The last thing Ward de'Ath wants is more trouble. On the run from both the law and the criminal underworld, Ward and Celia flee Brawenal City only to stumble into the mansion of a powerful evil necromancer. And when Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous grimoire, his duty leaves him no choice. He can't allow the necromancer to keep the grimoire. But the mansion is filled with monsters--human and undead--and Ward has no way of telling who's friend or foe. The only person he can trust is Celia who dominates more of his thoughts and feelings everyday. But there are still laws in the way of anything but friendship. She's still dead and he's still alive . . . for now.
My thoughts on the book:
This is one of those times when I can honestly say that it's not the book, it's me. For some reason, I just could not get into the second installment of this series. Ward Against Darkness had all of the makings of an excellent follow-up. There was romantic tension, superb writing, character growth, and a suspenseful plot. But for some reason that I just cannot figure out, this book fell flat for me. I just couldn't make myself care about what was going on, and the characters (whom I loved in the last novel, and who should have been just as charming this time because they weren't badly written) got on my nerves. I don't know what my problem is, but I just didn't enjoy this novel.
I found Ward's inability to take care of himself cute in the last novel. It was refreshing to see a strong heroine (Celia) taking charge of situations while the more submissive character (Ward) followed her lead. However, in this installment, I found Ward to be weak and whiny. He supposedly has this honor, but he complains constantly about having it... so is it really honor, or does he just want to give the illusion of being a better person than he actually is? That would make him a very unreliable narrator, don't you think? Then Celia came across as overbearing instead of strong this time. It was like she was compensating for Ward's weakness. Also, Celia's personality makes her an unreliable narrator as well, so I didn't trust either of them. The secondary characters didn't stand out to me as much either. I felt like Grumpy Cat while reading this: "I hate morning people... and mornings... and people." But I digress.
The plot was paced well and full of suspense. However, since I didn't like the characters, I didn't give a big hairy rat's butt what happened. Therefore I trudged through without any appreciation of the finer plot intricacies. Also, the romantic tension was well-written, but I just didn't care about the pansy and the beast. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the two of them could tolerate each other, much less like each other. I guess opposites really do attract. The ending wraps things up nicely and leaves room for a sequel, that I may or may not read. I just haven't decided yet.
Overall, I'd recommend this book (surprisingly enough) to people who loved the first book. If you're a fan of the first in the series, then you'll more than likely really enjoy this one. It has great ratings, and like I said, the issues were mine, not the book's. I can't figure out what my problem was with this novel, but don't let that turn you against it. Chances are you'll enjoy it more than I did.