Liminality is the second book in the Kingdom of Night series and is a direct continuation of the previous book, Pendulum. Reading this review will give away major plot points that were revealed in that first book. Please take that into consideration if you have not read that book and are interested in this series.
Remus Black was just looking forward to settling in at his new college and then he learns that he’s not even human. In fact, the mother he never knew is an unhinged vampire and his father is none other than Ulric, the alpha werewolf. This make Remus the hybrid foretold in legends. This also makes Remus the prime target for the Family, a group of undead hunters, and even if they can’t kill Remus yet, they will go after everyone he loves.
After learning that Remus was part vampire, his mate, Sebastian, turned on him, and Sebastian’s brother, Victor, was right there to take over. Since Remus had to shut down his werewolf side in order to save Victor’s life, he lost the emotional tie to his humanity. Remus is good with that as having little emotion after everything he had to do works just fine for him. But even though he loves Victor, lately he’s thinking of Sebastian once again. Since Remus himself is made up of two halves, it would only make sense for him to have two mates, one for his vampire self and one for his wolf self.
Caught between a battle foretold in legends, Remus finds himself at the epicenter of a raging storm. He also finds himself bound to and caught between two brothers who each hold a piece of his heart as well as his soul.
In its most basic form, this series can be narrowed down to the story of who Remus will choose as his mate, Sebastian or Victor. However, in order for Remus to decide that, there is a long, epic journey for him to cross through first. I’m fairly captivated by Remus and his story. While the book involves vampires, werewolves, hunters, and a long told legend, it is predominantly a character-driven story and the politics and legends never overwhelm the book. There is little physical movement to the book as Remus is sequestered in the Lodge, but his own personal journey moves forward.
To further narrow down this book, Remus must marry the next alpha of the pack. While that tradition cannot be changed, Remus is given a say in who that next alpha will be. It will be either Sebastian or Victor and Remus must figure out which of the two is his true mate. Only the hybrid can stop the hunters and Remus cannot fully become the hybrid until he marries his mate. But Remus has a vampire half and a werewolf half and being marked by two potential mates doesn’t make this decision any easier.
For as much as is going on in this book, it’s not complicated to follow as the author gives out information in a natural manner that flows well. Remus is the true focal point of the book and the story is told solely through his POV. We only see what Remus sees and only hear what Remus hears and the pack keeps him fairly sheltered. While Remus does ask for more boundaries to be placed on him in some instances, I’m still waiting for him to truly come into his own. It also became infuriating on his behalf how much is kept from him. Remus is kept on lock down as he adjusts to his paranormal status and I would have liked to have seen someone helping him to adjust rather than the closely guarded status he is given. Sebastian and Victor play huge roles here as well and we are left to figure out their motives only through Remus. More from them would have pulled their actions into the larger picture of the story for me. There are so many things going on behind the scenes that Remus doesn’t see so we don’t get to see them either until a new plot point would be sprung upon us seemingly coming out of no where.
The BDSM aspects in this book are still muddled for me. On top of everything else going on, there are scenes of Remus and Victor in sessions in the dungeon. It’s stated these are to help Remus overcome his past trauma, but it’s the one area of this series that is not explained or handled properly from my viewpoint. It once again just feels added in, and this entire area could be taken out for me and it would still be a fascinating story. There were significant editing issues in the first book and while things are better here, a professional polishing still would only serve to have this book shine in the best of light.
While, I had a few issues with this book, there was more, much more, in this book that did work for me. It’s hard to rate as it’s not finished and it’s really one long saga broken down into parts. There were some unique moments here, which was refreshing to see and lots of small touches to make for a compelling story. This book offers so much story with two potential mates for Remus that put brother against brother, with rituals, legends, hunters, and let’s not forget about the moon. Now if you’ll excuse me as I start the third book to watch the conclusion all play out.