Title: Rook & Izzy
Author: Cary Attwell
Length: 187 Pages
Category: Paranormal/Fantasy, Angels/Demons
Rating: 4 Stars
At a Glance: Cary Attwell has such a great voice and charming storytelling style, and we obviously share the same sense of humor. While I might say this book was not quite as amusing as her first, true to the author’s apparent habit—if one can call the way two books ended ‘a habit’—she has left me wanting more.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: An ancient artefact, backed up by a prophecy that’s as vague as it is irritating, unearths itself in the hopes of being accidentally put together and getting a good, old-fashioned apocalypse going. It’s up to Ezechias, an earnest angel undergoing Authority training, to hunt it down and destroy it before the whole world blows to bits.
Well, that, or it’s up to Rook, an insouciant demon with business cards more stylish than he actually warrants, to hunt down the angel and use any means necessary to ensure his failure.
Either way, the apocalypse may be nigh, with Rook and Ezechias at the centre of it all, and if they get a little distracted by each other… well, humankind’s had a good run, hasn’t it?
Review: Back in January of 2013, I read Cary Attwell’s debut novel, The Other Guy, and was so overwhelmingly in love with it that I promised to keep an eye out for every single book the author published from there until eternity. Two things happened: 1) she’s published only one other book since, and then seemingly has disappeared, and 2) that book is this book, and it was published all the way back in 2016, so I failed epically at keeping track of her work. I’m trying really hard to be happy this book exists rather than sad it’s the only other book to this author’s credit.
Perhaps if angels can fall, demons can rise.
In the grand scheme of the opposites-attract trope, you probably won’t find more extremes of opposite than an angel and a demon, and so here we are. Ezechias is an angel, still in training, who has been given a rather Herculean task: to find and secure an ancient artifact that, if employed for its intended use, will bring about the Apocalypse. With a capital-A. End of the world. The sky raining blood and hellfire. Complete and total annihilation. Human extinction. You get the picture. The problem is that Ezechias has no earthly idea where to begin looking for this dastardly relic because all he has to go on is a prophecy that reads like utter nonsense.
Rook is a Demon of the Below, Roguery Division—Class III, and he has been assigned to intercept Ezechias and thwart the angel’s mission to save the world. The biggest obstacle to that is that Rook has never been one to follow the rules, which is why he’s still only a Class III demon after all these millennia. He loves to wreak havoc and simply prefers to be an agent of chaos and mischief, doing his own thing, swinging his own swing. I mean, ask him and he’ll tell you himself he excels at sowing seeds of discontent, so why would he want the world to end when he has so much fun playing with us? He, in fact, does not want to usher in an end to his entertainment, so he decides to do what any self-respecting demon in the Roguery Division would do. He goes a bit, uh, rogue, and he’s going to have fun messing with Ezechias in the process.
Cary Attwell has such a great voice and charming storytelling style, and we obviously share the same sense of humor. It’s near to impossible not to feel a bit awed by Ezechias’ kindness and to find some appeal in Rook while also feeling the Hmph-iness of his being such a manipulative little imp. From the moment Rook and Ezechias meet, which Rook orchestrated in his best deceitfully demonly fashion, he plays Ezechias like the proverbial fiddle, pretending to be a poor distressed soul who Ezechias is, of course, compelled to help because the angel is quite literally composed of goodness and compassion. Poor Izzy—as Rook dubs him, mostly hoping to find and then stomp on the angel’s last nerve—has no idea he’s being played until the half angel/half demon Zion blows Rook’s cover. When they’re all forced to work together to find the Gur-Kimah, it’s every angel, demon, angel/demon for himself. But for the sake of humanity, it’d best be the angel who comes out on top.
The only problem is there’s a sinister plot running in the background that all but ensures Izzy will fail.
Trust is at the crux of this story. Or, the lack thereof, to be more precise. How can Izzy possibly trust Rook when he’s a no-good, lying demon? And neither of them can, nor should, trust Zion since he freely, unabashedly admits he’s only out for himself and is not even repentant about it (I had such a fantastic love/Zion-you-big-creep! relationship going with him). There’s quite a bit of evidence in him that there’s no such thing as someone being purely good or purely evil, and even an angel can be a little bit tempted into naughty behavior, but there’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that good might rise when matters of free will and the heart become involved.
Zion leaned forward, and in a low voice, said, “What are you doing?”
“The denouement,” Rook said, as if this was self-evident.
Saving the world while uncovering a sinister betrayal relative to, by my count, at least four of the seven deadly sins—or maybe all seven if one considers an appetite for wrath a form of gluttony, and sloth as being too lazy to carry out the plans oneself—is delivered with the requisite suspense and no small amount of the levity I found so charming in The Other Guy, though I’m not sure I’d go so far as to categorize this book a romance even if it does have romantic elements added in among the mystery and the suspense of locating the Gur-Kimah and keeping it out of the wrong hands. I would, however, categorize it as amusing and entertaining, and true to the author’s apparent habit—if one can call the way two books ended ‘a habit’—she has left me wanting more. Cary, if you happen to see this and you’re out there writing under another name now, please let me know, okay?
You can buy Rook & Izzy here:
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