Everything Bennet has feared will come to pass… and so much more. And by the end of it, there may be nothing left to fight for.
And that’s all you’re getting by way of a book description, because to say anything else will give away too much of the plot. Day of Wrath is the last in the Taking Shield series and what a finale Anna Butler had given us. I started this series by accident, as some of you will remember. I took on the series from another reviewer, but actually thought I was grabbing a different series altogether. It remains one of the best mistakes I’ve ever made.
I can’t remember a book where I was so invested and taken on such an emotional roller coaster. Day of Wrath starts of quietly, softly, and with no inkling of what lurks in the pages beyond. Bennett’s year in Fleet is over and, with his promotion to Shield Major, he’ll be taking over command of three ships of his own. His last job on the Gyrfalcon is to assist in the escort of the new President on her tour of the colonies. It means one more month under his father’s command… and one last month with Flynn. In the last five years, they’ve only been given a handful of days when they could truly be together. And with Bennet returning to Shield, that seems unlikely to change. But there’s no doubt that for Flynn and Bennet, there’s not going to be anyone else. They’re it for one another and their devotion comes through stronger than ever here. They are uniquely devoted to preserving whatever they have and we finally see Bennet bend enough to embrace everything that Flynn is offering. These moments together, stolen and perfect, are the ones fans of the series have been waiting to read. They’re also the only moments of joy that Day of Wrath offers.
There is no happily after here. For anyone. The Maess, the complex and utterly alien enemy the human race has been fighting for more than a century, move from the shadows and into the horrifying light of day. And Anna Butler does such an excellent job of keeping us so singularly focused on the President and her tour that we never see the greater threat. And neither does the human race. I yelled at one point during this book — actually shouted out loud, as if somehow my warning could stop what was happening, as if I could save anyone at all. That’s how immersive and brutal Day of Wrath is. It’s the kind of shattering read that left me in tears and folks, I don’t cry easy.
To say Anna Butler has produced an amazing book is an understatement. Every thing works here from beginning to end. And it’s a fitting goodbye to a whole host of characters, but especially to Flynn and Bennet. Yet I want more. And I’m not above begging because I want to know what happens next. I want to know how, after the unfathomable horror of Day of Wrath, humanity could ever be made whole again. So I desperately hope Anna Butler decides to further this series. But if she doesn’t, then I’ll be happy with Taking Shield as it stands. It’s the kind of work that, as a reviewer, I have been privileged to read.