Soul Avenged (Sons of Wrath #1) ~ by Keri Lake
Posted January 9, 2017
Ayden is an Alexi super soldier created to fight the Lycan race of wolves. Though fully human at one time, she no longer has any memories of her previous life. Upon hunting Lycans with the Alexi since her transition, Ayden rebelled against the General and is seeking her own vengeance against those who took her human life. Seeking the help of the Wrath demons, Ayden is on the verge of uncovering what’s been hidden for so long but when Ayden comes into contact with a Halfling, she begins to question everything.
“You know, as humans, we’re allowed to feel. It’s what separates us from inanimate objects. It’s okay if the memories made you … feel something again.”
Kane Walker is a director at a Children’s Cancer Institute. Upon leaving work one evening, he is attacked and bitten by a Lycan (wolf) but instead of taking him as their own, Kane is left in his Halfling state and found by Ayden. While Ayden typically wouldn’t have any trouble killing a Lycan in cold blood, a transference of memories occurs between Kane and Ayden causing immediate shock. Needing to discover how and what it all means, Ayden takes Kane hostage in an effort to get more information before Kane becomes a full-fledged Lycan but Kane also learns more than he expected.
“Finally, a woman who seized his attention, set his body aflame, and made him want to piece her puzzling complexities together—the same one who’d be severing his head. What a cruel paradox.”
During Kane’s transformation period, Ayden openly shows her disdain for Kane’s new Lycan identity and declares she will be the one to extinguish his life upon his full transformation. However, Kane isn’t a man driven by greed or immorality and his easy and lovable personality starts to wear on Ayden, as she didn’t expect him to accept his demise with such honor and selflessness. As they forge a friendship and more, Ayden’s memories become clearer and her vulnerability is tested yet Kane remains a constant strength by encouraging her to accept the truth and pain.
“Because I feel something for you. And I’d hate for you not to know how fucking fantastic it feels. Even if I die today, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”
Adding to the complexity between Ayden and Kane are the surrounding forces at play. The General of the Alexi is intent on getting Ayden back under his command and continues to plot against the Lycans for his own gain. After going AWOL, Ayden hired the Wrath demons to find those responsible for her lost life and as more details are uncovered, the demon brothers are posturing to fulfill their contract obligations. However, with unexpected complications the action becomes tense with so much at stake.
“No species is spared,” she muttered. “We’re all victims of something bigger, aren’t we?”
In this book, the paranormal world is layered with different species – humans, hybrids, demons, beasts, succubi, etc. – that offer nuances within their own life forms. With many secondary characters in this story, the foundation takes some time to establish but once it takes hold, the pace is swift. I enjoyed all the character relationship dynamics, as each character had clearly definable traits that enhanced the plot direction. With the Sons of Wrath brothers, it certainly begs the question about each getting their own books within this series but I absolutely loved Gavin and hope he gets what he’s been seeking for centuries. Of course, Ayden was a kickass heroine that I won’t forget.
Overall, Keri Lake’s writing style is energetic and fresh yielding to a layered plot steeped in fraternity, acceptance, love and truth. For those who wish to get lost in a supernatural world, I recommend Soul Avenged.