First of all, let me say that I'm a huge fan of urban fantasy. If you're not aware of the term, "urban fantasy" is basically fantasy literature (magic and/or monsters) set in the real world (or a fictional approximation thereof). There are many authors in this genre, including Emma Bull (who wrote War for the Oaks, easily one of my all time favorite urban fantasies) and Jim Butcher (who writes The Dresden Files series, which I also adore).
Second, I'm not a fan of romance novels. I'm a guy. I don't typically go pick up a tawdry romance to fill my time.
Third, Eve of Darkness by S.J. Day is an interesting cross of the two genres.
The idea of explicit sex in a fantasy novel is a bit new to me, so I was put off initially when I started reading this novel. That said, the world that Day has created is very, very intriguing to me. So I was able to put aside my typical reaction to the sex scenes (which is to typically put the book down unless it's excellent) and continue reading. That in and of itself says a great deal to me about the accessibility of Day's writing.
Eve (Evangeline) is an interior designer in California with a great career and without a great track record in romances. In her teen years, she had a wild fling with an older man on a motorcycle. And he rode out of her life never to be seen again. Ten years later, he returns and turns her life upside down.
Day's world is comprised of angels and demons, God and the Devil. A world where black and white should be much clearer than it is. The archangels run a kind of bounty hunting service for God, tracking and killing the infernals who go too far in the mortal realm. But the good guys are few and the mortals are many and weak, so there's always too much work to go around.
This is a world where Cain and Abel, brothers since the time of the Bible, still roam the earth. They are part of this organization helping to remove the worst of the infernals from the mortal realm. Both have greater agendas. And both have fallen in love with one mortal woman… Eve.
As an agnostic, she's now thrust into a world where heaven and hell are real and the bureaucracy is just about as bad as the job she has thrust upon her – how to kill the infernals she's asked to kill and still stay alive.
It's a fascinating world built upon the stories and figures in the Bible. And it's interesting to see the celestial maneuverings as angels prove themselves not quite as pristine as we might have hoped. I can't say I like it as much as say, The Dresden Files, but it's not bad and might attract a different audience to urban fantasy.
I think I may have to read the next two in the trilogy – Eve of Destruction and Eve of Chaos. The first in the trilogy (Eve of Darkness) comes out from Tor Books in April 2009. Eve of Destruction is released in June 2009. And Eve of Chaos will be released in July 2009.
Guess I'll just have to bide my time!