Deliverance (Mortal Path #3) by Dakota Banks
Publisher: Harper Voyager/March 27th, 2012
Kind thanks to HarperVoyager for providing a review copy
Kill . . . or be damned.
A demon’s assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to save a life for every one she’s destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and excruciating torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her—especially her lover, Jake. And her closest friends are beginning to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, her life is spiraling out of control.
Worse still, a beautiful Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Maliha is turning into a lethal puppet with an evil Immortal pulling the strings, forced to kill innocents or see her missing friends die horribly. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man’s-land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t . . . and time is rapidly running out.
REVIEW (No real spoilers, but assumes you’ve read the first two.)
The Mortal Path series is one of the most fun urban fantasy series out there, so I was more than ready to dive into Deliverance. Maliha’s story is a heartbreaking one, and there were quite a lot of changes in her life in book 2, so I was eager to see how book 3 explores these new paths. For one, Maliha is no longer Ageless. However, in order to break free from the demon that has enslaved her for so long, she must balance the scales and save the lives of innocents in order to make up for the many that she has killed as an assassin. Of course, her demon is convinced she can’t do this, but Maliha is determined to be free. She’s also ready for some normalcy in her life, and eager to explore a possible future with the man she loves, Jake. Jake has a secret, though, and that’s just one of the complications Maliha will have to deal with. A dear friend has been kidnapped, and a woman older and more dangerous than Maliha could ever imagine will have to be dealt with, even if it means Maliha’s life.
Maliha is a favorite character of mine, and she’s never hesitated to kick some serious butt. Deliverance is no exception, and the fight scenes are fast paced and brutal. Let’s just say that Maliha is very talented with a sword, and doesn’t hesitate to use it. When a member of her team gets kidnapped, all of her talents will come into play, and she’ll have to balance whether or not the rest of her team is in too much danger. Maliha’s got some guilt in this one, more so than in the first two books. No doubt this is because she’s now on the Mortal Path, and killing indiscriminately is no longer in her playbook, so a lot more thought has to be put into her methods. There’s also some serious tension between Maliha and her lover Jake, especially when a trusted friend tells her that there may be more to Jake than she thinks. Ms. Banks brings it with the villain in this one, and a lot of readers will recognize her as a very real figure from history, one that will certainly make you cringe. A big part of the fun of these novels are Maliha’s toys (cars, swanky condos, etc), and they’re at her disposal, as usual. I appreciate a girl who likes a nice sports car, but I digress… Fans of urban fantasy involving fun gadgets, fast cars, and internationat destinations will enjoy these always entertaining adventures, alongside a heroine that never ceases to be fascinating. Lots of revelations in this one will keep you glued to the pages and eager for the next book!