Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5) 3.5 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler it does reference events in previous books of the series.
The ultimate battle of good versus evil continues in the fifth installment of J.R. Ward’s Fallen Angels series. Technically the score currently stands at 3 to 1, although all the souls have been won by the side of good after Matthias’ do over in the last round. All should be good in the Heaven camp, but the Archangel Nigel has just gotten wind of Jim’s deal with Devina and he is pissed.
At the end of Rapture Jim offered to give one of the victory flags to Devina in exchange for Sissy, the girl he has sworn to rescue from Hell, potentially leveling the score to 2 all. At the beginning of Possession, Devina has yet to agree and wondering why she isn’t snapping his hand off to take the deal is distracting Jim even further from his mission.
There is a lot going on in Possession as the complex nature of the Jim’s relationships war with the world-altering responsibilities he shoulders. Once you factor in the plot lines concerning the soul being played in this round, things get a tad confusing. At times I felt like I was reading three different books at once and every time I would start to get into one, I was made to put it down and pick up another. Unlike in the pervious books, there is very little interaction between the “angel” and “human” characters and I found myself distracted by constantly waiting for the two sides to have an impact on each other.
The multiple points of view worked more in the Angels favor, building on the complex relationships and previous altercations, to create an intricate psychological game between Devina and Jim. The battle has taken its toll on both and Possessions shows a much more internal struggle, particular in Devina. I really love how multidimensional she has become over the course of the books, at times hateful but at others, lonely and insecure.
Jim’s obsession with Sissy reaches a single-minded breaking point as he turns himself in knots trying to navigate his way through it. I shared Adrian’s deep frustration at Jim’s total lack of focus, wanting to remind him what’s at stake (Dude, saving the world? Remember that?!). His actions had further reaching consequences than I could have imagined, something I’m really interested to see play out. One character’s journey in particular took me by surprise with just how much I ended up loving them (spoiler-free!) and I really hope they become a major player.
As far as the identity of the soul in question goes, we’re kept guessing for much of the book. That story-arc centers on Cait and her potential relationships (after chance meetings) with two very different men. G.B is a charming musician, intent on wooing her, whereas Duke has a dark magnetism that resonates deep within her. The backstory for each is slowly revealed through the story, something I both liked and found frustrating in equal measure. I just didn’t feel like I got to know these characters as well as previously featured players. That being said, the sexual chemistry between Cait and Duke is some of the hottest of all Ward’s couples.
While Possession frustrated me at times, I can understand why it played out the way it did. I still think this is a great series and yet again I’m left with a sense of urgency as the tension ratchets up towards the final showdown.
Sexual content: Graphic sex