Book Review: S. J. Day’s Eve of Darkness

Posted January 10, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: S. J. Day’s Eve of Darkness

Eve of Darkness

in Paperback edition on April 28, 2009 and has 344 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the Marked urban fantasy series and revolving around Eve Hollis for the sins Cain couldn’t resist committing.

My Take

Everything in this revolves around Eve. Cain fell in love with her years ago. Abel is extremely attracted. Raguel is manipulating everything around her Marking to ensure his being involved with her.

Cain is genuine in his love for Eve, and I suspect Abel’s attraction is the upheaval intended to create the obvious drama. It’s Raguel I’m curious about. His obsession appears to be primarily a combination of greed and power, but there are enough oddities in his thoughts that he is a mystery in his obsession over Eve.

Raguel almost hates humans, for causing him to be trapped into caring for them. I am so looking forward to his comeuppance. It’s the how that will be intriguing.

I don’t understand what Eve’s sin is that would cause her to be penalized like this. Yeah, I get that she was a teen attracted to Cain, and that she was used to tease him into popping her cherry, so, why is she penalized for it? If she can be damned, then why isn’t every virgin penalized? This is not a God I like.

Until I was almost through reviewing this, I was cursing Day’s writing, but the more I wrote and thought, the more I realized I was projecting my irritation over her Gideon Cross series onto this one. I’m trying to step back from this and judge it on its own merits. Day has provided a lot of background and set-up with this story, and even if it is somewhat confusing and the incidents I mention are irritating, the whole overcomes those two issues (although I wish her editors had caught them!).

Interesting technique, putting the Epilogue at the front. Then there’s the clichéd moment when the heroine just needs to reconnect with her old life, a euphemism for let’s have all hell break loose.

Mostly we’re learning about the world in Marked, setting us up with the primary characters in the series, learning about their characters and motivations.

Oh, I love it. Old Mrs. Basso is giving Cain sex tips! Then there’s Reed’s sex with Sara…and the tricks he uses to get through it. This could get interesting, especially when Cain mentions that he has”yet to see him give a shit about anything besides himself”. Not exactly how I’ve imagined angels. Then there’s Abel’s interest in Eve. Mmmm-hmmm, interesting.

What purpose does Eve have for tricking Cain about the Gray Man and the limo? It’s more of a lazy device Day uses to rack up the tension because she doesn’t want to be bothered to think. Again.

It is an interesting twist on angels (and a twist on Day’s Renegade Angels series), and it certainly doesn’t put them nearer their God with all their very human greed and desire for power. Day’s underlying scenario for the series is interesting — clever to use human bureaucracy in Heaven! — and I’m curious to read how it turns out.

What I’d really like to see is all these archangels get their comeuppance for their pride, greed, and power-hungry desires.

The Story

Rebuffed from an appointment for a career-making project, Eve is quickly seduced by Abel and then Marked. A change that will bring Cain back into her life and completely change it.

Exactly as Raguel wants it; she will be the trigger.

The Characters

Evangeline “Eve” Hollis is an interior designer and mostly happy with her work. Mrs. Basso is the elderly neighbor with whom Eve is friends. Miyoko Hollis is her busybody mother with a traditional Japanese upbringing. And, it’s remarkably easy for Cain to get on her good side. Darrel Hollis is her laidback, easygoing dad. At least until he meets Cain.

Alec Cain is a hot, motorcycle-ridin’ supernatural bounty hunter, the first Mark, and God’s primary enforcer, a bound angel. Seems he lets his temper get the best of him too often. He’s ambitious and wants his own firm as does his brother, Reed Abel, a mal’akh angel. Yup, those brothers. Abel likes to follow the rules and has an ambition taller than the Empire State Building. If he can screw up Cain’s life at the same time — score! He’s also Eve’s handler and is supposed to train her; and, he and Cain are in love with her.

Raguel Gadara is the archangel in charge of the firm, Gadara Enterprises, based in Gadara Towers that covers North America; part of his mandate is to handle the Marks who perform as bounty hunters for Heaven. Abel is one of his, and he’s done some deal where Cain has to answer to him as well. He’s typical of God’s angels: ambitious and hungry for power, no matter who it hurts. Hank is an occultist demon who works in the basement of Gadara Tower; no one knows if he’s a he or a she. Wilson is a Mark who also works at Gadara. Mariel is another mal’akh.

Sarakiel is the archangel in charge of the European Firm. She and Abel had a hot fling some time back. I suspect she could be a formidable enemy when she learns how Abel really feels.

Fathers Simmons and Riesgo are at St. Mary’s where Eve goes for a Bible. Detectives Jones and Ingram investigate the murder to which they believe Eve is connected.

The Infernals
Joey is a gargoyle, a tengu demon, with a bad sense of timing — for the bad guys. A Nix, a water demon, is after Eve. Tim Grimshaw, the Alpha’s son, is a werewolf who kidnaps Eve. Idiot. Sean is one of his friends. Charles Grimshaw is the Alpha of the Northern California pack who makes a deal with Cain. Malachai is Tim’s grandfather, a mage.

Infernals are the bad guys. Marks are people who have sinned and who must work off their sin by earning indulgences, finding and sending the bad guys back to Hell. Angel handlers, mark and train the Marks assigned to them and dispatch them to take out the bad guys. There are seven Firms in the world. Each run by an archangel. (And the world is in desperate need of additional firms.) The lili are children of Lilith, Adam’s first wife.

The Cover and Title

The cover is projecting Eve’s appearance into the future. She definitely doesn’t come across in this story as this black bra-baring, black leather coat-wearing hot mama with a pistol. Not yet anyway. The background is a heat-simmering sunset with LA in the background, hazy palm trees and all.

The title is also a projection. The sweet Eve of today will be the Eve of Darkness tomorrow.