Hell is looking for a way to break loose…
Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world’s first murderer, he’s plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it’s killing him.
After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can’t outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she’s thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she’s been trying to forget.
Sam strains Jax’s control over his darkness, but running isn’t an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.
If you’re a fan of stories about demons, and the New Adult genre, then you’re going to love this. While I’m new to the genre, I’ve always loved stories about demons (and angels) and this was a fast-paced read from start to finish.
I particularly enjoyed how Accardo uses the story of Cain and Abel to thread together a story about the descendants of Cain, which is more of a modernisation, rather than a retelling. Jax, and his family, are descendants of Cain, but Jax bears the Mark of Cain, and he has to share his body with a demon – Azirak. To keep the demon in check, Jax feeds it violence, and as a result, starts sliding down a darker path while trying to avoid the cycle of Cain: killing his own brother, Chase. To prevent this, he fled his home town and his childhood sweetheart, Sam.
What I liked about the characters in this story was that not one of them is perfect. Jax, sharing his body with a demon, is anything but the ideal boyfriend – except that he doesn’t want to be the bad guy, and he’s constantly fighting (and occasionally reinforcing in order to keep a good amount of distance) the way people view him. He has to feed his demon, literally, but he focuses on the [i]bad guys[/i] of society. His twin-brother Chase is the ‘perfect’ brother – the one loved by his home town, but even he has problems: he can’t settle down and he can’t stay away from the one girl Jax loves. Sam is the girl Jax left behind, orphaned after the murder of her parents and unable to resist the bad boy, despite Jax’s own warnings to her.
I had some problems with Sam and Jax’s relationship – they’re both absolutely horrible to one another. In a lot of ways it’s to protect themselves from each other, and I can understand that part of it, but it blows so hot and cold so quickly that it had my head spinning a bit. What I won’t deny was that they had a lot of chemistry because of it, and their interactions became steamier as the story progressed, which in turn causes problems for Jax’s demon.
I really loved the paranormal aspects of this book – the demons, witches and assorted other mentions. I think the way demons have been integrated into this world is really unique and how their own personal wars are spilling over into the ‘human’ world. There were plenty of great twists as this book came to a close, leaving plenty of room for the following books in the series, which I hope to read at some point.
Overall I gave Ruined 3.75 out of 5 stars.
title // The Eternal Balance 1 – Ruined
author // Jus Accardo
publisher // Entangled Publishing (Embrace)
genre // New Adult, Paranormal
publication date // November 2013
format // eBook