5* Review: Fury’s Choice – Brey Willows

Book 2 in the Afterlife Inc. series

Oh, urban fantasy, the sweet, sweet, spot that is this genre. A genre might i add, that author Brey Willows excels at. Fury’s Choice is book 2 in the Afterlife Inc, trilogy and it’s fair to say Willows doesn’t skip a beat – producing a universe that is as captivatingly ‘normal’ as it is resoundingly other worldly.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again just for good measure, I so wish we could open our front doors and see Zeus strolling down the street. Maybe not so keen on the equal potential of Dis, the harbinger of Chaos, rocking up at my door but that’s beside the point…!

Anyhow I digress (slightly), Fury’s Choice picks up with Willows’ sublime prose where book one (Fury’s Bridge) left off. And whilst Alec and Selene still make frequent appearances throughout, book two moves focus to another of the Fury sisters – Tisera Graves, and the super rich philanthropist, and owner of non-profit GRADE, Kera Espinosa.

Tisera (Tis), is the white Fury known for avenging murder and over the many centuries she’s been in existence she’s seen more than her fair share of the rotten side of humanity, so much so that she’s burnt out, lonely, and pondering whether ‘retiring’ might be what she truly needs. Unfortunately, the emergence of religious deities into the human world does little to carve out any time for Tis to actually consider what she needs and wants. As the Fury most feared and respected by said deities, Tis finds herself in the unenviable position of trying to forge a way forward for them all. After all, the sudden emergence of one’s God into everyday life, is sure to throw more than one spanner into the mundane workings of the world.

Meanwhile, Kera Espinosa hides a past trauma which few know about, not even her father. In the present day she throws herself into doing good around the world through her non-profit organisation, GRADE. With plenty of money to burn and a penchant for hot women, Kera isn’t looking for a relationship never mind love; her focus lies squarely on seeking revenge on those who hurt her and laying to rest her Haitian priestess mother, in her mother’s year and a day ceremony.

However you don’t always get what you want, and as Kera was born with the ‘sight’ she often sees Tis from a distance at the humanitarian sites where GRADE is operating on the ground – and so whilst one tries to enact good, the other punishes the bad. Despite their differences, Kera knows a sensual woman when she sees one and a chance encounter in France proves to be the beginning of something more.

But in spite of their sexual compatibility, as Kera grows increasingly frustrated with the Gods the growing tension between Kera and Tis is enough to spark a bonfire; simmering, conflicting emotions give rise to waves of anger and unhappiness, fanned by Kera’s struggle to disassociate Tis from her own cynical feelings about religion and deities. Hardly the solid foundation for a love that could span the ages! But then this isn’t a pure romance story and no-one ever said love was easy; it would seem Tis and Kera’s fledgling relationship is destined to be fraught with obstacles. Still, opposites do attract and perhaps Tis and Kera are exactly where they are meant to be to restore harmony between humans and deities?

A task which won’t be trouble-free and now that the Gods are out in the world amongst their followers and believers, Willows explores what this means in ‘real terms’. How does an atheist cope when presented with the very thing, they believed didn’t exist? How does a believer come to terms with not having their prayers answered? And how do the gods react to their believers revolting against the very beings they whole-heartedly believed in not minutes before?

As the Furies do their best to maintain order, an ancient being is unknowingly rising to prominence, called forth by the turmoil in the minds of the humans that can’t comprehend what is happening, and those who no longer know what to think or believe in, Dis the personification of chaos sweeps in to claim her place at the table.

Fury’s Choice is the natural sequel to Fury’s Bridge, Willows continues to wow readers with her original and unique stories, whilst truly bringing to life, an array of characters which for the most part are mythological entities with no physical manifestation to draw upon. Despite this, every deity that is portrayed matches in a somewhat light-hearted and humorous manner, the exact personality and behaviours that you’d expect them to have based upon religious/historic texts.

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