I picked up this book because it had a cool cover and the blurb was interesting. I'm not sure if I would say I liked it, but it was well written enough that I finished it in 3 hours.
The story started at well. Roman, the hero, is director of a secret agency is assasinated. In the afterlife, an angel gives Roman a task or else. His task is to put together a team of souls to fight for dominion of the Passage. The Passage is something both the demons, angels, and souls that haven't moved on use. I'm still a little foggy on the concept.
Roman's first task is to find his secret weapon which happens to be Nina. Nina, our heroine, is a 300 year old soul. To retrieve her soul since she has been under a veil and crowding another living person, Roman tracks down her protector lovers.
Side note: In her living life, Nina was about 25 years old and reclusive. I found it difficult to believe that a wealthy young woman of her time period would be in menage a trois w/ her noble guardian and her Scottish painter of a boyfriend.
Anyways, Roman helps retrieve her soul, and even though he's a newly dead he has been given advanced powers. In the process, Roman and Nina sort of fall in love w/ each other. So now Roman has to compete w/ Nina's past lovers who died w/ her and still follow her around 300 years later. The whole foursome love "rectangle" really didn't work for me, nor did reading about Nina's old threesome adventures. If the story is going to be about a romantic pairing between Roman and Nina, I really didn't want the details on Nina's past sexual tendencies.
The main plot of the story is about the fight of good and evil w/ demons doing something hokey in both the spiritual and the physical realm. Something along the lines of sucking out living souls to power charge a hose of lost souls to create an army. This was a little unclear to me as well.
Other than Nina's back history which explained her current personality. I found myself likeing Roman much more. How he fell in love w/ Nina I'm not sure. His character was a take charge alpha who has put together a butt kicking team of his former operatives who got assasinated as well. His character and his team appeared to be so butt kicking that it was bubble busting that when action finally came to fight demons, the only thing souls like him could do was run and .... hide in churches. Needless to say to build a covert black ops team in the afterlife sounds cool, but if they can't fight and run and hide in churches....there something wrong w/ this picture.
As a previous reviewer wrote, the whole magical painting thing didn't really make sense either. Roman sees an old painting of Nina and her two boyfriends in an antique gallery and feels a connection to her even in the living world. In the afterwold, he's compelled to find her. The story could have done w/o the painting plot device because it didn't contribute to the story at all and was confusing. Why need the painting plot when the angel told Roman what to do anyways?
I'm not positive if there is a sequel, but the story doesn't really completely wrap up. A battle is fought and won by the angels, but what about the whole purpose of the Soul Retrieval Unit in the first place, which was to fight for dominion of the Passage. There was never anything further about that task after Roman gets his team together or at the end.
I gave this book 3 stars because I did finish it one reading and I may pick up a sequel if I see it. But I wouldn't exactly recommend this book. For a book about the afterlife, angels and demons, it's not terribly preachy and is written in only generic in terms of good and evil. Hopefully, in future books the Soul Retrieval Unit will be able to learn how to kick demons around rather than hide in churches.