By Laura Thalassa
Who is in it?
Death/Thanatos - and many other names
What Should I Watch Out For?
Swearing, gore, death, destruction, zombies, apocalypse
What's the Story?
The last in Laura Thalassa's four horseman series. It is year 26 of the four horseman. The world is still in shambles, but life has continued. Lazarus continues, different from everyone else in that she can not die. When Death comes calling, everyone falls but Lazarus. When Death realized she could not die, it changed everything- except his one task. To kill mankind, to end the destruction of earth and everything else in it.
She takes it upon herself to kill death, tracking him in a cat and mouse game, until it all culminates in one fateful day. The day she makes a deal with the other devils to save the world. Can she do what she must to save the world, or will all be lost.
What's the Trope?
Hard to classify as just one so: Paranormal, End of the World, Learning to Love, Magical Hero
Why I loved this book... spoilers may be ahead.
I will start this off by saying, I have loved the four horseman series from Pestilence when I laid in bed sobbing as quietly as I could so my husband would not wake up and pick on me (not that he does that often). Dear God, I waited and waited for War, then Famine... and finally- it FINALLY was published.
I have been waiting for this book since the day I read Pestilence.
Second thing to tell you, if you have not read the other books go back. Start at the beginning (and then come back and tell me if you were sobbing at the end of book one).
Laura does a great job of setting up the scenes, I already knew what I was getting into when I started this book, death, destruction, the end of days. But, Laura changed it up a bit (Not with the death, destruction, I mean- that had to happen).
So, lets begin.
Lazarus is an enigma. She can not die. Her parents were murdered by Pestilence and she was found by her "adoptive mother" - Jill Gaumond who rescued her. The story opens with her buying apples for her nieces birthday. As Death begins to roll through town, everyone dies- everyone except Lazarus. This is how Death meets her- the one soul he doesn't recognize.
She runs home to find her family dead, their end swift and cold. Alone, she makes it her mission to end Death, and end destruction.
Thus begins a game of cat and mouse- with each encounter a bit more violent or imaginative then the last with one, or both of them dyeing (And I have to laugh, because Death kills her twice in one day, to give himself a head start).
In one of the encounters, Death goes through a town and destroys all. Except for one innocent babe, Lazarus, following hears the baby (Ben), and this sets off another set of changes in the story where Lazarus hides from death for seven months. She tries to normalize life, getting a job, renting space, living as easily as she can, until Ben get's sick. The other Three Horsemen of the group, congregate on her doorstep- to ask for her help in stopped Death, and one of them recognizes the baby is very ill and needs antibiotics if she wants him to live. She takes him to the hospital, but Ben doesn't get better. Death greets her in the hospital, and when she asks how he knew she was there, he says Ben's soul was calling for him. He gives Lazarus a day to love up on baby Ben, and says his goodbye without destroying the city.
She takes Ben to where the other three horsemen are camping out, and begs Famine to save him (because he is the only one who is still immortal). She offers to do anything if they will save Ben.
A deal made, (she is to seduce Death), they will take Ben way up to Canada and place him in safe keeping with their families on a remote island, and then the three will come back to end Death if she isn't able to succeed in making him change his mind (they all have families now, and don't want to die- they all recognized the worth in humanity (well except Famine- that Crusty Bastard)).
Enter now- the seduction of an innocent. Oh this is delightful, the sex scenes are hot, the story gets hotter and Lazarus grapples with her own role in the whole thing, knowing she has to either get Death to change his mind, or somehow help end him when the last of days comes.
As they realize they are starting to care for each other, they share more pieces of themselves, Lazarus's human side and Death's death side. Lazarus begins to grasp the extent of his powers, especially when he begins to explain all the markings on his body. She realizes he can resurrect people from the dead, asks him to resurrect her mother, Jill, and upon her arrival to earth again, she shows Lazarus how wrong it would be to bring all those people back from the dead.
They spend a few days next to the beach, letting Lazarus grasp everything that happened with her mother, enjoying each other and for Lazarus, letting herself love him. Death- He has ALWAYS known Lazarus was meant to be his, he has always known that she was the other piece of him, his mate, made just for him. He loves her and I can see and feel this in the wonder/way he treats her, but he is also ruthless in his disregard of his own feelings for the duty he has been given.
Because he loves her, he feels like he can not deviate from his duty, and the end of days happens in a fight between Death and Pestilence, War and Famine.
Lazarus, asks God for something to help tip the balance and her immortality is removed. Death is weekend briefly, while Famine, War and Pestilence are also weakened, and Lazarus realizes what she must do. Prepared to end one of their lives, she faces Death and kills herself.
Death is in shock, realizing that her soul is no longer immortal. He takes her soul to the waiting space before Heaven, where Lazarus can see her family.
It's here where he realizes that the choice he has been facing was not whether humans were worthy of life, but worthy of love. He decides Love is more important and asks Lazarus to return to earth with him.....
The rest- as they say. Is happily.. Ever... After.
I would have liked to see a little bit more of Death's side of the story. I would have loved to see more of Lazarus' internal struggle in the beginning when she was starting to want Death sexually. It kind of came on abruptly and it felt like the sexual chemistry was off until midway through. I know Lazarus felt the pull of Death, but not that she wanted him sexually, until it was mentioned briefly that she had started dreaming about him that way.
I want that, I want to see her thoughts, experience her emotions when she realizes she just had an erotic dream of death. We missed that, and I think that sucks.
Anyway, that was my one critique of the story. Otherwise I love the damn thing and I'm sad that it's over.
I will definitely read these again (Which is not something I do often).