, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Another exciting installment of this series that takes the crew to London and Paris.
Not so many deities this time, but loads of action and the usual loveable characters.

Remembering the dead will always give them life.
The coveted Morrígan’s staff is up for sale on the black market to the highest bidder, and SOA Special Agent Patrick Collins will do whatever it takes to ensure the Dominion Sect doesn’t get their hands on it. Returning the weapon to its rightful owner is another step on the long road toward clearing Patrick’s soul debt, but he won’t walk it alone. Jonothon de Vere won’t let him.
Obeying the gods means Patrick must travel to London. For Jono, it means facing a past he thought he’d left behind forever. His return to England isn’t welcome, and neither is their pack, but Jono and Patrick will face the antagonism together. Politics aside, their priority must be the mission, but the bone-chilling secret they uncover in the London god pack will have far-reaching repercussions no one can ignore.
A race against time takes Patrick and Jono from the streets of London to the bright lights of Paris, where hospitality is thin on the ground, the air is filled with whispered prayers for the missing, and the Morrígan’s staff will end up in the one place it should never have gone—a graveyard.
For beneath Paris lie the long-forgotten dead, and when they rise to walk again, the living can only hope to die.

On the Wings of War is a 109k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to A Vigil in the Mourning. Reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.”

I received an ARC and reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

Content warnings include: graphic violence and gore, death, defilement of corpses, sex on-page, there’s a scene with extreme claustrophobia (characters squeeze themselves through tiny tunnel meters under the ground with unsound structures above them while hunted by monsters), characters get robbed (well, someone tries to rob them), tons of property damage; mentions of forced pregnancy.

Book 5 in the Soulbound series continues the hunt for the Morrigan’s Staff. As you can probably tell just from that short sentence, the book can not standalone – you need to have read the previous books in sequence to follow this series.

I always like it when usually US centered stories take a trip to Europe. London and Paris seemed a bit like an obvious choice, but the former fit well due to Jono’s past there, and the latter fit for…. other reasons, so I definitely don’t fault the author for chosing those locations.
However… as someone who has read the authors Metahumans Files series, I have to say that I found the parts in London eerily similar to when the crew from that series visited the UK. This went as far as me getting confused which book I was reading. The characters and overall plot might be very different, but all the official meetings with local government agencies, having friends in those places, going to some underground/undercover mission to keep a deadly weapon from getting into the wrong hands, just for it to end it violence and death and the local government being really mad at the protagonists for it… there were a lot of parallels.

Parallels or no, the plot was engaging and exciting. I liked how old characters were brought back to collaborate and how all that worked out. There were also a couple new characters introduced, who were interesting and made me want to see more of them. Several implications were given for future things that I also found intriguing.

Overall I found the book more action-focussed than the others in the series. It was a bit more gritty and on a human… no, mortal… no, non-divine level. There weren’t as much deities as before. The new ones introduced were part of Slavic lore, and there, too, more folklore and myth based than gods. They were some truly new immortals for me, but there wasn’t much information about them, and their involvement and motives weren’t as clear. In a way, they barely had an impact on the plot other than giving Patrick the tools he needed to beat the antagonists, and even that without asking for anything in return, which is quite uncharacteristic for the series. I wonder if that will have consequences…. I for one would like to see more of the Slavic immortals!

The humor was very much the same tone as before. Much of it was focussed on Wade, and I love him and his black hole of a stomach, but I wish there was a bit of character development there.

I enjoyed the tender moments between Jono and Patrick. Their romance isn’t in the foreground, and I love that it’s a steady constant, an unshakeable entity in the chaos that is the rest of the plot.

The writing, as usual, was good at holding tension for chapters on end, always keeping the reader hooked. The magical stuff I found easy to follow, but I struggled a bit with the more divine things going on towards the end. I do think some things were kept vague on purpose, though, to be made more clear in the upcoming sequels.

Check the book out on Goodreads and buy it here. It is available via Kindle Unlimited.