Publisher: Egmont USA
Release date: September 27, 2011
Summary: Sasha’s dad has recently been murdered while working as an Insurance Agent in Russia, and she’s determined to find out what really happened. She’s tried everything, and her last chance for information is the mysterious Eryx, who claims to be able to grant any wish—but the wisher has to renounce God. Turns out, Eryx is actually an evil immortal being trying to take Hell away from Lucifer—and Sasha, an Anabo, is his biggest threat. Jax, another immortal working against Eryx, is determined to have Sasha fighting by his side.
My thoughts: Conceptually, The Mephisto Covenant is fantastic. Trinity Faegen builds on traditional biblical stories to create mythology that’s both unique and genuinely interesting. It doesn’t go so far that it would offend Christians (The Mephisto Covenant stays grounded in Christian belief and values), but it does toe the line, which I love to see in literature. The execution of this premise, unfortunately, wasn’t quite as smooth as it could be. The beginning of the novel is a bit confusing, and it takes a while to fully grasp the technicalities of the Anabo and the Mephisto. Still, about halfway through the book, things start to make a bit more sense.
The one thing that bothered me about The Mephisto Covenant was the romance. Trinity Faegen tries her hardest to make Jax and Sasha’s attraction justifiable, but when you get down to it, it’s instantaneous love, which feels somewhat inauthentic despite explanations. Add in a hundred or so pages of “I love you, but I can’t have you—wait—maybe I don’t love you” tug-of-war, and I was becoming tired of the pair’s indecisiveness. When Jax and Sasha actually come together, though, their chemistry is insane! They really sizzle—both when they’re making out and when they’re bantering.
Individually, Jax and Sasha are great characters, but they’re a bit difficult to connect with. Sasha is innocent and pure without being a prude, and Jax is a tortured, hot son of Hell. The characters that stand out the most, I think, are the ones that aren’t in the spotlight. From the grieving but snarky Phoenix to Sasha’s sweet brother Chris, The Mephisto Covenant is filled with complex side characters. And even though we don’t really meet him, Mephistopheles himself really comes to life through the lore that Trinity Faegen presents.
The Mephisto Covenant has quite a bit of potential to be popular—it has creative mythology, passionate romance, and a compulsively readable storyline. Readers not jaded by the YA paranormal romance genre will especially enjoy The Mephisto Covenant because they won’t be as used to the common elements Trinity Faegen incorporates in her story. I personally wasn’t completely captivated by The Mephisto Covenant, but I was impressed with the unique mythology.