between the worlds, otherwise she’ll just fade away into fiction like great-grandad. That’s cool…and eerie at the same time. Maddy knows there’s a fiction writer already prepped and waiting in case she fails.
On the other hand, Maddy’s love life definitely has its ups and downs, and not all of them between the sheets. While I understand that Bahlin’s betrayal would make her rather gunshy when the prophecy about Hellion comes along, I found the constant angst a bit much. Especially the repeated refrain of how seldom Maddy had sex until after she become the Niteclif but now she’s supposedly a bed-hopper. Then she’d have some internal debate and “give in” to Hellion again, as though he or the circumstances were responsible instead of Maddy being responsible for her own actions.
Not that the romance and the sex weren’t sizzling hot, but I wished that Maddy would take more responsibility for her personal actions sooner in the story. As the Niteclif, she can be judge, jury and sometimes executioner in criminal cases. I wanted to shake her when she kept pretending that circumstances were in control in her sex life for so long.
But I’m really enjoying Maddy’s evolution and I can’t wait to see what happens next! I have some guesses but the next book, Vengeance, doesn’t have a pub date yet. Now I wish I could find a prophecy!