by Laura Thalassa
Book 4 in the Four Horsemen series
They came to earth--Pestilence, War, Famine, Death--four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world.
Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.
He’s known by many names: Thanatos. Horseman. God’s last angel. And then, of course, there's the one I’m all too familiar with—
The day Death comes to Lazarus Gaumond’s town and kills everyone in one fell swoop, the last thing he expects to see is a woman left alive and standing. But Lazarus has her own extraordinary gift: she cannot be killed—not by humans, not by the elements, not by Death himself.
She is the one soul Death doesn’t recognize. The one soul he cannot pry free from her flesh. Nor can he ignore the unsettling desire he has for her. Take her. He wants to, desperately. And the longer she tries to stop him from his killing spree, the stronger the desire becomes.
When Lazarus crosses paths with the three other horsemen, an unthinkable situation leads to a terrible deal: seduce Death, save the world. A hopeless task, made all the worse by the bad blood between her and Thanatos. But Death’s attraction to her is undeniable, and try though she might, Lazarus cannot stay away from that ancient, beautiful being and his dark embrace.
The end is here. Humankind is set to perish, and not even the horsemen can stop Death from fulfilling his final task.
Only Lazarus can.
Death by Laura Thalassa is the fourth and final book in her Four Horsemen series, and centers around Thanatos (aka, Angel of Death), who has picked up where his brothers failed on killing the worlds population, and Lazarus, a young woman who can't die. When Death comes to Lazarus's hometown, she finds herself surrounded by bodies. Again. For some unknown reason, Lazarus' many brushes with death don't stick. She didn't die when her parents were killed by Pestilences plague years ago, when she was robbed, when she fell and broke her neck - or now, when Death rides through and kills her adoptive family. Lazarus knows she is the only one who can get close enough to Death to end it. Every time they cross paths, Death and Lazarus fight - but they can't help the undeniable attraction to each other. When Lazarus comes across the other three horsemen, they give her an unimaginable, and impossible task: seduce Death. Make him fall for her, and perhaps he will see reason like they did when they met their soulmates. But can Death put aside his purpose for his mate?
Well, that was unexpected! Well, not totally. It's a romance - I was expecting a happily ever after of sorts - but the little we see of Death in the third book, I didn't expect to get a book quite like this. Without spoiling, I will say this is a well written conclusion to the Four Horsemen series. It flowed nicely, it wasn't boring, and our main characters had interesting arcs. My only true issue with the book was ------------spoiler------------> to me, it wasn't clear why Death chooses to end the world that day, other than one page he was thinking how much he loved Lazarus, than suddenly, oh gotta kill everyone. I was left confused. <-----------------------. But that's it really. I loved the enemies to lovers storyline. And truly, despite Death being enthralled with Lazarus, Lazarus made it her personal mission for a year to destroy him, and their confrontations were fun. I loved the romance, and the sex was the hottest in the series. But what truly made this story great was the characters. Thanatos (Death) ended up being the absolute opposite of what I went into it thinking. He ended up being a total romantic. I mean, I was swooning with the things he says ... and for a virgin angel, he sure does have dirty talk down to a tee. Aside from the romance, his character was truly interesting to read. I loved his journey, and constant toeing the line between life and death. And I loved Lazarus too. A strong willed woman who despite being knocked down over and over, chooses to try to save humanity. I also love that "God's" purpose for unleashing the horsemen is open to interpretation ... and what God is is as well. No religion. Is it God or the universe. Whatever it is, it's a she, which is cool. As for the why - it could be that God thought the world needed purged. Too many people, the planet being destroyed by humans ... which Death says is the case. To bring the planet back to the state it was in before destructive humans. But while I think that may be part of it, my personal opinion is that God wanted to release these Angels from their one-dimensional purposes. And what better way to learn about the good parts of being a mortal, than falling in love? Having a family? A life? But ultimately, I loved Laura's views on life and death being lovers. Forever intertwined. To live, one day you die. Everyone deserves to die and the after part is a new beginning.
Before I end this, I need to give credit to Laura Thalassa for taking the opportunity to kind of poke fun at her own characters. All the jokes about Pestilence's new name being Victor was hilarious.
That ending? The epilogue that says so much with so little? I fucking loved it. It was a beautiful, full circle ending. I was worried that because Death is the last book in the series, it was going to be rushed, and just a rehashing of the other horsemen's stories. And while there are similarities (ie the travelling on horse across the land, and the death), I think Death is the best one of the series - and a great, fitting conclusion to the Four Horsemen.
All the times Lazarus tries to stop death. But especially when she holds him captive, and he humors her until she falls asleep
Famine, War and Victor cutting Lazarus loose
Famine goading Death (I cackled about the tying up their woman comment being all their kink)
Pestilence telling Lazarus to take her son to a doctor because he is very sick, and comforting her when she was panicking
Famine saving Ben.
Famine entertaining Ben with flowers
Lazarus getting Death to try bread and wine
Um, that BJ though ...
And their first time ... and ALL THE TIMES THAT FOLLOW
Lazarus taking an arrow for Death
Thanatos saving Lazarus in that EPIC way against the highway men
The failed joked during sex
Thanatos telling Lazarus he loves her
"You'll take it" and "Well, we both know you won't die from it" are officially lines I never thought would be hot until now
Thanatos and Lazarus making soul break together
Lazarus choosing to go back to earth as long as Thanatos stays with her
Thanatos with Ben
Lazarus: “You took everyone from me.”
My voice breaks as the words slip out. I hadn’t planned on opening with this, but once I start speaking, I can’t seem to stop.
Lazarus: “My mother, my brothers, my sisters, my nieces and nephews, my neighbors, my friends. They’re all gone.”
The aching loneliness I’ve carried with me sweeps in. Grief is awful enough on its own, but now I also have to deal with this solitude I never asked for. Death stares at me as rain pelts the two of us.
Thanatos: “That is what I do, kismet,”
he says, his voice gentling.
Thanatos: “I kill.” Lazarus: “Is mighty Death running from me?”
I call out, openly taunting him. His footfalls pause.
Lazarus: “Go ahead then, leave. I’ll simply hunt you down again. And when I find you, I will stop you.”
He laughs, turning around once more.
Thanatos: “I am one of the few things that cannot be stopped, Lazarus. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing you try.” Lazarus: “Hello again, Death. Did you miss me?” Lazarus: “Keep your distance,”
Thanatos: “Do you really think your bow scares me?”
Lazarus: “I will shoot.”
Thanatos: “Ah, so it’s you who is scared.” Thanatos: “All of creation falls to me, kismet. Kings and beggars, babies and warriors. Whales and flies, redwoods and dandelions. It all ends. And when it does, I am there to claim it. You will not stop me today, or tomorrow—you will not stop me ever. But—despite all sense, I think I do enjoy watching you try.”
He releases my jaw then. I stumble back as he moves away from me.
Thanatos: “The next time we meet, Lazarus, I won’t be so kind to you. But come for me all the same. I will relish our reunion.” Lazarus: “If you move, I attack.”
He flashes me a sly glance, then leans to the left.
Thanatos: “I’m moving,”
Lazarus: “Don’t be childish,”
Thanatos: “I wouldn’t know how to be childish. I’ve never been a child.”
I narrow my eyes at him again. He leans right.
Thanatos: “Still moving.”
Oh, for fuck’s sake. I don’t mean to slip off to sleep. To be honest, I would’ve sworn I hadn’t fallen asleep, but suddenly I’m roused by cool fingers brushing my hair back from my ear. For a moment, I’ve forgotten the situation, and that touch is so gentle that I lean into it. A moment later, lips replace those fingers.
Thanatos: “I was so intrigued at the thought of being your captive, Laz, I almost stayed put,”
Death whispers against my ear.
Thanatos: “But I have work to do.”
I stiffen at the sound of his voice, panic flooding my veins. He’s broken free.
Thanatos: “Maybe next time, you can be my captive.” Death’s gaze unwittingly moves to my cleavage, which is more on display than usual, thanks to a well-placed slice of his knife. Thanatos stares … and stares, and it would be fucking rude except this horseman clearly has never come face-to-face with boobs.
Thanatos: “What are you doing?”
he echoes, but his voice has roughened.
Breasts are, apparently, his undoing. I grab his other hand, bringing the two of them over his head. I lean forward as I do so until The Girls are up close and personal with Thanatos.
Did I plan on distracting Death with my tits today? No.
Will I take it? Yes. Lazarus: “You cannot just kidnap me!”
Thanatos: “Says the woman who first took me captive.” My gaze returns to that strange couple on his armor. Now I do reach out and trace a finger over what I can see of the skeleton. Thanatos’s gaze drops to my finger.
Thanatos: “Death and life, caught in an eternal embrace,”
Lazarus: “They look like lovers,”
Thanatos: “They are lovers.”
His eyes find mine, and I swear they can see straight to my soul. Thanatos’s attention moves to my stolen bag. He opens it up, staring at all the knives.
Thanatos: “I’m guessing these are meant for me.”
He says it so conversationally, so unafraid. It should dissipate the strange sexual tension between us.
It doesn’t. I grab one of his forearms, pulling it behind his back, then the other, pressing his wrists together. I bind his hands together with the satchel’s leather strap, making sure to tie the knots extra tight. His body sways.
Thanatos: “I like this, kismet. This makes me think very strange, very … human thoughts about you.” He squeezes me close, and oh, I’m definitely getting some hate-fuck energy from Death. Lazarus: “What are we doing here?”
Thanatos: “This is a human dwelling, is it not? We are here to dwell.” Famine: “Are you Death’s woman?”
My eyebrows rise. Death’s woman? Hardly.
Lazarus: “I’m his prisoner.”
I glance meaningfully over my shoulder where I’m tied up.
He smirks, like the term is cute. The longer he looks at me, the bigger that smirk grows and the brighter his eyes become. This is where I get stabbed and left for dead.
Famine: “You are his woman, aren’t you?”
he says, sounding gleeful. I give him an incredulous look.
Lazarus: “If you mean his kidnap victim, then yes. Otherwise, no.”
Why are we discussing my relationship status with Death?
Famine: “Have you tried to kill him yet?”
I stare at him.
Lazarus: “What do you want with me?”
I ask. Damn Thanatos for leaving me vulnera