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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
In Ellen C. Maze's The Judging, Mark was doing the work of God. Those who committed atrocities were brought to his attention and judged, and given a chance of redemption before he sent them to the afterlife. This was what he had told himself for centuries. He was not a vampire, despite some similarities to these monsters, and he could live with what he did in service of his Lord. It wasn't until Hope entered his life that he began to doubt his purpose, question where the messages about who was to be judged came from. She, the one who had been promised to him, sent his world into a spin, tearing apart his control and everything he thought he knew. As his distant past once more comes into focus, he is faced with a horrifying truth and forced to question if a monster like himself could ever be accepted into the heart of the god he had once so devoutly served.
Ellen C. Maze's The Judging is the first book in The Corescu Chronicles paranormal series. Having read another one of her books, Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider, I loved reading this book in an alternative series. This Christian-themed story possesses a small cast of strong characters who know precisely what they want, even if it sometimes goes against their better judgment. It was so easy to lose myself in the atmosphere of this work, from the settings to the plot and the carefully structured and developed scenes that will leave you both wondering and dreading what could unfold next. Manipulation, deception, and intrigue fill the pages as you read a tale which is both hopeful and despairing, while never quite knowing how the cards will fall. I particularly liked the alteration in Mark's and Paul's characters as the story advanced, both changing in unexpected ways as they seek answers from alternative sources. I enjoyed this contrast and how, ultimately, this was a tale of hope, forgiveness, and perseverance.