Updated: Jan 21
Rage and Ruin
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Inkyard Press
Book #2 in the Harbinger Trilogy
FORBIDDEN ALLIANCES, FORBIDDEN LOVE.
A half human, half angel and her bonded gargoyle protector must work with demons to stop the apocalypse while avoiding falling in love. The Harbinger is coming…but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can’t win the race against time as dark forces gather.
As tensions rise, they must stay close together and patrol the DC streets at night, seeking signs of the Harbinger, an entity that is killing Wardens and demons with no seeming rhyme or reason.
Forbidden to be with each other, Zayne and Trinity fight their feelings and turn to unusual sources for help—the demon Roth and his cohorts. But as deaths pile up and they uncover a sinister plot involving the local high school and endangering someone dear to Zayne, Trin realizes she is being led…herded…played for some unknown end. As anger builds and feelings spiral out of control, it becomes clear that rage may be the ruin of them all.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Foul language Young Adult Exciting
Steamy moments Supernatural Emotional
Excuse me while I take a moment.
Okay. Deep breaths.
Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L Armentrout is the second book in the Harbinger trilogy, and starts hours after the first book ended, with Trinity and Zayne bonded, and Trinity dealing with the pain of having to kill her best friend who betrayed her. Rage and Ruin continues the search for the Harbinger. While trying to find a faceless enemy, and more questions piling up than answers, Trinity and Zayne also are trying to live with one another, while not succumbing to their feelings, and breaking the one rule between Protector and Trueborn; Don't fall in love.
I don't even know where to start. I literally finished this book an hour ago, and my face is still puffy from crying. Rage and Ruin is totally unique in it's genre, consistent in it's action and story from the first book, and the series it spins off from, The Dark Elements, and the story ... well, what can I say? Rage and Ruin is the perfect blend of Jennifer Armentrout's amazing story telling, intriguing mystery, humor and romance. One of the best things, was it's unpredictability. Usually by the time I am half way through the book, I already know how it will end. I had predictions that were blown up. Obliterated.
Sorry. I'm still in shock from that ending (and in Jennifer Armentrout style, it's a cliffhanger.) I don't want to spoil you. All I can say, it by the time my Kindle said I had only 10% left of the book to read, I had to keep putting the book down. I needed to take moments to breathe. I needed to process. That last 10% has wrecked me for the rest of the night. Case in point:
The Ben & Jerry's came out right after I finished and rated the book on Goodreads.
I'm almost done this review, and I'm down a glass of wine.
I honestly can't choose which female heroine I'm more in love with from Jennifer's books. They all have qualities that makes them unique, but they all have one thing in common; Strength. Trinity is no exception. She is strong, brave, and caring, but flawed. I love that she has flaws, and while it bothers her, and she knows she could be better, she owns it. Her arc in this book is kind of perfect, and she doesn't end up anywhere she thought she would be. And Zayne. Oh, sweet Zayne. His character has come a LONG way from the Dark Elements series, and even since Storm and Fury. He takes his new role as Trin's Protector seriously, but he also refuses to take anything sitting down. He's learned from the past, and it benefits him in this book. He finally takes times to really think about everything that has happened in the past, and not only gains perspective, but peace.
We get to see some old favorites. Roth, Layla, and Cayman make several appearances, and they add so much to the story, which, as someone who truly enjoyed the Dark Elements series, I appreciate. We don't get the trio just for the sake of seeing them again. They have a place in the story.
I want to point out one of my favorite things in this book, is Trin confiding in Zayne about her eyesight, and her fears. While Trinity is a fictional character, Jennifer Armentrout gave Trinity a piece of herself. Specifically, retinitis pigmentosa. All those fears Trinity deals with, how difficult it is to get through tasks people with eyesight take for granted, is all the more impacting, because Jennifer lives it. I am lucky. I don't have a disability. I do, however, live with three people who do. We have always been very open with everyone about the fact that, all three of my daughters are on the spectrum. We raise them to feel no shame ... but they are human. I'm sure there are moments, especially my teenagers, where they struggle with their diagnosis. I can be empathetic, but I can never truly say I know how they feel. Trinity has a moment where she explains that she has a hard time admitting she has a disability, has trouble asking for help because she wants to be self-sufficient, and not burden others ... well it made me think. Not just about my children, but those of society that live with a disability ... and believe me, there is so many out there. I appreciate the moments we step out of the supernatural part of the story, and into territory that makes us think.
Rage and Ruin was ... an epic second part of this trilogy. I don't say that lightly. It truly was. It checked off so many things that makes a book amazing. I have no complaints. At all. Jennifer L Armentrout proves time and time again that she is one hell of an amazing writer. If you want to start from the beginning, start with the Dark Elements Trilogy before the Harbinger Trilogy. You don't have to though. I read Storm and Fury before finding out it was a spin off series, and you can easily start with this Trilogy first. Now, to begin the long wait for the final book.
Spoilers are below ... and this is not a book you want spoiled. Read only if you have already read Rage and Ruin and want to relive your favorite moments.
The blindfolded training session
Trin confiding in Zayne about her fear of peoples prejudices of people with disabilities, and her fear of being a burden, and Zayne telling her he was in awe of her
Trin helping Roth get Bambi back
Trinity and Zayne's dinner date
Zayne and Trinity finally admitting their feelings for one another, and having sex
Zayne squeezing or rubbing Trinity's knee every time he stopped the motorcycle. So sweet.
Zayne putting up glowing stars on the ceiling of their bedroom
Zayne telling Trinity he loves her, and them sealing their bond together forever the way mated Wardens do.
Roth carrying Trinity, and placing her next to Zayne, and placing her hand on his cheek so she could be with him as he died.
Where to Buy
Trinity: "Oh my God. I've told you a million times to stop doing that."
Peanut: "I'm kind of surprised you still think I listen to you half the the time."
Peanut: "Who's going to take care of me if you die?"
Trinity: "You're dead, Peanut. No one needs to take care of you."
Peanut: "I still need to be loved and cherished and thought of. I'm like Santa Claus. If no one is alive is here to want and believe in me, then I'll cease to exist."
Zayne: "Watch it, or I'll eat this hamburger I got for you right in front of you and enjoy it."
Trinity: "I would drop-kick you into a wall if you did that."
Zayne: "Want something to drink? I think there might be a Coke in here, since you refuse to drink water."
Trinity: "Water is for people concerned about their health, and I'm not about that kind of life."
Trinity: "Thank you for the food. You're a keeper."
Zayne: 'Good. I want to be kept."
Trinity: "Before we look at what you got, I have a favor to ask."
My brows lifted.
Trinity: "I haven't told you what the favor is."
He lifted one large shoulder in a shrug
Zayne: "Whatever it is, you got it."
I stared at him
Trinity: "What if I was asking for you to trade in your vintage Impala for a minivan from the '80's?"
Zayne: "That would be a seriously weird request."
Trinity: "Exactly, and you just agreed to it!"
His head tilted
Zayne: "You're weird, Trin, but I don't think you're that weird."
Trinity: "I feel like I should be offended by that statement."
Zayne: "You don't need to be afraid."
My gaze shot to him
Zayne: "I can feel it. It's like an icicle in my chest. And I know you're not afraid of me or for yourself. You're too much of a badass. You're afraid for me, and you don't need to be. You know why?"
Zayne: "You're strong, and you're a damn good warrior. I might be your Protector in some instance, but when we fight, I'm your partner. I know you're not going to put my ass in a sling because you're not holding your own. There's no way I can fall with you beside me, and no one will best you with me beside you. So, get those fears out of your head."
Trinity: "Funny you would insult my intelligence when you had no idea I was following you."
Demon: "Following me? If that's true, then you've made the stupidest mistake of your life."
Trinity: "Well. I don't think this would even make the top ten stupidest mistakes I've made."
Demon: "You're going to bed for my forgiveness. And pray for your death."
I tensed but planted a smile on my face
Trinity: "So unoriginal. I'm experiencing secondhand embarrassment on your behalf. Why not get a little more creative?"
Suit Demon stared at me
Trinity: "Like how about 'you're going to bed me to stop chewing on your entrails' and 'pray that I toss you off the roof'? Now that paints a not-so-pretty picture, don't you think?"
Suit Demon blinked
Trinity: "Why don't you give that a try? And let's see if I move this encounter to the top twenty on my stupid list?"
Demon: "I'm going to rip out your tongue, and then shove it back through your throat."
I clapped excitedly.
Trinity: "There you go!"
Trinity: "You're going to want to play along and do so quickly, because I have the patience of a hungry toddler and a severe problem with impulsivity. I don't think before I act."
Demon: "It wasn't Bael who told me about you, you stupid cu -"
Punching him again, this time in the jaw, I made sure the dagger handle got in on the action.
Trinity: "That better have been the word cutie that was about to come out of your mouth."
Zayne: "You're not where I left you."
I glanced around the empty rooftop
Trinity: "I'm not."
Zayne: "What part of 'stay where you are' wasn't clear?"
Trinity: "The part where you thought I'd actually listen to you?"
Zayne: "Please tell me you did not follow a demon up here."
Trinity: "I hate that you asked so nicely when I'm going to have to tell you what you don't want to hear."
Zayne: "Want some eggs?"
Trinity: "Sure. Can I help?"
Zayne: "Aren't you the person who almost burned down Thierry's house trying to make fried chicken?"
Trinity: "Aren't you the person who said you'd teach me to make grilled cheese?"
Zayne: "You know, you're right. But I need to feed myself first."
Zayne: "And I really don't want you to do the eggs. Even though they're hard to mess up, I have a suspicion you might do just that, and then I'll be embarrassed for you."
Roth: "You look so thrilled to see me."
Zayne: "I'm just bursting with excitement. I can barely contain myself."
Stacey: "They told me that you're trained to fight like this big guy."
She lifted an elbow at Zayne
Stacey: "That's pretty cool. I didn't know Wardens trained humans."
Roth: "Or raised them. Like pets."
My narrowed gaze landed on the demon
Trinity: "I wasn't raised like a pet, you ass."
The demon had scared the poor puppy, causing it to yelp and topple onto its side with it little legs rigid. And that flipped me straight into Bitch Got to Die mode.
Trinity: "That puppy did nothing to you! A puppy! How dare you!"
God, he was gorgeous.
And that annoyed me - him and his ... pretty hair and eyes ... and mouth and whatever.
Zayne: "What if it wasn't me who came up behind you? What if it was an Upper Level demon?"
Trinity: "I would have sensed it and punched it, too. And then you would've been pulling me off that one."
He stepped forward
Zayne: "You might be as badass as they come, but if an Upper Level demon comes up behind you and you're unprepared, you're in for a world of hurt."
Trinity: "You're my Protector, Zayne, but you sound like you're my keeper. You're not my father."
Zayne: "Thank God for that."
Trinity: "Okay. I had a wee bit of a hard time paying attention, because I'm easily distracted and suffer from chronic boredom. Like right now. I'm bored. With this conversation. So, I'm suffering."
Zayne: "Not as much as I'm suffering right now."
My frown grew until I felt like my face was going to be stuck like that.
Trinity: "Do I even want to know what that means?"
Zayne: "Probably not."
Trinity: "I'm not angry. I'm actually hungry."
I arched an eyebrow
Trinity: "Why do you sound like you don't believe me?"
Zayne: "Maybe because you ate two hot dogs from a street vendor less than an hour ago."
Trinity: "Hot dogs aren't very filling. Everyone knows that."
Zayne: "You also ate fries and half my falafel."
Trinity: "I did not eat half of it! I had, like, a bite of it. I'd never had falafel before and I was curious. Not like you can find them in the hills of West Virginia."
Trinity: "And beating the crap out of the Raver in an inhumane and indecent manner burns a lot of calories. Whatever I ate has been used up and I'm now in a caloric deficiency. I'm starving."
He crossed his arms
Zayne: "I don't think that's how calories work."
I ignored that
Trinity: "We can go back to that place and get you another falafel. I might get one myself. Then we can falafel together."
Zayne: "I need a new shirt, but we need to head back because you smell and you need a shower."
Trinity: "Wow. Way to make me feel self-conscious."
Zayne: "By the way, what did you roll around in back there?"
Trinity: "A puddle of bad life choices."
Zayne: "Huh. I always wondered what that smelled like."
Trinity: "Now you know."
Zayne: "You don't blend in, either."
Trinity: "Because I reek like I imagine a moldy butt smells?"
Zayne: "No. Because you're beautiful, Trin. You have this thing