Book Review: Not Even Death

Not Even Death
by Michel Prince
Published May 2013
Rebel Ink Press

In one tragic moment Ellie Jeffreys’ perfect life ended and the devastation of losing the only man she believed she could ever love and their beautiful child, causes the hopeless resignation that life shall never again be worth living.

Bound by a decree from On High, the demons who tormented Ellie for years have had to leave the Jeffreys alone, but they grow restless, sensing Ellie's despair and vulnerability. They lust for her. And they’re extremely resourceful.

Dr. Luke Page’s inability to save Ellie’s husband and son has him hoping to recover her crumbling mind and show her love does still exist in the world. Dr. Page feels immense pressure to be her security blanket in the concrete world, but thoroughly healing her presents a challenge that raises questions about his ability as both a physician and a human being.

Ellie’s depression now leaves her susceptible to the vengeful demons. In the past the sheer strength of Oscar's love and devotion fortified a barrier around Ellie, shielding her from the effects of the world's iniquities. Will Luke’s love be enough to rise to the challenge of protecting her? Or will Oscar’s become like a phoenix letting not even mortality stand its way?

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance Ebooks.

Note: I received a pre-edited advance release copy in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: This is the third book in the Chrysalis series, and in my opinion, the strongest. This is a series that keeps getting better and better. It follows Ellie and Oscar, meant-to-be lovers who have faced trials no other couple in history has had to face. The demon, Gaap, has been tormenting Ellie's family for decades, determined to rob them of any happiness or success in life. In the first two books in the series, we watch Ellie and Oscar fall in love and root for them as earthly and celestial circumstances try to tear them apart. Even though the paranormal elements are essential to the story, they feel almost irrelevant because everything takes a backseat to the gritty, passionate, realistic love between Oscar and Ellie. It's a love that overshadows everything. The series is absolutely gripping.

The series was originally called a "cross-over" series by the author and publisher because the first two books are set in the halls of high school (typically YA) while Not Even Death follows Oscar and Ellie into adulthood (jobs, family, home-ownership). This series is truly and excellent example of the New Adult category. It's a bit too graphic for teens, but definitely appealing for ages 17 and up. As a mom, I would feel comfortable letting a fifteen-year-old read the first book, but not this latest novel. The subject matter is mature and some situations might not be appropriate for kids under seventeen.

I loved Not Even Death. I'm a huge fan of Michel Prince, so I expected the book to be good--but not this good! The story moves back and forth in time, gradually filling in details of the past few years and giving us glimpses of Oscar and Ellie's maturing, evolving relationship. In present time, they're married with an adorable little boy. Ellie's paranormal gifts enable to her to occasionally identify low-level demons. She uses her skills to help others, though this worries Oscar. He isn't entirely certain they're free of Gaap's evil hold--and he's right. Gaap uses Ellie's love for her husband and child to deal her the ultimate blow. Ellie stumbles through parts of the book in a haze of grief and pain. Dr. Luke Page has been sent to check on her and take care of her, but does he really have Ellie's best interests at heart?

I cried through parts of this book and simmered with rage in others. There were tender, yet passionate sex scenes between Ellie and Oscar. Jealousy, humor, power struggles, joy--a picture of a new, but fulfilling marriage. Deception, cruelty, betrayal, hopelessness--clear indications of demon involvement. Like I said, this book surprised me. There was so much that happened that was completely unexpected. Nothing predictable about this book at all.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars