by J.L. Bryan
Published on October 2012
Copy received from author in exchange for honest review
Jenny has survived in seclusion for the past year, but her peace is about to be shattered by two new paranormals, each of them with unknown intentions, both of them searching for Jenny and Seth.
The nightmares of Jenny’s most recent past life in the 1930’s erupt into the present, and she will face enemies old and new. Jenny is more vulnerable than ever, because she can’t use her pox without risking the small life now growing inside her.
Jenny’s entire life has led up to the challenge she must now face, one that will endanger her life, her unborn child, and her own soul.
I’ve really loved the Paranormals series from the first book, Jenny Pox, and my love grew with the characters through Tommy Nightmare. When Alexander Death came out, it was bittersweet because this was the last book in the series, but the author ended the trilogy on such a high note. When J.L. Bryan announced that there would be a fourth installment following these characters, I was so excited to get to be immersed in their universe again. (My reviews of Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare, and Alexander Death)
This installment of the Paranormals series picks up a year after the events of Alexander Death. Jenny and Seth have settled into a life of leisure in Paris. Jenny has a little studio in their apartment where she continues to work on her pottery, and Seth heals people discretely around the city, playing video games in his spare time. They are using aliases and hiding from the United States government, who should believe that Jenny and Seth died in the fire that leveled Seth’s family mansion back in South Carolina. But their happy, anonymous life is jeopardized when two new to us, unknown paranormals surface, threatening to break Jenny and Seth up in unspeakable ways.
Jenny’s biggest defense to protect them from this new threat is taken away from her because she’s pregnant, and she has the memories of hundreds of pregnancies from her past lives that ended in tragedy where she’d used her pox, unknowingly causing the babies harm.
The first new paranormal we meet is Ward, who’s the head of a secret government agency that looks for people with strange powers. Of course the events of that fateful Easter in Fallen Oak where two hundred people died mysteriously have come into his sights, and he’s determined to hunt down the people responsible. He has a very potent power that is delivered by touch, but I don’t want to spoil it. Even without his power, Ward is a brutal and intimidating figure who doesn’t play by any rules. As he makes his way through everyone that had ties to the Fallen Oak case and Jenny or Seth, he leaves a bloody mess in his wake, taking some prisoners too.
Mirialla shows up at the door of Jenny and Seth’s apartment out of the blue one day, asking for the boy who lives there. Jenny is immediately suspicious since Mirialla doesn’t know Seth’s name but knows that he will live there sometime soon. She bundles up just like Jenny does and wears gloves–leaving little skin exposed to avoid human contact. This piques Jenny’s interest enough that she starts spying on Mirialla, but all she finds is a spoiled, rich student. This paranormal’s power is the opposite of Ward’s, but she doesn’t use intimidation like he does.
I really don’t want to spoil too much of the plot of this book, but history definitely repeats itself. All of the paranormals find themselves together again. Will the outcome be different this time or are they doomed to the same fate again in this lifetime? I can tell you. however, that the battle is bloody with many casualties, and I certainly enjoyed these parts of the books. J.L, Bryan has mastered describing scenes where bullets are flying, Jenny’s plague is airborn, and bodies are melting. It’s definitely not for the squeamish, and I practically squealed in delight as I devoured these scenes. They were pure horror and gore perfection.
Jenny has a big advantage over all of the paranormals that are still alive in the present day—Seth(healing), Tommy(fear), Esmerelda(speak to the dead), Mirialla, and Ward: she has complete memories of most of her past lives. But when Alexander helped Jenny remember these past lives, he purposefully guided her away from the last life they lived together in the 1930s—the one where Jenny chose to be with Seth instead of Alexander. This life was such an important one in their souls’ evolution, and luckily the addition of Marialla to their lives sparks the recall of the memories within Jenny.
Jenny Plague-Bringer, at its core, is a book about history repeating itself. How many times do you repeat the same mistakes before you learn from them, grow from them, and rise above them to become a better, more evolved soul? Do you become a victim of circumstance, or do you forge your own way toward the destiny that you know is right?
Told alternately with flashbacks to their previous lifetime that fills in the story nicely without repetition, Jenny Plague-Bringer is a solid follow up to a trilogy that ended strong but definitely left readers wanting more from the paranormals universe. J.L. Bryan expanded upon his original vision with even bigger questions from the original books, and he has written a more grown up and evolved set of characters. It’s rare to see such character growth and evolution over the course of a series such as this. I give this a five out of five. This is an excellent, evenly-paced, well-researched page turner.