“I am one of the few things that cannot be stopped, Lazarus. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing you try.”
They came to earth–Pestilence, War, Famine, Death–four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.
He’s known by many names: Thanatos. Horseman. God’s last angel. And then, of course, there’s the one I’m all too familiar with—
The day Death comes to Lazarus Gaumond’s town and kills everyone in one fell swoop, the last thing he expects to see is a woman left alive and standing. But Lazarus has her own extraordinary gift: she cannot be killed—not by humans, not by the elements, not by Death himself.
She is the one soul Death doesn’t recognize. The one soul he cannot pry free from her flesh. Nor can he ignore the unsettling desire he has for her. Take her. He wants to, desperately. And the longer she tries to stop him from his killing spree, the stronger the desire becomes.
When Lazarus crosses paths with the three other horsemen, an unthinkable situation leads to a terrible deal: seduce Death, save the world. A hopeless task, made all the worse by the bad blood between her and Thanatos. But Death’s attraction to her is undeniable, and try though she might, Lazarus cannot stay away from that ancient, beautiful being and his dark embrace.
The end is here. Humankind is set to perish, and not even the horsemen can stop Death from fulfilling his final task.
Only Lazarus can.
Trigger Warnings: Violence/ Near-death Experiences/ Sex scenes
Spoilers: Please note that my review will contain spoilers!
And after Pestilence, War and Famine, came the most feared horsemen, the one with the final say in the surviving or extinction of humankind: Thanatos aka Death.
For Lazarus is just another normal day. She’s at the market, discussing the stupidly high price of an apple. A dollar fifty for one single apple? It’s beyond reason! But she really needs them for her niece’s birthday party. It is when everyone starts dropping dead next to her that she realizes: it’s happening again. Death’s coming.
When Death sees her standing in the middle of the road, he’s surprised she’s still breathing and fights the urge he feels towards her. He wants to take her but he doesn’t want to make the same mistake his brothers made. He has a purpose and he intends to keep it. So he snaps her neck. But the thing is, she cannot be killed.
When she realizes her town is in Death’s path she rushes forward, trying to reach her family before he passes. The problem is: she can’t. When she arrives home, everyone is dead. Her mother is in the garden and she’s the one Lazarus mourns more. She’s not actually her mother but she found Lazarus when she was a baby, alone and hungry, the sole survivor of the disease Pestilence spread all those years ago.
She promises herself one thing. She will stop Death. Even if she can’t do that, she will delay him long enough in order to warn the cities of his arrival. Then it starts a sort of game of cat and mouse, where Lazarus keeps ambushing Thanatos. She even tries to make him captive in some barn but she fails taking into account one very important detail: she needs to eat and sleep. When she falls asleep, is awaken by the brush of Thanatos fingers in her face. Then he snaps her neck. Again.
In one of those pursuits, while she’s sitting in his chest, binding his wrists above his head while he’s very focused on her breasts near his face, Thanatos tells her he wants her and if she’s not tired of this game. She could go with him, forget all of this and let herself surrender to her desires. For he knows for certain she wants him too.
Lazarus is indeed tired, exhausted even, of doing the same thing over and over again. Trying to delay him while warning towns. Tired of those towns never believing her at first.
“Aren’t you tired of the fighting, the struggle, the pain?” God, but I am. For every town I save, there are at least five others I can’t. “Of course I’m tired.” Tired to my bones. It doesn’t change anything. Death’s gaze gentles and he says softly, “Then come with me.”
Thanatos, who eventually takes her, doesn’t know a thing about how to care for a human. But he really tries to take care of Lazarus and even stops the massacre for a bit, too focused on her to remember his real duty on earth. And that’s when the other three horsemen arrive, asking Lazarus for help. They want to stop Thanatos because they have something very important to lose: their families.
After Lazarus finds a very important person for her, one she wants to protect with her life, she makes a deal with the horsemen: they care for that person while she attempts to seduce Thanatos. It’s the brothers’ belief that the only thing that can stop Thanatos is the same thing that stopped them: love.
Now she’s playing a different game with Thanatos, but this time she’s afraid she doesn’t really stand a chance. While seducing Death, she finds herself also being seduced by him.
“Tell me I am mad.” “You are mad,” I say. Something flickers in his eyes. Disappointment? “But then,” I add, “so am I.” With that, I pull him to me.
I loved this book, the plot is very similar to the previous ones but I was eager to read about Death and it didn’t disappoint me. I loved reading about Thanatos struggle between his orders and his love for Lazarus. Also, seeing all the brothers together was really good and funny. Love Famine’s banter with everyone else. After Thanatos, he’s my favourite horseman.
– Lazarus falling on Lazarus instead of his horse
– Lazarus trying to keep Thanatos captive but forgetting she eventually has to sleep
– Thanatos getting distracted by Lazarus’s breasts while she’s bidding his wrists above his head
– Lazarus meeting Thanatos brothers
– Famine fighting Thanatos
– Lazarus begging Thanatos not to take Ben
– Lazarus and Thanatos first sex scene
– Thanatos choosing to fulfill his duty anyway
– The battle between Death, the three horsemen and Lazarus
– The ending
Did this happen to my brothers? Were their struggles this … visceral? It’s fucking awful. I steel my spine. Humans are the impulsive ones. Not horsemen. Certainly not me, Death.
She can withstand death, which means … She’s creation. Life.
“Foolish woman,” he hisses. “You should’ve slit my throat before I woke.”
“Oh, I have many names.” His gaze returns to my lips, and a muscle in his jaw flexes. “And what are they?” “Anubis. Yama. Xoltol. Vanth. Charon. Mors. Mara. Azrael—and many, many others.” His eyes flick to mine. “But for you, Thanatos.”
“I see why you have been put in my path,” Death says softly, ignoring my words. “We are alike in one fundamental way.”
“What does that word mean? Kismet?” He’s called me that several times before. There’s a long pause. “I assumed you would know,” he finally says. “It is a human word after all.” He adds, “It means fate.”
“I was so intrigued at the thought of being your captive, Laz, I almost stayed put,” Death whispers against my ear. “But I have work to do.” I stiffen at the sound of his voice, panic flooding my veins. He’s broken free. “Maybe next time,” he adds, “you can be my captive.” “Thanat—” Just as I’m turning to face him, my hand reaching for my weapon, Death’s hands find either side of my face. He twists my neck violently and— Snap.
“I think we’ve already discovered that I make a poor captive,” he says carefully.
“Return to me, kismet. Let me heal those wounds and soothe that ache.”
“What was that?” he asks. “My stomach—don’t think you can just change the subject—” “Why in all the heavens would your stomach make that God-fearing sound?” Right. I almost forgot that he doesn’t know anything about humans. “That’s what stomachs do when you’re hungry,”
Reaper’.” “Can’t any of you horseman have nice, normal names?” Like Frank or Louis? I don’t think I’d be scared of a Louis. Famine smirks again. “I can already tell you and Pestilence are going to get along real well.”
“This is called payback, tootsie.” Famine says softly into my ear. “You wouldn’t understand.” I open my mouth to respond when the Reaper’s lethal scythe comes up to my neck. “I wouldn’t move if I were you,” he says softly.
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