Selena | Beauty's Library
Almost Mortal + Almost Damned Review
Almost Mortal and Almost Damned make a great duology especially for those with an interest in law.
So this review might be a bit different than my usual reviews! I felt that it would be best to post these two reviews together, especially since I read them back to back. Enjoy!
I received a free copy of both Almost Mortal and Almost Damned in return for an honest review. Thank you so much for this opportunity!
Almost Mortal and Almost Damned make a great duology especially for those with an interest in law. These two legal thrillers follow a complex storyline that has a touch of supernatural. Creating a truly unique read.
In terms of context, I personally enjoyed the first book, Almost Mortal the most. I found this first book to be a little more captivating than its successor Almost Damned. The sequel I found to be more character-driven than the first which was definitely more plot-driven. There’s nothing wrong with this, it just made it harder for me to enjoy the sequel as much as the first.
Initially, I started with book two, Almost Damned as I received a request to read and review that one specifically. It was described to me as the sequel to Almost Mortal but that I could read and enjoy Almost Damned without having read Almost Mortal. So I started with Almost Damned. However, about 50 pages in, I struggled with understanding what was going on. I didn’t know who our characters were or the significance of some of the issues, events, and interactions I was reading, so I stopped where I was in Almost Damned and went back to Almost Mortal.
I’m glad I did, the parts I had read of Almost Damned already starting making so much more sense just from the little bit I had read in the beginning of Almost Mortal. Though I’ll admit, having started with Almost Damned, the ending of Almost Mortal was ruined in a way. Especially as the prologue of Almost Damned is directly linked to the ending of Almost Mortal.
Now I’m not complaining, that was more of my own fault for wanting to start and see if I could in fact enjoy the sequel without having read the first book. I thought the sequel would have been like an Agatha Christie book where it uses the same characters just different cases. Nope, you need to read these in order, I think the fact that I stopped barely through the sequel shows that. Starting with the sequel you lose all the background details of the characters especially our main character. Just within those first 50 pages that I read of Almost Damned, I felt like I was missing key details. Usually, with series, there are some details shared to either refresh your memory if you’re read the other books or if you’re new to give you a better understanding. With Almost Damned, this didn’t occur or if it did it wasn’t apparent that the information you were being given was relevant unless you had read the previous book.
Together these two books make a great read. Both books being just over 200 pages are fairly quick reads. That being said if you don’t have some knowledge or interest in law or legal cases, this might not be the books for you. There are also some strong religious themes, more so in the sequel. But if these things interest you, I highly recommend checking these out!
Keep reading for my review of each book individually!
Almost Mortal ~ Book One Rating: 4/5
Emerging criminal defense attorney Sam Young has always known he had a gift. Or a curse. He thinks of them as minor psychic abilities. When Sam is hired by an attractive young nun named Camille Paradisi, he agrees to help discover the identity of a serial killer in order to prevent Camille’s pastor from being exposed for not reporting the man after a confession – thereby allowing another murder to occur. While Sam’s psychic abilities increase as he investigates the case and gets closer to Camille, he realizes that the enigmatic nun is not revealing the complete truth.
Camille shares an old journal anonymously mailed to the church, which she believes may have been authored by the killer/confessor. The journal, which begins in Argentina in the 1940’s, purports to tell the life story of a man with mind control and other special powers who claims to be a descendant of the fallen angels cast out of heaven by God. As Sam learns more about the murders, the journal author, and Camille, he begins to realize the so called “Rosslyn Ripper” case may have ancient implications beyond his imagination.
Almost Mortal is a speedy legal thriller that follows Public Defense Attorney, Sam Young who manages to never lose. He always gets the outcome he wants. One day, he’s approached by a nun who wants his help to discover the identity of the city’s current serial killer as well as sharing a journal that she believes is connected to the serial killer.
Just knowing that small basic information this book seems like a standard legal thriller. But this book has won an award in the genre, Paranormal. Okay, now I’m even more intrigued. I love books with paranormal shit.
We see Sam has this uncanny ability to know what others are thinking or feeling. This allows him to tell if someone is not being entirely truthful. And this journal the nun shares with him dates back all the way to the 1940s describing similar mind abilities that Sam experiences. This journal was honestly my favorite parts of the book. Most of my theories came from these sections and the details I learned within each of the entries. In the end, I was right in theory.
This flows really well as we follow Sam throughout. There was never a dull moment, something was always happening and every case Sam touched on managed to link itself to the ending in some way or another. It was interesting seeing all those tiny details play out in the end.
Almost Damned ~ Book Two Rating: 3/5
Defense attorney Samson Young has an uncanny ability to get even the so-called worst clients off the hook, as he ably demonstrated in Almost Mortal. In Almost Damned, little does Sam know that his most challenging cases are all leading up to one monumental trial, in which he will lay before the Court the visceral complexities of good vs. evil.
As Sam navigates his cases in Bennet County, it becomes increasingly apparent that his clients-old and new-are surprisingly interconnected, especially when old clients rise from the dead. Literally. He and his office are besieged by death threats and mysterious invitations, each one a clue that compels him to dig deeper into his own past. With each new discovery, Sam leads himself and his team deeper into a nether world in an attempt to bring redemption to his toughest clients of all-the descendants of the biblical Fallen Angels who have been walking the earth as humans for centuries, unable to find peace.
I didn’t enjoy this as much as its predecessor, Almost Mortal. It didn’t read as well as Almost Mortal. This sequel continues the same storyline that we saw with Almost Mortal, just four years later.
There is a much stronger religious aspect than before as we follow Sam trying to find out why his Aunt and mother were able to come back to life after death. I really enjoyed getting to learn this aspect of why Camille and Marcella were able to exist as their DNA simply states they shouldn’t.
That being said contrast to Almost Mortal, Almost Damned felt to be more character-driven than plot-driven. Almost Mortal to me felt to have a more distinct plot with the idea of identifying a killer. This one didn’t feel to be going anywhere for the majority of the book as Sam tries to understand this bizarre DNA phenomenon.
In this sequel at first, it feels like the focus is the journal we were first introduced to in the previous book. But it’s not clear as to what Sam is specifically looking for. This sequel shows even less of Sam’s thoughts on things than the first book. It felt like I was constantly having to guess to what was going on or why Sam needed a certain piece of information. It made this already confusing plot even harder to follow.