"I'm an Olympian, like you and the rest. I'm not like my mother; I'm not fragile, week and inept. I was born to rule, not serve."
...or winged spawn of Satan! Before I get started...please note, this book is number 2 in the series so if you have not read book 1, you will be 'spoiled'.
**This book was gifted to me by the author for an honest review**
Child of War-A God Is Born begins with poor Alena and her struggle to manage the pregnancy of her first born. It's as though she has fallen ill, she isn't herself and it's as if the baby is slowly taking all she has, killing her from the inside. Always the fighter, Alena pushes on for her beloved 'Raven'. My heart really went out to Alena in this one, Not only was her pregancy extremely difficult and took an astonishing toll on her both inside and out, she still had to deal with the sneers and upturned noses of the elite Olympians. Hera, Ares' mother, means well by insisting on Sunday family dinners. If this were any other family, this would be a nice tradition, something to look forward to. That being said, when it comes to a family dinner with the Olympians, they don't 'break bread'...they throw it. There's never a dull moment but like Ares said, in regards to Apollo, 'He started it.'
I must confess, I have a new love in this series....
There's just something about those wings. I wasn't sure of Eros in book 1 and to be honest, given his parentage (Ares/Aphrodite), I still don't trust him completely. We, the reader, now know a little more about Eros, what role he has played and what his motives are, or were...seems a bit blurry at the moment. Eros is there when Alena needs him. Notorious for not being good at confrontation, Eros, in some ways, is the 'gentle giant' of the Olympians, a lover, not a fighter. You can imagine how Ares just LOVES that, especially when his wife is involved. Even so, Eros was there for Alena the best he could be and I loved the timid, cautious relationship that slowly began between Ares and his son. This is Olympus of course so even that...well, it gets tricky.
While Alena slowly becomes nothing more than a shell, glassy eyes, slipping from her world and into visions she can't quite interpret, Zeus has the ultimate plan to rid the mountain of the 'mud blood' or atleast get something out of it himself. Forever the puppet master, he shows Ares up close and personal that if he wanted his Celt whore of a wife and that monster she is carrying dead...they would be dead. In order to protect them, Ares must enter into a Blood Oath with his father that will ultimately rip his heart out and cost him more than he could ever imagine. This particular scene broke my heart. Two life altering events took place at the exact time and I have no problem admitting that I cried the whole way through.
Now while I do feel Alena's pregnancy went on a little too long, once Raven was born, almost immediately I had a 'careful what you wish for' moment. I was ready to pull my hair out, screaming 'The hell?! Put it back! Put it BACK!!!'. I love children, I have two of my own but this kid...wow. As an Olympian, baby Raven is 'advanced'. He walked, talked, reached for his first assult weapon...all while still in his infancy. In one scene, at the tender age of 6 months, Raven saw a knife that he simply had to have. Alena, being understandably overwhelmed and at her wits end, swats the childs hand away. It was when Raven hit her back, stuck his finger in her face and yelled 'NO! MINE! WOO-MAN.' that I thought to myself, 'WTF did they create?' Scariest. most diabolical. kid. ever.
Raven, as expected, is a beautiful child. Has his father's dark wavy hair and dark skin, with a prominant silver/gray streak that starts just over his left eye. His eyes are those of his mothers with the exception of his pupils that are as gold as amber. This gives his eyes an almost 'serpent' like appearance. Given all the hell and chaos this child creates in this book, it's fitting. Oh so fitting. I was shocked, disgusted and ultimately FLOORED by his actions, thoughts and what came out of his mouth. As the son of Ares and Alena, I expect redemption. How the author will pull it off, I haven't a clue! He is hell bent on ruling Olympus one day and will do any and everything he can to ensure that happens. No one, friend, family or foe will stand in his way. I find is amusing that Zeus hates him so. Especially when, as of now, Raven is most like Zeus than anyone else on the mountain.
So much happened in this book that I could on for days and days. While I can't say that I enjoyed this installment quite to the same level as book 1, I will continue with this series full speed ahead. Once again there were twists and turns that I wasn't expecting. Ms. Darling takes what is sure to be the readers reaction and takes it to extremes. I noticed I cursed aloud quite frequently while reading this one. For me, that's a good sign lol, kept me fully entertained. Managing to do so and not fall into the 'for shock value' trap isn't easy, yet for me, she maintains...easily so. I did get a little lost at times when it came to the backstory in regards to why Zeus hates the Fae as he does. I felt it to be alot of information at once so I had to reread a little to fully grasp it.
All in all, another fantastic read. I even cheated a little and started the next book before doing this review. I can't wait see what that, not so little anymore, monster does next!