This book was good. I had it sitting on my shelf for the longest time, always planning to read it and always pushing it back. So while doing a reading challenge on Goodreads, I decided to read this book.
From the synopsis of the book, its hard to tell what exactly the book is about because its very vague. you can tell that it has paranormal aspects to it and that these paranormal aspects cause the twin sisters to become enemies. The prophecy is what the whole book is about. Basically the prophecy is that since the beginning of time there have been as set of twin sisters who have roles to play with the fallen angels that God cast out of Heaven. One sister is the gate which allows the fallen angels (called lost souls in this book) to cross from the otherworld to our world where they wait in an army for their leader Samael, or Satan. The other sister is the guardian who guards over the other sister and who tries to keep the lost souls in the otherworld. The prophecy tells that there will be a set of sisters who will be able to finally end the prophecy and shut the gate forever or who will bring Samael from the otherworld and usher in his reign beginning with the seven plagues. The sister who is the gate will also become the Angel who can either allow Samael to come to our world through her or who will close it off from him forever. Lia and Alice are these sisters.
The story is told in Lia's POV and is set in the late 1890's.
I really like Lia. She is sweet and just in everything that she does. She loves her sister Alice even when Alice does evil things. Lia and Alice have never been particularly close even before Lia heard of the prophecy. Lia loves books and loves to read. She takes care of her little brother, ten year old Henry, who is adorable. Lia's parents are dead, the book opening with her father's funeral. Their Aunt Virginia, Lia's mother's twin sister now became their guardian. Lia has a secret relationship with James the local bookkeeper's son. They both love each other and its clear they want to marry each other. Lia is the quiet twin, who is most at home in her manor with a book and with Henry. Lia takes all the information about the prophecy in stride and while she does break down a few times, she does not run away from her destiny and she remains steadfast in her decision not to allow Samael back into the world. Lia is very brave when facing Samael in the otherworld and with the hard decisions she has to make. She puts her destiny above everything else and realizes that while this whole problem with the prophecy continues, she cannot be with James without putting him in danger. She makes a hard sacrifice when it comes to him although with a promise of her return to him. I liked their love story because it was subtle and it was not the main focus of the story.
Alice is the twin that is more outgoing and likes to be out of the house. She loves going to the school where she and Lia take classes twice a week. Alice already has her powers of the prophecy and knows how to use it. Clearly she is on the side of allowing Samael to come to the world. She knows how to master the powers of the otherworld and is is basically evil. She tries to convince Lia to go on her side but when she can't she tries to kill Lia. Alice is ruthless and will do whatever it takes to see that her side of the prophecy wins. I really don't like her. What she does to Henry is terrible and I wanted to kill her. I wished Lia would have killed her but Lia is not wired that way. She is too good and she is also afraid of Alice.
There are two other characters, Lusia and Sonia who are part of the prophecy and are Lia's friends. They are funny and help Lia to have fun. I like them both alot.
I enjoyed the aspect of the otherworld. The otherworld is like purgatory. There are 8 planes in this world that spirits/souls can travel. The lost souls are not the only souls who can travel the plane. Anyone who has died can stay in the plane and the certain living people can travel in it by astral projection. The spirits/souls who are in the otherworld can be souls that have not moved on yet because they want to help their living relatives with something or because they cannot move on yet. 7 of the 8 Planes of the otherworld can be travelled on. The last plane is a place where only the souls who have crossed over can go. Once souls cross over they cannot be contacted again. One of the other planes is called the void where souls are kept for all eternity. The void is like limbo, the souls there can never escape it. The lost souls are the ones who put other souls there and they want to put Lia's soul there so Samael can have access to her body. That's why the otherworld is so dangerous for Lia. Still, I liked reading about the times she went there, how its described and what she encountered there.
All in all I enjoyed the book and I will continue the trilogy, which those books have been sitting on my shelf for the longest time too. :D
This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews