Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Exalted (Stained Series Book 4) by Ella James

 "I've observed humanity for fifty thousand years.  For much of that time, you understood your place in the world.  Only in the last few centuries have you forgotten it."- Methuselah 

   The fourth and final book in the Stained Series starts off with a bang.  Cayne and Julia are separated.
They were betrayed by Edan to Nathan and his group of goons.  Cayne is subjected to a world of horrors as he finds out his true identity...he is the son of the devil himself.  He has the Celestial blood flowing through his veins, just like his father, The Adversary.  And The Adversary has big plans for Cayne.
   Julia has been taken back to Alexandria where The Three are residing in a pyramid that is way more archaic than their last residence.  Julia meets with Methuselah and figures out rather quickly that he is not the old man everyone thinks he is.  He's also a snake.  Although Julia is his descendant, Methuselah is just using her as a means to an end.  It could kill her in the process.  He tortures her, and Edan, as well.  Apparently putting more power into someone requires them being beaten down, literally.  But Methuselah has turned torture into an art form.  And he is willing to use it.
   Meanwhile, Nathan wrestles with the idea that perhaps The Three are not all that they seem to be.  He always thought they were just in their dealings until Julia and Cayne came into his life.  They rocked the boat and brought out the true colors of Methuselah.  And what was worse was the idea that he might actually be working with The Adversary.  As much as Nathan wants to deny it, he starts realizing the truth.  And now he must protect Meredith, Julia, and the others from the harm's way that he put them in.
   Edan, a Demon it turns out, is one of the most conflicted Demons ever.  As much as he likes the carnal pleasures of this world, and as much as he likes being a Demon, he also seems to have some kind of conscience.  Methuselah makes him whip Julia and it causes him a lot of pain and he feels the need to make up for it.  But on top of that, he is also being played by The Adversary.  Because of his demonhood, he must do The Adversary's bidding.  And because he continually bucks the system, he is demoted to a Shade for a while.  Being a Shade is unbearable to him and he agrees to play the part of the hero to bust Julia out of the pyramid.
   Once freed, Julia and her friends all trek to Hell to save Cayne from his own father, who is also torturing Cayne to put more power into him as well.  He and Julia have a part to play in the apocalypse to come.

      "What The Adversary wants, The Adversary gets, so long as he's made his home in this realm..."

   Well in the last book the conflict comes to an apex.  The Adversary does place the net around Heaven where no Authorities can come or go to Earth.  However, Demons and Nephilim abound and are wreaking havoc in Las Vegas where The Adversary is.  Even Cayne underestimated The Adversary.  Apparently he had planned this down to the last detail.  The only thing he didn't plan for was being stopped.  But Julia and Cayne and their friends are determined to save the world, no matter the cost.  And that cost is great indeed.  A dear friend is lost in the midst of it all, and the book leaves you wondering to the very last whether this is the end of the world.  If The Adversary will reign.  In the midst of it all, Julia and Cayne still love each other no matter what they find out about their pasts and their parents.  They desperately try to stay together and keep each other safe.  The whole group is driven by a duty to this world and to the next to rid the earth of The Adversary.  This question still remains: Will Cayne and Julia get the happily ever after they want so badly?

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