I received a copy of The Book of Azrael by Amber Nicole from NetGalley. This book has been on my reading list for months now, and it kept getting pushed back. This fantasy romance novel is action-packed, adventurous, and romantic. It’s the first book of the Gods and Monsters series.
Dianna gave up her life a thousand years ago to save her sister after the Gods’ War. Kaden, a monster who heard her plea changes her. Now, she is a feared creature in the Otherworld and has to do whatever Kaden says. Samkiel is the King of Gods who has been in exile for thousands of years dubbed as the world-ender. Death of a celestial brings Samkiel aka Liam back from exile. Dianna and Liam cross paths, their kinds are sworn enemies. Dianna makes a deal with Liam, and both reluctantly team up to stop Kaden from finding an ancient text, The Book of Azrael.
Initially, it was a little slow when the author was building up the world. It took me a while to completely immerse myself in the world. But, once Samkiel aka Liam enters the equation, the pace immediately picks up. I loved the slow burn and enemies-to-lovers trope for Liam and Dianna. Both of them are aware, that they are enemies but know they need to work together. When they start spending time together, they try to understand each other and become friends. Both of these characters on paper are different, one is a monster, and the other is a God, but they make sense together.
Dianna has a very singular goal in her head, which is to keep her sister Gabby safe. Kaden has used and abused her for years by constantly threatening Gabby. She knows what she has done and what she is capable of. She hides behind a façade of sarcasm and don’t care attitude. Liam has shut himself off after the war and lives in exile, completely alone. He is haunted by his past and the burdens he must bear. When the death of his close friend forces him out of exile; he is not like the man he used to be. He has trouble adjusting to everything and everyone. Liam and Dianna open up parts of each other that they had closed off. Slowly, they start building trust between them. I loved their character journeys in the book.
The book has romance, and action and is emotional. The action parts are well described, and the set of powers these characters have are distinct. The book has a lot of surprises, and it keeps you hooked. The slow and steady build-up between Dianna and Liam finally leading them to admit their feelings is so cute and even intense. I was slightly surprised that the story had a lot of emotional pull. Liam and Dianna have lived for thousands and thousands of years. The things they have seen and done, as the story moves ahead their motives start making perfect sense. Liam is broody and suffering from PTSD (Never explicitly mentioned) while Dianna pretends nothing bothers her at all.
The Book of Azrael is an extremely interesting fantasy romance. The world Amber Nicole has created, and these characters are amazing. I don’t know why I didn’t read this book sooner. The elements of romance, action, and adventure are perfectly balanced. I loved Liam and Dianna’s characters. They are so badass, and their chemistry is off the charts. I can’t wait to read the second book of the series and see how Liam and Dianna’s story continues.
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