I’ve read this book twice, first the normal way, then the audiobook some years later, and it turns out my thoughts are very similar. I really liked it, even more than the first book!
For one thing, I felt the characters in this one were much stronger and had more depth.
Matt was my favorite character in the first book, despite being a side character, so I was excited to see he got his own book. He was quippy, funny, smart, observant, confident, and a good person who wanted to help others… but he was a lonely workaholic. I feel like I rarely see workaholism as a character flaw, so that was interesting. Because of his powers that make it impossible for people to lie to him or around him, he had a crappy childhood and relationships that never lasted, so he started throwing himself into his work, but that only made relationships even more doomed to fail. He was this mixture of confidence and rumpled, suppressed sadness, and altogether he was just so easy to love.
Brennan was great too. Forward, confident, outgoing, sexual, and completely himself. At first I was uncomfortable with how forward he was, but then I remembered he could read minds, and Matt was probably projecting his thoughts and attraction, so I was able to let it slide.
Their romance was great too. Just the right amount of angst and struggle. A good helping of passion and scorching hot sex. But more than that, I could understand and feel their connection and their love, and I wanted them to be together.
There were also some interesting paranormal powers. Matt’s ability to make people tell the truth. Brennan’s mind-reading and telekinesis. Umbra’s shadow manipulation.
I didn’t love the audiobook narration by Blake Bodkin. It didn’t match how I imagined the characters sounding (which I know is subjective and not the narrator’s fault), especially Brennan, and it could be hard to tell characters apart sometimes as the voices he did weren’t that different. But he did make the narration and dialogue sound natural.
Overall, this was a great book with lovable characters, an angsty but sweet romance, and a well-plotted mystery that kept me hooked!
*Although this is part of a series, you could probably enjoy this one as a standalone without reading the first book since it’s about different characters, though it does have some ties to the previous story.*
*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 2nd read.*
4.5 Stars (1st read – 2016)
4.5 Stars (2nd read – 2020)
Fans of Matt in Book 1 of Christine Price's The Society series. Anyone who likes angsty but sweet m/m paranormal romance, lovable characters, and mystery.