Soldiers of the Sun Series (Books 1-3) by Jana Denardo ~ Book Review by Brandilyn

SotS-seriesTitle: Soldiers of the Sun Series (Books 1-3)

Author: Jana Denardo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 08/21/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Historical, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Mystery, Paranormal

Blurb:

The Darkest Midnight in December

Soldiers of the Sun: Book One

The year is 1930, and something is hunting infants and young couples in Economy Village, PA. When a local priest begins to suspect a demon may be the culprit, the sheriff calls in a team of Soldiers from the Sun.

Caleb, Agni, Temple, and Li specialize in demon hunting, but they can’t rule out an old religious sect as the true culprit. Prejudice, distraught parents, and angry townspeople don’t make the team’s job any easier. And if something goes wrong, they’re on their own, because by the time their backup arrives, it will be too late.

Snowbound

2nd Edition
Soldiers of the Sun: Book Two

The 1930s have more to worry about than the Depression. Demons walk the earth, leaving the human race relying on those who can see the demons to fight them.

As the Soldiers of the Sun make their way back to their base in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Caleb, Temple, and Agni find themselves snowbound in Mount Washington. With nothing to do but wait for a break in the weather or the next demon attack, whichever comes first, the three partners have the luxury of time to explore their mutual attraction and affection. Before they get far in that exploration, they end up in another fight for their lives—a fight Temple might lose.

First Edition published in Necking by Dreamspinner Press, 2010.

Soldiers of the Sun

Soldiers of the Sun: Book Three

Caleb Davies and Agni Pradesh are worried about their teammate and lover, Temple Chevalier. Not only has he lost his long-time partner, Fu Li, but he nearly died fighting a demon himself. Also, Temple isn’t sure he’s ready for a new teammate after Li. Caleb and Agni are even more concerned that their three-way relationship with Temple exists less because he loves them and more because he’s hiding from the pain of Li’s loss.

1932 shapes up to be a terrible year for the Soldiers as they welcome the New Year fighting demons and then end up investigating a case that pairs them up with the Knights Templar. This would normally be a good thing, but it forces Temple to face his painful past. Worse yet, the case leads right to Astaroth, a Prince of Hell, who might prove to be an unbeatable foe.

My View:

I am at a bit of a loss as to what to say about this series. Honestly, if I hadn’t needed to read book three, I don’t think I would have progressed past book one. I certainly wouldn’t have progressed past book two.

Even as much of a sucker as I am for Christmas stories, I had many many issues with the first book, The Darkest Midnight in December, not the least of which is that nothing was explained. The main characters were all mysteries at the beginning and the end. The storyline itself was okay, but I never connected to the main characters at all. There was also little indication of the time-period in which the story was set. With the exception of a couple of “birds” thrown around and a couple of mentions of prohibition, I had no idea it was 1930. Actually you could say the same about most of the series. Though, the third book is a tad bit better.

My biggest issue with Snowbound, the second book, was the sudden loss of Li for the purpose of making the remaining three a menage. There was ZERO chemistry involved in that triad. It was a pity fuck on steroids. And Li was the supposed love of Temple’s life, but he immediately jumps into bed with his other work partners? Just no. As for the demon story line in this book? There wasn’t much to it. Honestly, if you blink you miss it. I actually had to go back and re-read it to catch the “Temple almost died” thing that was so “important.”

So why did I keep reading? Well, because I had promised to read the third book, Soldiers of the Sun.

I could go on a while about this book. There is more room to build the world in this installment. We get a few hints at the histories of Temple, Caleb, an Agni. We also get a little more on how Fu Li died and the nature of his relationship with Temple. There are some good parts — Jo certainly kicks ass. However, I still never connected with any of these characters. In the end, I didn’t care one way or another about the outcome.

This story is 310 pages long. That is plenty of words available to give us a rich and fulfilling world building experience. Instead, the author packed in more and more subplots without fleshing any of them out adequately. I kept turning the pages hoping for more. Sadly, I never got it.

The bi-play between the Sonnies and the Templars was interesting. The Templars are a real organization whose purpose was co-opted for the purpose of this story. Soldiers of the Sun, on the other hand, are a fictitious, progressive demon hunting organization. The fact that Temple has ties to both sides is the crux of most of the tension in the story.

If you devour every demon story you can get your hands on, you will want to add this story to your library. If you can take or leave them, I can’t give you a recommendation one way or another. There will be people who adore this story start to finish and there will be those who, like me, find it lacking something.

Links

Soldiers of the Sun Series (Books 1-3) on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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