Creative Edge Publishing (2021)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (02/2022)
“Annihilation” is the second book in the Gehenna series by Kaylin McFarren, following “Soul Seeker.”
The dark fantasy begins after Lucinda believes that she has destroyed her father, Lucifer. Reigning over Hell, Lucinda is set on a path of destruction. A demon and an angel in a demon’s body return to this story. Their daughter Samara is believed to be prophesized to be the entity that will destroy Lucifer. Lucifer has other plans for her. Having returned in the body of a man that Samara loved, he tries to use his wiles and brute force to make her his queen. Meanwhile, Samara is discovering who she is and what she is capable. Journeying between Middle Earth, Hell, and Earth Samara is off on a dangerous adventure.
I loved “Annihilation!” This fantasy is dark and delicious! The plot is complex and has a lot of twists and turns that kept me off balance. I hated when I had to put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The characters are well developed, even the despicable ones. Their eccentricities as other worldly creatures add to the fun. The settings are incredibly well described. McFarren successfully plants these places in our brains, so that we feel like we are actually seeing them brought to life, rather than just creating pictures with words. She creatively incorporates all sorts of other worldly beings so that it is not just angels, humans and demons, but also other creatures such as a phoenix, werewolf, shapeshifter, and even Cambions who are half human-half demons. They all have their special gifts to use in the battle between good and evil, they just need to know on which side they are fighting.
Subplots add to the richness of the story. Conflicts are common and seeing them dealt with in supernatural ways takes everything to a whole new level of dark fun. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book in this series. The main protagonist in this story is 17 to 18 years old, but the violence and sexual scenes make me think that this is a fantasy best suited for adults. Readers who enjoy fantasies and horror novels won’t want to miss reading “Annihilation.”