Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Book: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
Series: The Mephisto Covenant #1
Genre: Young Adult / Urban Fantasy
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Available Formats: Print / Ebook
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
How Did I Get This Book: For review from netgalley
Description: Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

The Mephisto Covenant has an incredibly creative premise, but I had a difficult time getting behind it. Sasha is supposed to be a character made up purely of goodness; she never feels temptation or harbors genuine ill feelings.  It is explained that Sasha is a descendant of Auoroa (the daughter Eve had before she was expelled from the Garden of Eden) and Jax is a son of hell. Jax, quite literally is damned and his only shot at redemption is his ability to love Sasha. It all sounds so incredibly romantic, right? The only issue I had with the premise is that in order for Jax to be redeemed they both have to change.  You see, Jax is supposedly made up of dark feelings (despair, loss, jealous, etc.) while Sasha lies on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. Now, that alone did not bother me, it was the idea that Sasha would somehow be worse off by changing. 

Throughout the book, both characters struggle with the idea that in order to be together, Sasha will begin to feel these “negative emotions”. Now, in my opinion, a person needs balance. Can you imagine if you were always sunshine and rainbows? I know it sounds phenomenal, but if you never experience negative emotions, you never understand the gift that happiness actually is. Do you see what I am saying? A person needs to feel both highs and lows; I don’t think you could have an actual understanding of the world otherwise. You wouldn’t be able to relate to people, to sympathize with them – you can’t even really understand love without feeling negative emotions as well. 

That, in a nutshell, is why I really just did not get Sasha as a character. She still is somehow able to feel a full range of emotions, yet the author repeatedly tells us that she has no “evil” in her.
Jax, on the other hand, I loved. His internal struggle with his powerful emotions was incredibly intriguing and he was just overall, a likable character. I did find myself questioning his relationship to Sasha; it was just difficult to determine if he loved her or what she could do for him. 

I also want to touch on the development of the back story. I think that Faegen did a remarkable job crafting a history for these characters; it really added depth to the book. A lot of times, with these types of books, I end up skipping over the “history” portions, because they simply feel like an info dump. That is certainly not the case with The Mephisto Covenant . The information was interesting, relative to the story and easy to take in.
Faegen also did a wonderful job with the secondary characters. I do not know how the future books are going to pan out (if they are going to focus on Jax & Sasha again or one of Jax’s brothers) but however they are laid out, I hope to see more of the complete cast. Faegen did not go into too much detail on Jax’s brothers, but I instantly took to them.  

I also want to talk a little bit about the romance scenes – things tend to get a little hot and heavy with Jax and Sasha. You certainly cannot deny these two have some smokin’ chemistry. Now, steamy scenes certainly don’t bother me, but if you like your YA novels on the squeaky clean level, you might be a little uncomfortable at times. I am not saying that the scenes are overdone or even frequently, but the book does get a little racy at times. Just an FYI. 

The Mephisto Covenant was a exciting, fun read, but it wasn’t perfect. I read through it quickly and enjoyed the story, but I did not love it. It had a great deal of potential and I think that the series can easily become a great one. Right now however, it’s just a good one. 

Favorite Quotes
He pressed her closer to his body for an instant, then slowly set her on her feet and stepped back, allowing her to get a look at him.
Was he serious? Why would she be meant for a guy from Hell? If there was such a thing as destiny, she was supposed to find a quiet, smart guy, one who wasn't over six feet tall, with midnight hair and a face she couldn't stop staring at. He'd be Russian Orthodox. Or Episcopalian. He might even be Jewish. But he wouldn't be from Hell.
Girls cry a lot. Get used to it. 
Maybe he wasn't the boy next door, maybe he wasn't even a real boy, but holy smokes, did he know how to kiss.
It made him crazy, looking down into her beautiful eyes, at her creamy soft skin, knowing he couldn't touch her.
She tried not to slip her arms beneath his trench coat, or spread her palms across his broad, muscular back, or inhale the delicious scent of him, or rest her cheek against his hard, warm chest. She tried. And failed.
She never strayed far from him though, and if she looked around and didn't see him right away, he saw a look of panic in her blue eyes.
You're a light in the darkness, something to give people hope.
Come on, you guys, let's have some sugar and get along, yeah?
He'd waited a thousand years for her, and she would know him for less than two weeks.
After that, he couldn't be sure how it happened, but she wasn't crying anymore and he wasn't thinking. At all. His hands were underneath sweater, touching every inch of hr warm, smooth skins; they were kissing like two condemned people suddenly given a reprieve; and his feeling of calm morphed into happiness so intense, he'd swear his blood was singing. 
His hand around hers was strong and warm, and in spite of her confusion and hesitation, she never wanted to let go. 
Jax gave him a look, and he nodded, silently agreeing he wouldn't do anything stupid. Like kiss her. Or go to her house to watch Star Trek outtakes. 
In her red dress and black boots, she stood straight and tall, blue eyes flashing with righteous fury, breasts rising and falling rapidly. Se had never looked more beautiful. 
She wanted to ell him she'd never pick any of those other three billion guys, because he was all she wanted. He was her freak, and she'd love him forever.

1 comment:

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Hmmm it does sound like the premise itself could use a little bit of work. It definitely doesn't seem to make sense. I haven't heard the greatest things about this book, but I'm glad there are some interesting and good parts to it as well.

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