Marked by Life and Death magic, Shame Flynn and Terric Conley are “breakers”—those who can use magic to its full extent. Most of the time, they can barely stand each other, but they know they have to work together to defeat a common enemy—rogue magic user Eli Collins. Backed by the government, Eli is trying to use magic as a weapon by carving spells into the flesh of innocents and turning them into brainless walking bombs. To stop him, Shame and Terric will need to call on their magic, even as it threatens to consume them—because the price they must pay to wield Life and Death could change the very fate of the world...and magic itself.
It seems impossible, but prior to diving into STONE COLD I had almost forgotten how much I love Shame. As I've said before in previous reviews, he's so broken and really has such a bleak outlook and yet he always tries so hard to not let the Death part of him take over. And when he slips up he's so devastated that my heart only breaks even more for him. It's because of that attachment that a lot of this book made me very angry. Being in Shame's head you see how damaged he is, and just how determined he is to use his abilities for good and not let the dark take over. BUT there's times where his control slips and he tries to get away from the people around them to keep from hurting them. But they never listen, and only make it so much more difficult for him, which led to a few bad, bad slipups, and yet these people wanted to cry foul and act like he was a monster. He warned them, and they didn't listen so they only have themselves to blame, and it really broke my heart to see the suffering and self-hatred he went through. That being said, never fear, there is a good bit of character growth and resolution in this book as it is the last one in the series, so it's not all doom and gloom completely. There's hope, and sometimes that's really all you need.
Speaking of growth and resolution, we saw a little bit of this in the last book, but the dynamic between Shame and Terric plays an even bigger role in this book and I couldn't have been happier. I had been dying to know how these two would resolve their issues and find a way to manage some sort of middle ground and I'm so glad I stayed along for the very long ride between both series to see it. That being said, this book was by far the bumpiest of rides between them, and yet somehow it brought them even closer and that much needed clairity seemed to finally be in reach.
While I'm sad to be saying goodbye to all of these much loved characters between the two series, I'm very happy with the way things ended up. Things aren't all happiness and roses, but I was definitely left feeling a sense of satisfaction and completion that felt true to the story. All I can say is trust me, if you are as big of a fan of Shamus and Terric as I am, this book is absolutely not to be missed. I can't wait to see what Ms. Monk cooks up next!