Micah’s life seems perpetually shadowed by a violent disaster at Black Sands, a now abandoned plant where hundreds were killed. His brother, Tom, was killed there as well, while supposedly trying to summon a demon, and even now Black Sands casts a pall over the town. After a strange run in with an old man, Micah finds himself bound to a demon called Roman.
Roman is tall, dark, and handsome, but he’s also extremely powerful and Micah has now become his ring bearer, a being used to gather Roman’s legions and fuel his power. It’s not a job Micah understands or wants, even despite Roman’s promises of protection. Because Roman is playing a dangerous game and it’s one Micah isn’t sure he can survive.
Roman basically felt like a train wreck to me. The book had an interesting enough premise, but the execution was poor and honestly it took far more effort than it was worth to finish it. I can normally read a book in a matter of hours, but Roman took weeks. It was slow, inelegantly written, and excessively confusing, and I was struggling from the very start.
Micah should be a sympathetic character, given that he’s dragged into a demonic pissing context against his will. But as a protagonist, he’s little more than a shrug. He doesn’t have a ton of depth and is more interested in how sexy Roman is than about a potential demon civil war. The relationship between Roman and Micah seems based solely on physical attraction and there’s no development of anything more meaningful, despite readers being told otherwise. I don’t know why they’re together or why Micah would be particularly interested in Roman given his forced servitude.
The writing in Roman is awkward and excessively verbose. It tends to ramble and the conversations taking place between characters are repetitive. The information we should have received as readers was tangled up in unnecessary conversations that never actually achieve a purpose. The entire book often feels like one long exposition on repeat. Honestly there’s so little happening in the overall plot that 3/4 of the text could have been edited out and readers wouldn’t have lost much. The plot just chases its own tail and the result is stagnant pacing.
While Roman had an intriguing premise, the book collapses under uneven writing, uninspired characters, and a lack of forward development. Roman is rather boring and gets so wrapped up in trying to be clever that it doesn’t actually achieve a real purpose. I’d have to recommend giving this one a pass.