Book review: Imp Forsaken by Debra Dunbar

I didn’t enjoy Imp Forsaken as much as the previous books in the Imp series, which is not to say that I didn’t like it, or that it’s badly written. There are a few things that rubbed me the wrong way, but I also recognize that they couldn’t be avoided given the way the last book ended. This is the logical continuation of the story thus far, and there’s no way to avoid the problems I had with it.

First of all, the book is slow to start. As I said, this couldn’t be helped because of how badly injured Sam was at the end of the previous book. Even with several time jumps forward, the scenes given “screen time” drag on without much happening until the middle of the book. It can’t be helped. I get that, and I understand why the story had to go here. I just can’t say I got much out of it.

The other problem is that there’s a sudden shift of perspective to a previously unimportant bit character. This is something that really bugs me, but again, it can’t be helped. Sam isn’t able to follow the story in progress back on Earth, and neither Wyatt nor Gregory are in the right frame of mind to be doing all this investigative work. So in comes Gabriel to provide some information that would have been impossible to convey otherwise.

The problem with Gabriel isn’t just that he’s an intrusion on what had been a series with a singular POV. He’s also a major asshole, a self-centered, self-righteous egotist who spends a great deal of the first half complaining about EVERYTHING. He hates people, demons, having to be outside of Auru, and even other angels for not being as pure and balanced as he is. He’s a real pain in the ass to read right up until the middle of the book, when exposure to physical reality outside of his precious sanctuary begins to educate him on how wrong he’s been for a long, long time.

And in this way, the story is pretty good. Once the slow parts are out of the way for Sam and Gabriel, both perspectives help show the full scope of the elves’ plans and who all is working with them on this. While Sam unravels the mystery one direction in Hel, Gabriel uncovers the other half on Earth, with neither of them communicating once. Somehow it all balances out in the end.

I admit, I had a huge concern that Gabriel would falter once he had all the information about the conspiracy. After all, the victims were demons, and he’s not exactly a fan of Sam or anyone from Hel. And yet, once he discovers what had happened to Sam and the plot she’d uncovered, he takes action in a way that shows how far he’s developed in a relatively short time. (We’re talking a few months, which for an angel who’s a couple million years old is an eye blink.)

There’s also one development hinted at early on that made me happy, and that’s the apparent bonding of Gregory and Wyatt. Their relationship had become something of a rivalry, but with Sam seriously injured, both Gregory and Wyatt seem to put aside their differences. Gregory even spends some time bonding with Wyatt by playing video games and eating chips. (You have to read the previous books to appreciate how huge that change is.)

This book concludes with a satisfying sense of closure, with the mystery solved and Sam reunited with Gregory and heading on her way back to Earth to see Wyatt. I’d like to say I’ll be reading the next book, Angel of Chaos, right away. However, there are two spin-off books that will need to be read before I can move on, both of them concerning Wyatt’s sisters. I’m intensely curious to see what’s going on with both these ladies during the time that Sam was too injured to leave Hel, and so despite my burning curiosity to see what’s next for Sam, Wyatt, and Gregory, that book will have to wait a bit.

Anywho, I give Imp Forsaken 3 stars, and I highly recommend that you read the previous books before picking this one up. It really helps to have already invested in the characters in the previous episodes, and also to see that the writing isn’t normally like this. It’s just that this book couldn’t be rushed, all things considered.