Review: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Some spoilers ahead. Ye Be Warned Who Treade Here.

Genre: paranormal/supernatural, young-adult
Series: The Mephisto Covenant #1
Pages: 448 (Nook version, NetGalley ARC)
Published: September 2011'
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 2/5

I'm of two different minds about this novel. I'm typically not a huge fan of angels as a race/species/what-have-you in fiction, but they seem to be pretty inevitable, especially in the young-adult paranormal genre. I've even reviewed (and genuinely liked) Addison Moore's Nephilim-friendly Ethereal, but on the whole it's a niche I'd usually try to avoid. To me, it seems that there is a fine line between incorporating the celestial as an aspect of your novel for ingenuity and using it for subtle (or not so subtle) metaphor preaching at your audience. While Mephisto (for the most part) stays far away from that pet peeve of mine, it did hit upon a few others.

I personally, am not a fan of  Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. I try not to rant on about it as it's genuinely not horrible not the worst thing out there (Eragon, I AM LOOKING AT YOU) and it got a metric ton of people to read that normally would not (and it's been out forever soo been there, done that), but on the whole, I find Twilight bland, derivative and cringingly laughable. At times The Mephisto Covenant sadly reminded me strongly of the same vibe I get from Twilight. We've got a bland, perfect MarySue Alexandra "Sasha" Annenkova. She's described as "insanely beautiful" more than once, and much time is spent waxing philosophic on her many, varied attributes. Thankfully, Sasha grows and changes, but only with (and here is another problem of mine in 3, 2, 1. . .) her love interest's active participation. Seriously; she is incapable of self-improvement without Jax's direct involvement (seriously: his spit changes her chemical makeup. Or something). Sasha would have been the same, absolutely pure, boring girl with no thoughts of anger, jealousy, rage UNLESS Jax decides otherwise. Additionally, for Sasha to change her life, her emotions/thoughts/be with Jax, etc., she has to give up Anabo, which is essentially what made her special, made her rare, in the first place. These weird, creepy gender/power undertones skeeved me out for a majority of the novel.

Sasha is an Anabo, which in the mythology of Faegan means she is a descendant of the daughter of Eve Aurora, born before Eve bore Cain, Abel and fell from Paradise. As such, she is utterly pure (as I mentioned above slightly annoying) and radiantly, blondly beautiful and popular. Also in Faegan's creative mythology are the eponymous (I really like that word) Mephisto. This group of all brothers, including Sasha's star-crossed lover Ajax, are all the sons of the dark angel Mephistopheles, and work for Lucifer against another, older, dark Mephisto named Eryx. These Mephistos "[...] walked a thin line between the dark side they inherited from Mephistopheles and the purity of their mother's soul." Aka, angsty internal conflict ahoy! We've got the ultimate in forbidden love: a Son of Hell in love with a pure daughter of Eve. Adding to the Sons of Hells problems, their archenemy Eryx creates legions of lost souls, and leaders for the lost souls called Skia recruit more and more in their attempt to overthrow Lucifer and thus doom the free will God and Lucifer respect. Both sides want Sasha for their own reasons, and the constant, bitter war over Sasha's fate created a tense, brittle atmosphere and feel for the novel. The convoluted mythology of this novel is also a well thought-out, original framework and refreshingly free of pedantic preaching or a hidden agenda.

The pace of the novel does suffer quite often. The beginning chapters began practically in media res, with me scrambling to understand all the dramatic happenings and mysterious circumstances surrounding Sasha. While it is occasionally uneven or rushed, the beginning is intriguing enough (you had me at "KGB agent") to keep me reading the story. The abrupt and often clunky transitions between the POV's of Jax and Sasha often left me scrambling to distinguish storylines, people and events unique to each character's experience. That was disconcerting, along with the at times vague and unclear wording the author occasionally employs, typically during any violent scene. While Faegan's plotting and pacing may not be perfect, her descriptions do pop with vibrancy and humor. A lot of Jax's and Sasha's conversations feel genuine and loving, as opposed to a fake, forced intimacy.

I enjoyed this more than I predicted I would when I began reading. I was won over by the unique mythology and the chemistry between Jax and Sasha, despite all my other misgivings. Yes, the plot is reminiscent of Twilight (one parent home, falls in love with someone can't have, is utterly completely perfect and beautiful and completely special and rare) but it is far better than I had thought it could be. I can see the potential for sequels in this Mephisto Covenant series with Jax's mysterious cast of brothers, and I hope to read them. Though minus the unsettling undertones about needing a man to do things for a woman. All in all, a solid 3 out of 5.


  1. Great review! I admit that I'm a fan of the Twilight books (apart from that last one... ugh) so this book sounds pretty interesting. It'll probably annoy me that lead character is emphasised as being beautiful and popular, and improves herself because of a boy, but I'll probably enjoy it nonetheless. Think I'll give it a try! Thanks! :)

  2. it wasn't completely bad -- just needs some tweaking and fine-tuning. And I like plenty of baaad books [hides Picoult novels] but Meye just is not for me!
    And thanks for the link! Checking it out right now.

  3. Great review! Thanks. I am having a give away and would love for you to enter. Donna


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.