fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsurban fantasy book reviews S.J. Day Marked 2. Eve of DestructionEve of Destruction by S.J. Day

It’s not every day that a trilogy’s second installment is better than the first, but S.J. Day has done it.

Eve of Destruction continues the story of Evangeline “Eve” Hollis and her adventures as a “Mark,” a sinner drafted into God’s demon-hunting army. Eve isn’t a typical Mark, and this becomes clearer in this volume as more Marks are introduced to the reader. In some ways, Eve has it easier than her colleagues; she still has a relationship with her family, and she’s dating Cain, the most elite Mark of all. In other ways, she has it harder. She’s going through metaphysical changes at an unprecedented rate, and her connections to Cain and Abel have put her on the radar of the top baddies. The strangeness of Eve being Marked at all is also increasingly evident in Eve of Destruction. Most of Eve’s fellow Marks were murderers before being chosen. All Eve did was fall for a hot guy on a motorcycle. The question of why Eve was chosen is one of the central mysteries here, and I can’t wait to find out the answer.

Eve, still recovering from the events of Eve of Darkness, is assigned to attend a training exercise at a defunct military base, along with a group of other newly minted Marks. The recruits think this is going to be like Survivor — challenges, alliances, backstabbing… Instead they find themselves fighting for their literal survival when a demon infiltrates the team and starts picking off Marks. Meanwhile, Cain is hunting the alpha werewolf we met in Eve of Darkness, and Abel is investigating a new type of demon. These plotlines all turn out to be connected, and Day does a great job of weaving them together and bringing them to an adrenaline-filled climax.The Marked Trilogy: (Eve of Darkness, Eve of Destruction, Eve of Chaos, Eve of Sin City) (Marked Series) Kindle Edition

New complications arise in Eve’s love life, too. One metaphysical event causes her to grow closer to Abel, and another metaphysical event distances her from Cain, adding tension to their love triangle. Over the last few years, I’ve become wary of urban fantasy plots that heavily mix sex and magic. I think it’s because many authors would stretch a situation like this into a twenty-volume soap opera. Given that this appears to be a self-contained trilogy, though, my gut tells me that Day is going to bring the love triangle to a real resolution in book 3, either through Eve making a choice or through character death. (I just hope she ends up with the one I like better!) Day is also better than most at writing the steamy stuff.

Now, for what I loved most about this book. In Eve of Darkness, Eve vanquishes one of the baddies by thinking outside the box and using her creativity. I’m happy to report that this is no fluke. Eve’s resourcefulness continues in Eve of Destruction. It’s incredibly refreshing: Eve’s greatest weapon isn’t her gun, her magic, her ‘tude, or her sexuality. It’s her brain. She gets underestimated a lot, due to her inexperience, but it usually turns out that she’s thinking circles around the other characters. The third-person POV, unusual in urban fantasy, helps facilitate this. It allows Eve to deduce things without tipping off a reader who’s missed the clues. She was definitely a few steps ahead of me at one point!

Also refreshing (and I neglected to mention this in my review of Eve of Darkness) is the diversity. Day’s characters, both human and supernatural, come from a variety of backgrounds. This is something that’s all too rare in fantasy.

And I just have to say, it’s so cute and telling that Abel’s ringtone is “Jessie’s Girl.”

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day (writing as S.J. Day) comes the Marked trilogy, starting with Eve of Darkness. This urban paranormal fantasy series tells the story of Evangeline Hollis, a heavenly bounty hunter, who’s cursed by God, hunted by demons, and desired by none other than Cain and Abel. Uncontrollable bloodlust, dark and sexy desires, disasters of biblical proportions… S.J. Day’s epic series has it all and is not to be missed.

Eve of Darkness — Years ago, Evangeline Hollis spent a blistering night with a darkly seductive man she can’t forget. Now Eve is thrust into a world where sinners are marked and drafted to kill demons. Her former one-night stand, Cain, is now her mentor-and his equally sexy brother Abel is her new boss.

Eve of Destruction — When Eve’s training class takes a field trip to an abandoned military base, things take a dark turn. Meanwhile, her body is still adapting to her new abilities and the challenges that came with them—such as uncontrollable bloodlust…which seems to be inciting another kind of lust altogether.

Eve of Chaos — Eve runs over Satan’s hellhound during training, so he puts a bounty on her head, and every demon in the country wants to deliver. Meanwhile, as Cain’s role in Eve’s life becomes more and more uncertain, Abel doesn’t hesitate to step in.

Eve of Sin City — A short story in the world of the Marked Trilogy, Sin City–Las Vegas–is home to humans and Infernals of all sorts: the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you ask Evangeline Hollis, “good” is in short supply, “ugly” might be amusing, but “bad” is most definitely her business.


  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.