Monday, October 16, 2023

All Things Halloween Review of Grace & Glory

Grace and Glory (The Harbinger, # 3)

By: Jennifer L Armentrout

Publication: June 1st 2021 by Inkyard Press

512 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Danger, betrayal, and enticing forbidden love... When Angels Fall

Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger.

Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome.

As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain—nothing will ever be the same.

Rage & Ruin ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. I can't remember if we get a glimpse of Zayne at the very end or if we think he's actually dead, but the description of Grace and Glory gives it away that he's alive and involved, at least somehow. And that leads me to a discussion topic that I need to type up, but the gist is that I actually have come to expect character rescurrections because they happen so frequently that I'm never surprised when some character finds their ways back from the dead. It's almost become more heroic (in the writing sense) for the author to allow the character to die and stay dead. Maybe I will leave this for now to be discussed in depth later.

Trinity, Roth, and Layla set in motion the plan to bring Lucifer to Earth to fight against Gabriel's plan to open a portal from Earth to Heaven. The idea was that Lucifer's pride wouldn't allow his brother to succeed at something as big as this, even though typically, one would think that doing something similar to this would be up Lucifer's alley. Controlling Lucifer is another story, though. Zayne, as I've already discussed, has come back from the dead as a Fallen Angel with his grace and wings, which apparently makes him nearly as strong as Lucifer.

I really struggled with Grace & Glory in the ways that they discussed God. It reminded me so much of the show Supernatural (which I used to love but ended up abandoning before it was over for the same reasons). To consider that God is just MIA or so completely hands off what's going on in our world feels sacrilegious to me. Funnily enough, Jennifer L Armentrout had to be familiar with the similarities of the Supernatural series to this one because Lucifer gets sucked into binge watching the show once he's on Earth. I think that's kind of funny. Ultimately, she handled enough of the biggest components of the book regarding this area in a way that I could say "okay" over, but mostly I felt majorly uncomfortable through the majority of reading these sections. I want to discuss this in more detail, but a lot would be spoilers.

Zayne and Trinity's relationship is the redeeming part of this book and the series.

Favorite or supporting quotes:

-What was happening to me wasn't the sum of who I was, but it was a part of who I was.

-"I dropped you in a pool." "I'll probably punch you for that when you least expect it..."

-"Maybe God has checked out..."

-"Maybe God just doesn't care anymore, forsaking the most treasured creations. Look throughout history. There were many times God could've stepped in and ended countless horrific and senseless tragedies but chose not to. God acts like the rules can't be broken when God is the one who created them." ... "Some say I'm the monster, the nightmare in the dark and the evil hiding in plain sight, but when a child dies needlessly, it is not a life I've taken. When a mother takes her last breath due to disease, it is not by my will. When a brother dies senselessly, it is not a part of my plan. Death and war and disease are not my creations." ... "But what is God? Because at the end of the day, God could take all that pain away. So tell me, who is the real monster?" "The father of lies," Zayne murmered...

I'm glad that Jennifer L Armentrout at least mentioned that Lucifer is the father of lies, and that indicates that all these things he just spent a long speech accusing God of doing and being are in fact lies. I know it wasn't the purpose of this book to counter argue these lies accused at God, but it feels so important to do so. Leaving things like this feels like leaving the reader with questions and no answers. And I guess she's trusting the reader to think for themselves. But it just left me feeling uncomfortable not to argue these points.

"And just think how many would have heard my words and believed me? Believed my legions?" "Based on what I've seen people believe on social media?" Layla whispered. "Millions."

Again, I'm glad this was mentioned. Social media is full of lies, and I'm here to attest that the mob mentality is almost always wrong, in my opinion.

-"Jesus," Jada whispered, and I bet she was regretting her decision to come here. I was starting to regret this decision. "As if," Lucifer replied, falling onto the chair by the window. "I am nothing like that whiney, all talk and very little action golden Boy."

See what I mean? Sheesh! How much more sacreligious can we get? Obviously, the character speaking here is Lucifer, and I wouldn't expect him to think highly of Jesus, but Scripture is full of instances of God protecting His name, and Jesus is the Name about all names. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I wouldn't think sacrificing Himself for the world is a bunch of talk and no action.

-"You know what people get so wrong about God? That He is an absentee father. That He doesn't care for His children, watch over them meticulously, day in and day out. That He doesn't interfere in the small ways--ways often and easily overlooked. That random choice to turn left instead of right on the way to work? The unexpected decision to stay home or stay out late? The unplanned trip or phone call, purchase or gift? None of that is random or unknown. That is God, doing what a good parent does. Stepping in when they can and knowing when there is nothing they can do. I never really understood how God could do all of that--be willing to do anything and everything to be near His children and yet be able to walk away."

Finally a quote about God that I can get behind.

-"You are all I ever wanted, even before I knew what I wanted. It was you. It was always you."

I feel torn over Grace and Glory. On one hand, I loved Trinity and Zayne. I'm happy they have the ending they did. There's some open ended stuff for if Jennifer L Armentrout wants to return to the series or do a spin-off from it. I loved the story with Peanut and how that played out. I was struggling through so many pages and quotes that felt irreverent to God. For some reason, I don't mind fantasy that is completely fiction, but to borrow upon real life and attribute things to God that just aren't true makes me uncomfortable. I was waiting for the redeeming ending, which unlike Supernatural, Jennifer L Armentrout did give me. I guess overall I give Grace & Glory a reluctant 4 Stars. Have you read Grace & Glory? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

No comments:

Post a Comment