Title: Marked for Vengeance
Series: #1 The Alyx Rayer Chronicles
Author: S.J. Pierce
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Alyx Rayer’s existence in Atlanta, the eternally bustling capital of Georgia, is one of routine and blending in among the worker bees. But her ‘normal’ life is actually a façade for a higher calling; she's a three hundred year old soul, encased in a human vessel and sent from the darkness between heaven and Earth to capture her Marked when summoned by her superiors.
During the initial, routine stake-out of her Marked, a dream prophet named Isaac Walsh, Alyx is thrown for an emotional loop when his allure captivates her heart from two rooftops away. The event marks the very instance when her sense of what’s right and what’s wrong is brutally challenged as her contact with him is strictly forbidden.
While already trapped between honor and desire, her emotional struggles are further challenged by a man in a black suit who continually pops up when she least expects it, his presence evoking a strange response from the scar she was branded with at birth. The scar tingles like a warning beacon, alerting her that something is amiss. Because her superiors never told her what this would mean, or much of anything except what to do when they summon, she can only conclude to try and keep her sanity, and her life, from completely shattering to pieces.
This engaging first book of the series is a Paranormal Romance novel interlaced with twists, turns, and thrilling suspense that is sure to satisfy readers of any genre.
May not be suitable for YA.
I didn't know what to expect going in to this book. The blurb sounded promising, so I decided to give it a shot. When I read the author's note at the beginning, it made me stop and think. Do we really know who or what walks among us? I know we just survived the Mayan End of the World, but have you seriously given thought to the world as we know it ending? In Marked for Vengeance we learn that there are beings who walk among us - neighbors, coworkers, friends - who were sent here for specific reasons. Some have good intentions and some with evil intentions. I was immediately sucked into this story and trying to uncover its mysteries.
We first meet Alyx, a being whose sole purpose on Earth is to protect her Marked. It is why she was created by her superiors and why she was placed in Atlanta 3 years ago. This is Alyx's third and final lifetime here and at this point she understands all the rules for her kind. However, this time she has a different sort of pull to her Marked - and it's one she's having a hard time ignoring.
Isaac, a widower, father, and artist is just doing his best to get by and raise his son. He has always been plagued by vivid and sometimes disturbing dreams. He typically channels these dreams into his art. His son, Micah, seems to have inherited his father's propensity for dreams, and lately they are coming more frequently and viscerally for both father and son.
One day, Alyx and Isaac meet at the bistro where Isaac works. Isaac feels as though he knows Alyx. Alyx, of course, rebuffs him for she must follow the rule prohibiting contact between herself and her Marked. However, this meeting sets into motion events that endanger not only Alyx, Isaac and Micah, but quite possibly all of humankind.
As we soon learn, the fate of the human world belongs to those Marked. And when evil descends upon Atlanta, it's up to Alyx and the other Angel/Protectors to ensure their Marked's survival and therefore the world's.
Marked for Vengeance is unique in its premise and well executed in its writing. As the first in a series, we learn much about the central characters and also the world building required for the next books. I think it's well-paced and suspenseful. S.J. Pierce weaves religion and mythology well to create an engaging story. And I'm excited to read the next installment.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.