By M.R. Forbes

5 out of 5

My name is Landon Hamilton. Once upon a time I was a twenty-three year old security guard, trying to regain my life after spending a year in prison for stealing people's credit card numbers. 

Now, I'm dead.

Okay, I was supposed to be dead. I got killed after all; but a funny thing happened after I had turned the mortal coil...

I met Dante Alighieri - yeah, that Dante. He told me I was special, a diuscrucis. That's what they call a perfect balance of human, demon, and angel. Apparently, I'm the only one of my kind. 

I also learned that there was a war raging on Earth between Heaven and Hell, and that I was the only one who could save the human race from annihilation. Dante asked me to help, and I was naive enough to agree.

Sounds crazy, I know, but he wished me luck and sent me back to the mortal world. Oh yeah, he also gave me instructions on how to use my Divine 'magic' to bend the universe to my will. The problem is, a sexy vampire crushed them while I was crushing on her.

Now I have to somehow find my own way to stay alive in a world of angels, vampires, werewolves, demons and humans that all want to kill me before I can mess up their plans for humanity's future. If that isn't enough, I also have to find the queen of all demons and recover the Holy Grail.

It's not like it's the end of the world if I fail.

Wait. It is.

Landon is a pretty average guy. And this story starts with his death.
We follow him to Purgatory, and to the revelation of his destiny. To be a champion for humankind, and be able to wield all manner of magic and bend the world to his will. The downside - he's not fighting for good or evil; he's in fact fighting to make sure there is no outright winner, because if either side wins, humans will pay the price. Which means that both sides consider him the enemy, and he has no allies.

Landon is sent back to earth to restore the balance. The war is currently tipping in the demons' direction, and he needs to find a way to set them back.
This involves angels, vampires, weres and marines.

I downloaded this for free from Amazon a while ago, and eventually got round to reading it. I'll be honest, I wasn't overly drawn to it by the description, and I am always sceptical of high reviews, but thought I'd give it a go.
The first couple of chapters were ok, but I felt like I was reading the book accompaniment of 'The Matrix', which was only compounded by references to the film. I was worried that the rest of the book would continue to rely on established media. And do you know what, it did - but I am going to have to eat my words; because as it went on, the little references to The Matrix, Star Wars, Captain America (and any others I might have missed) were all really funny and made my geek side smile.
As soon as Landon is sent back to earth, he stumbles along from one incident to another, gradually learning what he is capable of and how to control it. He gathers an unlikely team to help him, as we learn more about his enemies.

Balance is a perfect mix of action, adventure, angels and demons. It is a thrilling ride as Landon tries to keep some sense of direction in the war he has been thrown into the middle of. There is magic, sword fights and gun battles, and they are all expertly written, never feeling clumpy or overdone.

So all in all, I turned from a sceptic to being absolutely blown away. It was so exciting that even my usual glass of wine was completely neglected as I was so wrapped-up in reading just one more chapter. I'm not sure how that translates into stars, but I'm going to give it a 5 without doubt.

I cannot wait to read the rest of the series and see how it all unfolds for Landon.

Goodreads link


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