Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genre: urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Series: Angelorum Twelve Chronicles #2
Length: 506 pages
Publisher: Collins-Young Publishing
Date Released: December 16, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
The Wanderer’s mission three decades ago: secretly sire children to hide his bloodline, and protect them until their destinies can unite in the final battle between good and evil. That time has come…
Cara Collins, the First of the Holy Twelve, longs for one last peaceful weekend with her bridesmaids as she plans her wedding to Simon Young, her former Trinity Guardian, before duty calls with the Angelorum to gather the Twelve and prepare them for battle. Life, as she knew it, has changed; weird is Cara’s new normal. Her newly acquired Nephilim DNA is wreaking havoc on her and those closest to her as her body transforms into Amazonian proportions and an overabundance of pheromones threatens to land her in hot water with Simon—not to mention a sudden suspicious outbreak of “insta-love” among her friends.
Michael Swift, Cara’s Trinity Messenger, has spent months running from his attraction to Cara’s brazen best friend Sienna, the only woman who has ever skirted his considerable defenses. But if he wants a future with her, he must confront his tormented past head on, or risk losing her and destroying the future of the Angelorum.
As dark forces and outside threats gather, Cara has more to worry about than fitting into her wedding dress and playing Cupid to her friends. A second encounter with rocker Brett King shows Cara once again that there are no coincidences. One of the Wanderer’s children, Brett and his secret siblings are the key to gathering the rest of the Twelve.
When the newly forming team finally comes together, an unexpected revelation shakes them to their core. They must all look deeper into their souls as new secrets come to light to discover what’s really at stake in the final battle between good and evil…if betrayal and Lucifer don’t rip them apart first.
I picked The Wanderer’s Children because I read (and reviewed) the first book in this series, Trinity Stones, earlier this year. It is such a complex story that I had to see what happened next.
It is still a complex and convoluted story. In my possibly not so humble opinion, it is also still one single story. It’s not just that the action from The Wanderer’s Children follows directly from the end of Trinity Stones, but the complexity of the worldbuilding and the interrelationships among the characters is getting more intense. Reading The Wanderer’s Children definitely requires reading Trinity Stones first. The story is piling on layers within layers, and it only makes sense if you know how everyone got to the point (or fix) they are currently in.
I think we’ve even met all the characters, or certainly all the important ones, in Trinity Stones. It’s just that in The Wanderer’s Children, some of the focus is shifted from Cara and Simon to other people involved in the upcoming battle between good and evil, especially their friends Michael and newly met Brett King, as well as all of Cara Collins’ best friends.
I did have a momentary fear that we were going to head into romantic triangle territory, but thankfully that didn’t happen. Instead, we have Cara throwing off so many pheromones that everyone in her vicinity pairs up as soon as they meet.
In spite of the insistence on free will on the part of the angels (yes, I said angels) and angelic sympathizers working on keeping evil at bay, we do stray rather close to “fated mate” territory with some of the newly introduced couples. The free will part seems to come into play in the way that the couple may not get their acts together as a result of secrets or baggage that they are carrying.
So there are a bunch of things going on in The Wanderer’s Children. One of the major plot threads is the continuing growth of Cara’s powers. She nearly died at the end of Trinity Stones, and the cure that she was injected with continues to play havoc with her body and mind. Mostly in a good way, but there are definitely some downsides.
The romance in this story is between one member of her angel/guardian trinity and one of her best friends from college. (See, I said you needed to read the first book first)
The course of true love does not run smooth, or it wouldn’t be worth fighting for. Michael has some serious baggage from his childhood, and he doesn’t realize that Sienna has her fair share of demons (not literally) to fight. His reluctance to bring his trauma out into the light contrasts nicely with Sienna’s mostly out there personality. She hides with bravado, he hides by running away. Their mutual exploration and explosion is lovely to see straighten out.
But the more interesting issues revolve around Brett King, the rock star Cara met in Trinity Stones, and her other college best friend Jessa. It’s pretty clear that their romance will come in the next book, but they have a long way to go first. It’s not just that Brett has discovered the world of the angels and his place in it, but also that Jessa has one scary, possessive, evil stepfather.
And then there’s Cara’s other friend, Irene. She has scary bosses in the NSA who send her to spy on her best friend for reasons yet to be revealed.
And Irene has totally misinterpreted everything that has happened with her friend Cara and her fiance Simon (and Michael and Brett and everyone else). Irene has let herself fall into one serious misunderstandammit that might just tip the balance of power the wrong way.
If Jessa’s stepfather doesn’t scare her into tipping it first.
Escape Rating B: The action in this story is incredibly absorbing. Every single person has a big part to play in the battle between heaven and hell, and most of them have no idea that there even IS a battle coming. One of the neat things in this story is the way that Cara takes Brett under her wing to help him adjust to this strange new world that he is suddenly part of.
Michael and Sienna’s relationship is the core romance, and their journey towards each other (after a lot of running away on Michael’s part) is sweet as well as hot. They both have a lot of healing to do, and it needed to take them time to do it.
I will say again that this world has a lot of “moving parts” and there is still considerable ongoing worldbuilding. Reading Trinity Stones is required to make things make sense, and I’m really glad there was a list of “dramatis personae” at the beginning to get me back up to speed.
While the story is careening madly down the hill toward the epic confrontation at some point in the future, I had some issues with Irene’s storyline, and to a lesser extent, Jessa’s. Irene is clearly being misled by her NSA handlers, and it is not clear which side they are on. It is very clear that they are not on Irene’s side. But Irene increases her own heartache by keeping huge (and slightly unbelievable) secrets from her friend Cara, and letting herself be led down a complete path of misdirection, mostly self-inflicted. Irene feels either too smart to fall for this stuff or too stupid to carry out her clandestine mission. YMMV.
Jessa’s freaky-jealous stepfather seemed a bit over-the-top when added to all the issues that Irene brings to the table. And there are two huge cliffhangers that the reader gets dropped off of at the very end that made me want to scream in frustration. As much as Irene and Jessa drove me batty, I want to see what trouble they get Cara into next very, very badly.
L.G. and TLC Book Tours are giving away a copy of The Wanderer’s Children to one lucky U.S. or Canadian winner: