A guest review by Jenre
An unusual and action packed paranormal which suffers slightly from an overload of information at the beginning of the book.
A secret war rages throughout the southwestern USA and Mexico between demons and angels, all of whom are trying to pass for human. For Parnell, a demon living in Las Vegas, survival depends upon following orders and resisting the allure of any relationship that might bind him to another in sexual slavery.
In his competitive world, he regards other demons such as his lover Navarro as potential opponents. As for the angels, he knows them as the Enslavers whose evil nature compels them to exploit the drug trade in Mexico. When Navarro and Parnell go to the no-man’s land of New Mexico to capture a renegade angel-demon hybrid named Chavez, the three of them enter a triangle of powerful but uneasy sexual attraction.
Chavez hopes to seize psychic power on the auspicious day of Easter and use it to kill his current master. Parnell and Navarro must prevent this or face death and the return of their souls to Hell. To save himself, Parnell must decide whom to trust, whom to kill, and whether he can find the strength to give his heart to another.
I’ve ‘known’ Val for a while now and always admired her as a reviewer. I was intrigued when she announced that she’d turned her hand to writing m/m books and was looking forward to reading her first published book. I’m pleased to say that Trinity Trespass turned out to be a commendable first novel.
Demons Parnell and Navarro have travelled to the New Mexico border where they must pass through the ‘barrier’ to get into New Mexico to apprehend an escaped angel/demon hybrid, Chavez, before he can be recaptured by his angel creator. Passing through the barrier is not only dangerous, but cuts both of the demons off from the Collective – an energy field which allows all demons to communicate and sense the feelings of others. Chasing down the elusive Chavez leads to the demons adjusting to changes in their power dynamic as well as their lust for each other and for Chavez.
The first thing to say about this unusual book is that it’s a bit of a slow starter. This is mainly because there’s a lot of quite complicated information to be given to the reader before the book moves into the meat of the story. The opening scene is of demons Parnell and Navarro, who are uneasy lovers, working up the courage to pass through the barrier and being accosted by an officer of the law who is a puppet to an angel. Thus we find out about the ongoing war between the demons and angels (and surprisingly that the demons seem to be mostly the good guys); the function of the Collective; the powers that demons and angels possess; some background information on how angels and demons come to be living in the human realm; the existence of a bureaucratic government type organisation known as the Cadre (of which Parnell and Navarro are part, like minor civil servants) and the politics behind the current mission to capture Chavez. All of this information is given to us through the thoughts of Parnell in the first 11 pages and made my head spin a little with the amount I had to absorb in such a short space.
Thankfully, things settled down after the first chapter, and armed with all the information I needed, the pace of the book sped up as I was thrown into a breathless adventure. Alongside all the action sequences, was an intricate and emotional journey for the third person narrator Parnell, as he copes with the indignity of having less power than his lover, the temptations of the beautiful Chavez and his own growing feelings for Navarro. I have to admit that Parnell isn’t the easiest demon to like. He’s quite self absorbed and obsessed with power. I found it ironic that he accuses Navarro of this on more than one occasion and in the next breath bemoans his own loss of power. His relationship with Navarro is uneasy to say the least. Parnell flatly denies any feelings for Navarro, other than lust, and lives in blissful denial until circumstances force him to begin to re-evaluate his feelings. I enjoyed watching Parnell cope with this, and the way he grew as a character as the book progressed, and by the end of the book I rather liked him. Navarro was much easier to like. He’s a natural protector and strong alpha male – much to Parnell’s frustration, and his glee when he manages to outmanoeuvre Navarro. My only complaint is that we see Navarro only from Parnell’s limited third person point of view, and I would have liked to have seen exactly what Navarro was thinking at various points in the book. Chavez was a little underused as a character, but as this book is the first of a series, I think we are probably going to get more of Chavez in the future. I was certainly intrigued about his past and how he came to be an angel/demon and look forward to having some of questions about him answered in later books.
There were other things I liked about the book too, such as the unusual New Mexico setting; the clever demon politics and hierarchy; the blow-your-mind sex scenes; the action sequences including chases, gun fights and a race for power; the little unusual touches to the world building, such as the ‘religion’ of the demons, which added flavour to the story; all finished off with excellent descriptive prose and characterisation. If you’re looking for an unusual paranormal story, and have the patience to stick with all the information at the beginning of the book, then Trinity Trespass is the book for you. I enjoyed it a great deal and I’m very much looking forward to the next book in the series.