Review: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Book: The Mephisto Covenant
Author: Trinity Faegen
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release date: September 27, 2011
Source: ARC received from I Read Banned Books Tour
Series: The Mephisto Covenant #1

Summary: (from Goodreads) Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger â?? Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryxâ??s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant â?? Godâ??s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, heâ??s finally found the girl heâ??s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

First impressions: I tweeted and blogged already about the exhilarating opening to this book, but it bears repeating. Few novels have been able to draw me in so completely. Sasha, determined to find out what happened to her dad, sets out to a secret meeting of Eryx devotees who promise to fulfill your dreams. Almost immediately they turn on her, and she is caught up in a brutal stoning. A stoning! It caught me completely off guard and told me that this book was going to be full of surprises. Loved that aspect.

Lasting impressions: Trinity Faegen put the effort into creating this fully developed mythology, and it shows. The character arcs are nuanced and proceed at an appropriate pace, and she never lets the story get away from her.

Conflicting impressions: The flip side of that mythology coin is that because the background needs to be explained to us, there wind up being a lot of info dumps. I would have liked to see this information more seamlessly blended with the action instead of feeling like “Oh, now they’re going to explain who Eryx is.”

Overall impressions: Everything about this book seemed fresh, different, and unique, while also simultaneously feeling like this was not new ground being covered. I hate when stories feel as if the author was trying to go so hard against the grain that they wind up with a story that doesn’t work. Here, Faegen instead blends exciting new elements with a story that felt comforting and familiar.

Sasha is the daughter of an American insurance salesman (or is he?) and a Russian mother who defected and now works for the State Department in San Francisco. Sasha’s father is recently deceased, and the circumstances seem too bizarre for Sasha to just let it go. She wants to find out what happened, and in the process stumbles into this club for followers of Eryx, who promises the world to these kids and then takes their souls. He is a corrupted son of Mephistopheles and Elektra who is trying to gain enough souls to take over hell from Lucifer.

Enter Jax. Also Mephisto, though not corrupted, he and his brothers fight against Eryx, taking the souls back from him and depositing them in Hell on Earth – sort of the permanently sealed Tupperware for these bad egg humans that sold their souls. He saves Sasha from the Eryx followers that are attacking her, explaining that as Anabo – a pure soul – she is a target for them. She also happens to be destined for love of a Mephisto, and that Mephisto is Jax.

It gets a little complicated here (see info dumps), so I’m not going to get into the details, but Jax must convince Sasha to love him (and he must love her) in order to find redemption and a path out of hell and into heaven. By doing so, however, Sasha must leave her old life behind and lose some of her pure Anabo self. She must join the Mephisto and capture lost souls, while also taking on some of their hellish characteristics. It’s a choice that dogs her throughout the narrative, as she struggles between wanting her old life back and wanting to be with Jax.

Their love happens quickly, but believably. It seems they are fated from the beginning, and I bought into that. Though Jax gets moony quite quickly, Sasha is more reserved with her feelings, so when she finally needs to make a choice her anguish seemed honest. There is a lot of talking about sex in this book (as, of course, it carries significant plot consequences) and I should also mention that this is definitely a book for older readers. There’s a scene toward the end that borders on romance novel territory.

Did the book have more complications than it needed? Yes, but I was thoroughly engrossed in what was happening. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to Sasha, whether she would find out about her dad, and how many characters would make the mistake of succumbing to Eryx. When Sasha’s mother is deported and she moves to Telluride, Colorado to live with a family friend, the threat of Eryx goes up by a thousand points. The tension is palpable and as the stakes get bigger Sasha’s timeline gets shorter.

I highly recommend this one to fans of Unearthly and Angel Burn, or anyone with an interest in mythology. I can’t wait to read the sequel!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

San Francisco is my favorite California town, and someplace I’m dying to visit with my husband. I’ve never been to Telluride, but I love Colorado and definitely want to go back. For both of those reasons, I’m counting this toward the Vacation Reads Challenge.

Thank you to I Read Banned Books Tour for lending me this copy!

Amazingly beautiful and painstakingly crafted signature courtesy of Small Review

15 thoughts on “Review: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

  1. Fantastic review! I read about a quarter of this from NetGalley and was loving what I read, but I absolutely fail finishing ebooks. I really need an ereader. Definitely getting a print copy of this when it's released though! I agree about the opening scenes – totally had me hooked!

  2. This book sounds really intriguing. And I must be lame, because that's all I can think of saying.

  3. This book sounds really intriguing. And I must be lame, because that's all I can think of saying.

  4. I'm surprised by the high rating because it seems that there are a lot of things going on here that don't sound particularly appealing to me, i.e. the info dumping and the unnecessary complications. But since I'm a romance novel lover and completely superficial when it comes to gorgeous covers, I have no doubt I'll be giving this one a try.

  5. So glad to know that even though their love is fairly instant it's a bit more believable:) I can get on board with a quick relationship if its done well and at least makes sense to me. I'm really looking forward to this one despite the info dumps:) Fabulous review Logan!

  6. Not a fan of info dumps but still looks like a book I could really enjoy! Hm… I will have to definitely put this one on the ol' wishlist!

  7. It just goes to show how subjective reading enjoyment is of a story. I read another review today they really just did not care for this book. I personally think it sound intriguing and do not mind a buildup of a world in a story, especially if there is going to be additional books in that world. Thanks for sharing today.

  8. Great, insightful review! I can't wait to read it when it gets home…thanks again, Lo. You've got this reviewing thing down pat! ;)Jen

  9. Hell on Earth – sort of the permanently sealed Tupperware for these bad egg humans that sold their souls.I love this! Thanks so much for reading, Logan, and for this insightful, wonderful review!

  10. Awesome! I have this from Netgalley so I hope to get to it soon. I've heard a lot about the steamy bits espeially, so I'm definitely curious about how that plays out. ;D

  11. I've never been a big angel/hell themed book fan, but this does sound good. It's so unusual to have a big opening, so that is very impressive. I don't necessarily mind info dumps although they can make things temporarily confusing.

  12. Eeeeehh I'm so conflicted!! I don't know if I want to read this or if I'll hate it. Is it weird that I'm curious about that stoning scene? That just seems so…different.

  13. Okay, I can kind of see how you might be so interested in the stoning now, haha. It would be a particularly shocking start to a book.I really haven't read before an angel book that has kept me so interested and intrigued, so I'd be interested in reading this one. Also, I tend to be sort of okay with info dumps.

  14. @Brodie – It's so hard to finish ebooks without an ereader. I hope you do pick up a hard copy, though, because it's really good!@Amanda – LAME! j/k@Missie – I probably failed at explaining why I liked it so much. I think overall I liked the story enough to surpass any reservations about things that normally irk me as a reader.@Jenny – I'm the same way. If there's a real reason why they can fall in love so quickly, I'm not opposed. I think feelings can happen at a fast pace – just tell me why!@Melissa – Yes! Wishlist! I hope you get to read it.@Denise – So true. Even though this book had a few things I normally don't like in books, I still loved it. Go figure.@Jen – I think you're going to love it! Thanks for sharing the book with us!@Trinity – Wow! I'm honored to have you visit my blog and read my review. You wrote such an intricate and fascinating tale – I couldn't help but love it. :)@Stephanie – Get reading girl!@Alison – Yes, I found things occasionally confusing, but overall it's just a great story from start to finish. I'm not usually a big angel/hell fan either so I hope you give it a try.@Small – The stoning is very different, which is why I liked it so much. Good surprise! But, you know, bad for the MC. It's right at the beginning so you can always try the first few chapters and DNF it if you don't like it.@Aylee – Yes! Shocking! I didn't mean to imply earlier that I was pro-stoning. I just liked how unique and jarring it was!

  15. Haha, could you just see that DNF review then? "I was in it for the stoning and once I got that, meh, I didn't need to read anymore."

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