Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn
Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.
Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.
Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.
I had difficulty getting into The Mark of Abel. I finally connected about half-way through the book. Once I felt connected to the characters I began to enjoy the book much more.
Ryan has created an elaborate interpretation of the Bible’s creation story as well as Lucifer’s fall from heaven. She builds a world based around that. It’s a world filled with vampires, Grigori, angels, Nephilim and more. Ryan created a fascinating world of good and evil and the lines blurred between them.
Luke aka Lucifer is searching for the woman who will fulfill the prophecy so he can get back to heaven. Janie is that woman but she has no idea. I worried that he would manipulate her with his beauty but he came to love her. Initially he wanted to use her for his own purposes but he grew to have real feelings for her. Ryan allows us into Luke’s head – I’ve never considered how he felt or how he viewed his fall from grace.
The book is irreverently funny. The foul language, the interaction among the angels, vampires and Grigori was really funny. Ryan must have a great sense of humor; I laughed out loud many times.
I have two complaints about the book. First, there were too many characters introduced (at the beginning) without enough background information. I had difficulty keeping them straight until halfway through the book. It felt scattered. I could not connect with many of the characters because I didn’t know enough about them.
Second, Janie cried a lot. I get that she is overwhelmed with her new reality but it seemed like she was crying all the time. I did appreciate when she found her inner spunk. She began to fight for herself and loved ones. I have never liked a weak, sniveling main character who needs a man to lean on. I think Ryan pulled Janie out of that rut just in time. By the end of the book Janie’s transformation was evident and I had a helluva lot of respect for her difficult journey.
I loved the plot twist at the end. I did not see that one coming!!! But I loved that it ended that way. The Mark of Abel has a very satisfying ending that ties up all the loose strings.
I recommend the book to both women and men. I think it appeals across the board. If you’re okay with foul language, the book is fine for YA. There are no smutty sex scenes.