Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Review: Severance by Haven Cage

In Severance, a dark, adult urban fantasy novel from the Faltering Souls series, Nevaeh has to face the overpowering gravity of her choice to save those she loves while striving for strength to fight her greatest threat—herself.

Nevaeh Richards makes her declaration. Living a life in which she has few possessions, she sacrifices the only thing of worth she has to offer—what the Dark One wants the most—all for the slim chance of redeeming the souls of George, the man who raised her, and Gavyn, the Light Celata who holds a piece of her heart.

Her gifts are unfurling now, but so is a fierce, unpredictable beast inside her. While she struggles to keep herself—and the beast—in check, she has to play the part of a Dark Celata and fulfill every wickedly tempting task the evil beings command of her. Each mission she goes on, each time she uses her gifts, the line she toes between the woman she used to be and the monster she reluctantly yearns to become grows thinner.

As Nevaeh deals with her own turmoil, Archard watches the world he's accepted as his own begin to suffer for the mistakes he’s made. The sacred laws which segregate the realms and hinder demons from freely moving among humans are less and less effective with each passing day. He’s failed to keep Nevaeh out of Evil’s clutches, and so the shadows of Hell are creeping through. In an attempt to right his wrongs—and heal the hole in his heart—Archard chases his elusive woman, but every lead that should bring him closer to Nevaeh only ends with more questions about who she is, where she comes from, and how to save her—if he can save her at all.

Will Nevaeh survive the soul-severing decision she’s made?


Severance picks up several months after the heart-lurching ending of Falter, Book 1, and while building on the previous story it moves things along with good action, stronger characters and easy to visualize settings. Also, this is sort of a combination review of both books one and two since I found I can't really talk about one without touching on the other. (I tried!)

Cage's characters and settings quickly won me over and remained consistently strong throughout both books. My faves in Falter were Gavyn, George and Naveah. Why? Well, they're honest, loyal and above all else, good. Cage let them show who they are enough for me to be certain of my opinion. She built on this foundation by proving it in their interactions with each other.

Cage shows us her settings the same way she does here characters. Gavyn's restaurant, the streets and even Hell are solid and most importantly, memorable. Her character interactions with those places bring them to life to the point where the next time the action took us to a place we had been to before, the mood lingered, flavoring the current scene. As a visual reader, these books kept me in my element. Putting them down felt like I was really leaving places I knew.

I always feel that unless the action moves the plot and takes full advantage of the characters and the scene, it's lost an opportunity to be as driving and strong as it can be. The action (both small and omg wth nooooo) uses everything at it's disposal.

Both Falter and Severance are easy to get lost in. Cage's writing was strong in Falter and even better in Severance. I haven't read much new adult, but I found these books solid and dark, dark, dark.

I recommend Falter and Severance for all lovers of dark new adult fantasy. I loved both and will dive in to book 3 as soon as I can!

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