There are two different kind of series out there: the kind where you can jump in at any point, and the kind you really need to read the early installments to appreciate the later ones. This book falls in the second category. Beyond the Darkness
is my first foray into the Offspring series. It's book 5. And I was lost for a long time. In many ways, this book is clearly a continuation of an ongoing arc. Our hero and heroine met in a previous book; he saved her life, told her they has a psychic connection, and then left her.
As this book begins, Petra is still pining for Cheveyo, but is resolved to move on with her life. But then Pope comes to her, saying he needs Cheveyo's help and only she can find him. It seems Pope also saved her life (in one of the previous books) and the lives of her group of... friends(?). Petra and the others are descendants of people enhanced by the essence of a being from a parallel universe. They've all got some kind of special gifts. Petra is a healer.
If you've read this series before, I'm sure all of that made perfect sense, but I had a hard time following along.
Anyway, Petra contacts Cheveyo, but the bad guy sees her with Pope, so now she is stuck with the two men until they can eradicate the threat. Cheveyo and Petra are soul mates, but he believes he cannot be with her. His life's mission is to police the otherworld/ supernatural beings that make their way over from the other side. And having her in his life would constantly put her in danger. So he pushes her away. Then gives in a little. Then pushes her away again. And again. And again. It was really frustrating. He is just so rigid and single-mindedly focused on his mission. It took a really long time before these two get together, and when they do, it's actually quite good. Unfortunately, we lose ground every time we gain it.
I know that this book would have been a lot better for me if I was up to speed on the series when I started. I don't know if I would have loved
it. But it would have been better. Even still, I would have had to contend with the frustration brought on by Cheveyo's martyrdom and Petra's character as a whole. Did I mention she is a beautiful cosmetologist & masseuse in training, whose inner self is an orphan princess?
This one just great for me. It just doesn't work as a standalone. A little less than 3 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley