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Double Feature Book Review: INCUBUS and SACRIFICE by Jennifer Quintenz

BooksKristina PinoComment
Incubus:
"Braedyn Murphy used to think nothing important ever happened in her sleepy town of Puerto Escondido. But that was before she learned she was a descendent of Lilith, the mother of all demons. Now Braedyn fights to protect humanity from the Lilitu - the beautiful, souls-stealing daughters of Lilith.
As she fights the Lilitu, Braedyn must also fight her growing love for her boyfriend Lucas - because even a simple kiss could end his life. Their only ray of hope is an angel’s offer to make Braedyn human, but it’s an offer she can’t accept until the world is safe from the Lilitu.
Braedyn knows she’s a key player in this ancient war... but she’s not ready to believe she just might be humanity’s best hope of surviving the final battle for Earth."

Sacrifice:

"Just when Braedyn Murphy thought she understood the danger descending on her little town of Puerto Escondido, a new threat arrives. A cult devoted to Lilith has taken up residence in town, led by a charismatic old woman with more than one secret. When Cassie gets tangled up in the mystery, Braedyn realizes her two worlds are colliding. But if she’s going to stop Lilith and her Daughters from reclaiming this earth, Braedyn might not be able to protect her friends.
As her duties to the Guard become more difficult, Braedyn turns to Lucas for solace. They begin to wonder if now is the time to claim their one night together—knowing that one night is all they may ever have.
Darker forces have their own plans for Braedyn and the Guard. No one ever told Braedyn this battle would be easy—but how much can one girl be asked to sacrifice in order to save the world?"
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After the events of Thrall, the first book in this series, Braedyn is left with some heavy thoughts about the future. She wants to become human, but the war between Lilitu and humanity looms ever closer. Her romance with Lucas just makes them heavier.

Incubus focuses on exactly what the title implies: a male version of Lilitu, Incubus. What makes him all the more terrifying is that, unlike with Lilitu, nobody really knows what he can/can't do or how to fight him. He continues to be a menace right through the third book, Sacrifice, to tragic results.

Both of these books had me at the edge of my seat. We got a few breaks here and there between action sequences during

Thrall, but hardly any rest during Incubus or Sacrifice. What I liked about the turbulence was that it paints an accurate picture of what's going on inside Braedyn's head. At this point in the story, she doesn't really get to relax, so why should we?

I don't know why I had it in my head that this series would be a trilogy, but as I was nearing the end of Sacrifice, I was filled with dread. What did the title entail for Braedyn and how would survive this mess? And then it ended before a resolution was reached.

I looked it up, and it turns out this year will see the release ofGuardian, book four in the series. Silly me! But now I'm worked up about what's going to happen next.

Of course, these two books retain (and reinforce) all the qualities I liked about Thrall, such as the good relationship between Braedyn and her father, and some hard-learned lessons about responsibility. I enjoyed the character development all around, too - making sure nobody is left to the wayside, and even taking on the themes of second chances and taking an active role in changing the kind of relationships you have with people for the better (and that it's a two-way street).

I'm happy I've picked up this series and am looking forward to the next installment. These books are written for young adults, but is easily enjoyed by older fans of myth and fantasy as well. I recommend all three of the books out so far (at the time of writing) for teens and adults.