Torn by Julie Kenner

When this action-packed, pedal-to-the-metal second installment of the Blood Lily Chronicles begins, the story picks up right where book one ends. Believing she was working on the side of good by ensuring the Ninth Gate of Hell stays closed, Lily learns that she was, in fact, aiding demons all along. In addition to facing that truth and figuring out her next step, Lily has an even more immediate problem: the demon inhabiting her fourteen-year-old sister, Rose. Lucas Johnson, the man who had earlier attacked the young girl, has sent part of his demon essence into Rose in order to blackmail Lily, demanding that she obtain for him a key that will unlock all the gates of Hell so that the demon hordes may come through. Demon politics complicate matters as both Johnson’s and Clarence’s (Lily’s “handler”) masters want this key for themselves.

Setting herself up as a double-agent seems the only option to Lily, as she attempts to figure out a way to both save Rose and prevent a demon apocalypse. Deacon, a demon seeking redemption, favors the bigger-picture priority over Rose’s safety, and wants Lily to agree to help him locate another missing key – the one that will lock the gates. At an impasse, Lily and Deacon part ways for the time being. Due to her ability of taking on the essence of the demons she kills in order to make her stronger, Lily realizes that she will eventually need to kill Clarence, the amphibian-like creature she believed was some sort of angel but is actually a demon, in order to gain his incantation skills. Before that happens, Lily needs to find the first two parts of the key that both Clarence and Johnson want, and learns that to aid in her efforts, she will be getting a partner.

Kenner deftly balances the various plot threads while at the same time maintaining riveting suspense, as well as palpable, simmering tension between Lily and Deacon.
Though she still feels unsure as to whom she can truly trust, including herself due to the darkness she fears will soon overtake her, Lily remains absolutely clear about one thing: protecting Rose. When she takes her sister home to pick up some clothes and witnesses once again the apathy and ineffectiveness of Rose’s father, Lily muses, “There are all kinds of demons in the world, and not all of them come from hell. Those just happen to be easier to fight” (78 ).

Kenner’s depiction of a young woman facing seemingly impossible odds who has lost everything yet refuses to give up provides a gripping, fast-moving tale that readers will find themselves easily immersed in. This reviewer can hardly wait for the conclusion to this excellent series.

Book Stats:

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Original edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441017975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441017973

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Books in The Blood Lily Chronicles in the order they should be read:
Tainted
Torn
Turned

When this action-packed, pedal-to-the-metal second installment of the Blood Lily Chronicles begins, the story picks up right where book one ends. Believing she was working on the side of good by ensuring the Ninth Gate of Hell stays closed, Lily learns that she was, in fact, aiding demons all along. In addition to facing that …

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About Carol

A book reviewer and editor at Bitten by Books since 2008, Carol reads extensively in the urban fantasy genre, and also writes the column on genre television, Screen Bites. Serving as the director of the Urban Fantasy track at Dragon Con, Carol also works at Coastal Magic (formerly Olde City, New Blood), and AnachroCon, and for the last three years has been one of the organizers for a small literary festival in the town where she lives. When not reading, writing reviews, or working at conventions, Carol spends as much time as possible with her three amazing grandsons.