‘Entice’ (Ignite #1.5) by Erica Crouch

*This review will contain spoilers!*

First things first, I need to say a huge thank you to Patchwork Press, for allowing me to review this book from NetGalley, and to NetGalley for the service that they provide.


‘I think I’ll be walking the line between Heaven and Hell forever–swaying towards the darkness but always reaching to the light.’

Despite the fact that I only finished the first book in the Ignite series this morning, I couldn’t resist diving straight into ‘Entice’, the novella that sits between the first and second novels. The novella is set in the past, right back during the battle between Heaven and Hell that resulted in Michael’s death, and I love any books that give more back story for characters so I adored this.
Straight away we’re thrown into the action, with Pen counting the amount of angels she’s slaughtered during the battle. She can’t find Azael anywhere and, as anyone who has read the first book already knows, she then spots him climbing up a mountain towards Lucifer and Michael who are viciously battling with each other. Pen freaks out, screaming for Azael to get down from the mountain, and when Michael looks over his shoulder to see who is causing such a ruckus, Lucifer strikes him through the heart.
However, as well as getting a much more detailed description of the action that surrounded Michael’s death, this novel then goes on to develop another event from Pen and Azael’s past that was referenced in the first novel: the Garden of Eden. In the first book we discover that Pen and Az were involved in the scheme to corrupt Adam, the first member of mankind, but they failed due to being subtle. This novella expands upon that knowledge a lot further, letting us ride along with Pen and Azael as they go to the Garden of Eden and do everything in their power to corrupt Adam before the team that they are battling against. 
Despite the fact that we already know how both stories end, they were both extremely interesting and written in a very captivating manner. I enjoyed Erica Crouch’s writing in the first novel, but at times it seemed to drag, so a shorter book managed to contain everything that I liked about her writing style while wringing out some of the things that I thought were a bit unnecessary. 
Another great thing about this novel was the use of foreshadowing. We know that at the end of the first novel Azael is commanded to go and kill Pen, so by getting Gus’s point of view in the epilogue and learning that “They fell together; they will die together”, well that just makes me even more eager to delve into the second volume of this series. The fact that Azael’s fate seems completely set in stone is brilliant; it will be very tricky to find a way around their battle so that there can be happily ever after for all involved, and I’m a bit of a masochist in the way that I love deaths that seem completely unavoidable. The more you care for the characters, the more you want the story to be able to change, so I think the next book could evoke a lot more emotion in me than the first book. 
If you read the first novel and you’re not sure whether it’s worth reading the novella, I would say that it 100% is. This had a much faster pace and rhythm throughout the story and I absolutely flew through it, making me wish that it was longer. Gus’s character gets a bit of back story too, which I loved because I thought he was really underused in the first novel, and we get a lot more dialogue and knowledge about Lucifer, which can never be a bad thing.