Sometimes a reviewer has a book submitted, and stares at the title, and has absolutely no idea where this will take them. Many look their books titles up on Amazon or Goodreads to not only read the cover blurbs, but read other reviewer ratings. I just like to be surprised, and yep what a pleasant surprise was Wormwood written by D.H. Nevins was.
We meet Kali Michaels, who is a young guide at the Pinecrest National Forest while she attends college. Her group at this time is a corporate one on a team building retreat. Occasionally, some member of the group gets out of line and bingo, one of the team, is really getting on her nerves. It will be the last night camping with them; heading home in the morning. Kali sets them up with instructions for the night and pitches her tent further from them taking a break wandering off to Lookout Peak to be alone. It is there she meets a young man, appearing to be contemplating jumping. He looks sad, as she makes small talk getting him to move away from the edge. His name is Tiamat.
It is now ten years later, and Kali is out on a walk and comes upon Tiamat at Lookout Peak. His arms are out stretched, and as she watches him standing there the earth starts to shake, large crevices open, and trees and boulders fall into giant holes and life as we know it ends.
From their conversation we learn Tiamat has actually caused the earth and all on it to die. He and one hundred of his brothers called Nephilim which are half human/half angel sent from God to do this destruction. Tiamat is horrified at what he is tasked to do, and the relationship between possibly killing Kali and protecting her becomes the focal point of this story.
D.H. Nevins has used Kali Michaels as her voice, as we watch the world end. Her approach to this apocalypse and what she learns is how this book is written. Ms. Nevins depiction is stunning, as she takes us by the hand through Kali and leads us on a wonderful mystery, romance, and horror adventure. I say voice because the author's use of language is a tribute to the beauty she spins about angels, demons, humanity and God.
Tiamat, the 'nee' hero, has Kali in such a tumultuous emotional place, that her strength and reasoning make me shake my head in awe. Her background of being able to take care of herself under grave conditions in the wild is exceptional, as the expectation of Taimat and some of the brothers she meets makes her fearsome. Given I was in her shoes, I would have curled up into a ball, but Kali perseveres on. Taimat shilly shallies around so much playing the wounded hero, giving this girl such mixed signals, I cannot believe she didn't shoot him before the book ended.
I must say the story, writing and editing was more than I could ask for in a concept that was very brave. The ending left me wanting more and from where I sit I think this author has given us an opening for another.
Review By Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild