Falter

Falter - V.J. Chambers

Jason is adjusting to being a father and trying to live a peaceful life but he's beginning to miss the thrill of violence. Azazel is exhilarated with hunting down their would be pursuers and hates that Jason doesn't approve of her impassioned cause. A simple survellance mission quickly escalates into an issue that endangers the people they swore to protect. Working together again comes naturally but it threatens to unveil the secrets they've been hiding from each other. This is the eighth book in the Jason and Azazel series and the second book in the Jason and Azazel: Ambrosia trilogy.

Falter is a paranormal story that takes place about six months after where the previous book ended. I like the new direction this last trilogy in the series has taken. It has the same intriguing drama that defines the series but it feels a bit more grounded with additional focus on action and suspense. While the paranormal elements gives it an interesting twist.

The narrative is told from Jason and Azazel's alternating viewpoints. The story really reinforces their mature perspective and how much they've been through. Their interactions with the younger characters were amusing and insightful. I liked that events from the previous books were referred to and reanalyzed by the characters. It gave the world a sense of history and it was interesting to see how it affected the characters.

Jason and Azazel have always navigated a morally gray landscape often getting lost in darkness and violence. It was interesting to see them try to define new boundaries and establish a new moral compass. I liked the moral dilemmas the story forced them to confront. 

The story introduces an edgier and darker intensity to Jason and Azazel's sexual relationship. Throughout the series they've betrayed and hurt each other in numerous ways but this story's portrayal of their relationship and the secrets they're keeping from each other seemed more intimate and intense. I liked how the story was able to capture that emotional rawness and internal conflict.

It was fun to see how Azazel's team had developed since the previous book. It was interesting to see how they all worked together and the different relationships that developed between the characters. I liked the setting of their chosen headquarters and it was fun to see their operation setup. I also liked how they utilized technology and altered weaponry in their missions.

The newly integrated magic system was developed more in this story. Its limits were better defined and it introduced interesting consequences. The story also further developed the lore behind its magic system. It's an intriguing biblical reinterpretation that introduces a formidable character and a secret society with an unusual goal. 

Falter is a dark, suspenseful story and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.