Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Mephisto Mark by Trinity Faegen

Title: The Mephisto Mark
Author: Trinity Faegen
Pages: 200
Publisher: Pink Publishing LLC
My rating: 5 stars {would be 6 if I could give it that!}
Goodreads rating: 4.75 stars
Published: September 24, 2013


Orphaned at six and sent to live with abusive relatives in Bucharest, Mariah learned early in life to box up violent, agonizing memories and put them in permanent mental storage. Now almost nineteen, she has a paying job, a tiny apartment, and a plan to attend university. She loves her independence and is steadily overcoming her past, but when an enigmatic stranger walks into the pub where she works and the trajectory of her life changes yet again, she begins to wonder if she’ll run out of mental shelf space.

The only females unafraid of the Mephisto brothers are the extremely rare Anabo, born without Original Sin. Over one hundred years ago, Phoenix was first to find one, but he made a fatal mistake and she was murdered by his oldest brother and enemy, Eryx. Phoenix soldiered through the next century wrapped up in grief and guilt, his only outlet planning takedowns of those who pledged their souls to Eryx. When one of his brothers brings Mariah to Mephisto Mountain, he’s torn between his instinctive, powerful need to pursue her, and his certainty that he can never have her.

Drawn into the world of the Mephisto, Mariah sees the pain and misery Eryx unleashes on humanity, and the boxes in her mind begin to fly open, one by one. All that keeps her from slipping off the edge is her unlikely, sexually charged friendship with Phoenix. He’s incredibly screwed up; she’s completely broken. It would take a miracle for them to find happiness. Then Eryx brings the war for Hell to a whole new level, forcing Mariah and Phoenix to make a choice that will bind them together for all eternity, or rip them apart forever.

You guys, The Mephisto Mark was beyond amazing.  I've thoroughly enjoyed each one of the Mephisto books so far, and they seriously just keep getting better.  I've loved Trinity Faegen's writing style and the whole Mephisto world she's created.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't freak out and fangirl a little when I was approved for the eBook on NetGalley.  Guys, if you haven't read the first two, you totally should!  But you don't have to read the other books to enjoy this one {they're just really that good and you're going to want more after reading one}.

If you haven't read any of the Mephisto Covenant series, let me fill you in a bit: its about seven brothers who are the sons of Mephistopheles {Lucifer's right hand man, "in charge of taking souls of the damned to Hell" [description from Trinity's website]} and Elektra {an Anabo, descendent of Eve's daughter Aurora, born without Original Sin}.  Out of the seven brothers, one no longer has any of his mother's light, and that's the oldest, Eryx, who is trying to take over Hell from Lucifer by having people pledge themselves to him and sell him their souls.  The other six brothers are fighting Eryx, taking those who have pledged their souls to him to a place called Hell on Earth so Eryx can't absorb their souls when they die {each soul he absorbs makes him stronger}.  A great place for you, my dear reader friends, to catch up on all of the background of the Mephisto, you should check out Mephisto - In The Beginning on Trinity/Stephanie's website.  Much better descriptions, and I won't spend this whole review recapping the brothers' past.  Or you could take a little more time and read the books *winks*.

On to the actual book review, shall we?

I loved the idea of Mariah and Phoenix and what they would have to break through just to be friends when I read her introduction in The Mephisto Kiss.  Mariah is, as Kyros tried to describe her to Phoenix, "broken" - she's a survivor of multiple kinds of abuse received at the hands of her mother's sister and that sister's husband, since her parents died when she was six years old and until her uncle dies when she's fourteen years old.  But she is exactly that, a survivor and not a victim.  She is pretty jaded by what happened to her when she was younger, but she is also very determined to make the best of what she's been given, until Kyros takes her back to Mephisto mountain in hopes of her becoming one of the Lumina*.  Despite what she went through as a child and young person, Kyros senses and incredible good in her.  But because of what she went through, the light that Mephisto and other Anabo can see and identify her as Anabo is all but gone.  *Side note: the author did a great job with her research on physical and sexual abuse survivors, and, while it was heartbreaking to read about, it was also awesome to see how much Mariah has done to overcome it.*

Mariah is strong, but at the same time delicate because of what she went through.  Phoenix is broken because of what happened in his past, losing his last Anabo, watching his older, soulless brother Eryx kill her.  And because of that {and so, so much more}, he is the last of the brothers who should be given another Anabo {and most of them remind him}.  The first time he is in the same room with Mariah, he smells heather and hates her for it.  And all Mariah knows it there is another man, walking in her life, and hating her for apparently no reason.  There is so much tension between the two, you could cut it with a knife.

Guys, there are so many twists in this book, and so many things that completely BLEW MY MIND {yes, that totally deserves to be in caps}.  I thought I knew what to expect of this story because of reading the first two, but I had no idea what was coming.  Some were good, some were bad, some were heartbreaking, and some made me want to have a joyous talk with anyone and everyone who has read this book.  Its amazing, hands down.  I've actually read through it twice now {which is an amazing feat with an almost mobile baby and working}, and enjoyed it even more the second time around.  Each chapter goes back and for between Mariah's POV and Phoenix's POV, which I'm usually not a huge fan of.  But it worked with The Mephisto Mark so incredibly well.  So much of the mind blowing facts and revelations happen inside one of their heads, if it were only from one point of view all of us readers wouldn't get the whole story.  And what a story...

Also, we find out what brother's story is next... can I say that I'm really looking forward to reading his?  Trinity, can I be pre-approved for an early read on that one too?  Please?

*terms slightly confusing?  Check out the Mephisto Lexicon

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