Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Original Sin by Allison Brennan

Haunted by chilling memories of demonic possession and murder, Moira O’Donnell has spent seven years hunting down her mother, Fiona, whose command of black magic has granted her unprecedented control of the underworld. Now Moira’s global search has led her to a small California town that’s about to become hell on earth.

Tormented by his own terrifying past and driven by powers he can’t explain, Rage Cooper joins Moira’s dangerous quest. But Fiona is one devilish step ahead. Hungry for greater power, eternal youth, and stunning beauty, the sorceress is unleashing upon the mortal world the living incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Together with a demonologist, a tough female sheriff, and a true-crime writer chasing the ultimate story, Moira and Rafe are humanity’s last best chance to snatch salvation from the howling jaws of damnation.


I’m not sure where to start on this review. I had a very difficult time getting through this one. My disclaimer up front, as anyone who reads this blog already knows, is that I’m not a big fan of the paranormal or supernatural. But I was approached to review a copy of this book, and being a huge Allison Brennan fan, I was hopeful that I would enjoy it like I’ve enjoyed paranormals from some of my other favorite authors. I don’t think that was the case here.

I expected a paranormal, but I also was waiting for Allison Brennan’s voice to shine through. I think there was so much worldbuilding to do and so much backstory to fill that I didn’t get that voice until about 2/3 of the way through the book. Having said that, I can objectively say that this book was well-written, well constructed, and I imagine that fans of the supernatural, witches, demons, etc will eat this one up. Had the subject matter interested me, I can believe that I would have been riveted.

Moira is an excellent heroine – tough yet vulnerable, strong but with past hurts that haunt her. She knows who she is, and accepts her past wrongdoings. Given the back blurb, I expected to see a lot more of Rafe. But there didn’t seem to be a lot of facetime for him. What I did see showed me a sensitive soul, but a man willing and able to stand up for and protect what he believes in and those he loves. I felt as though there was more relationship building between Moira and Anthony, the hero of the 2nd couple, and brother to the man that Moira loved and tragically lost than between Moira and Rafe, but that was likely due to the lack of facetime for Rafe and Moira and Anthony coming to terms with their past.

The plethora of religious undertones in this novel lessened my enjoyment of it; I found myself skimming over portions in order to avoid lengthy explanations. But I think that’s my own personal prejudice. The subject matter of this book (see blurb) combined with the necessity for extended religious & explanatory scenes (and yes they were a necessity) made this one of my least favorite books I’ve read. And how it pains me to say that, because I likely won’t be reading the rest of the series – at least not as it comes out. On the objective note, I gave it a 3 on Goodreads because of how well done it is. I applaud Brennan for writing something totally creative and different, and doing it well, while at the same time I want to hate her because I didn’t care for book 1 of a long series. Of course I don’t hate her; it’s my selfish desire for books written in the Allison Brennan format that I love so much.

I should reiterate that I can objectively say that it is incredibly well written, well thought out, intense, and gripping. Fans of this type of book should buy it and savor it, because I believe it is an excellent book for fans of the genre. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, unfortunately. Which sucks for me because it means no more Allison Brennan for me for a while. This is book 1 of a 7-book series. Find out more about the series on Allison Brennan’s web site.

Allison Brennan contacted me to let me know I won't have to wait until this series is done for more of her awesomeness in straight RS. Here's what she said: "I wanted to make sure that you knew that I wasn't writing all seven books in the paranormal series in a row. Two come out this year, then it will likely be one a year or every 9 months after that. I'm going to also be writing a series based on Lucy Kincaid and her brother, Patrick, from the No Evil series. The first one comes out this November, with the second one tentatively slotted for spring 2011."

Patrick's story! Woo-freakin'-hoo!!!


  1. I applaud you for writing such an objective review even though this one didn't work for you. It's good to know you still have books to look forward to with this author in her other series, though.

  2. Thanks, Christine. It was hard, because I really love her books, and had this been about anything else, I would have been totally engaged. Great heroine, and the writing was great as well; it was just the topic that didn't do it for me.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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