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Archive Book Review: Romeo Spikes

The Screwtape Letters


Archive Book Review: Romeo Spikes

I enjoyed discovering how things worked in this world and trying to figure out who was on what side.

Book Review Date: January 23rd, 2013

Cover Copy

Working the Homicide squad, Alexis Bianco believes she’s seen every way a life can be taken. Then she meets the mysterious Lola and finds out she’s wrong. More weapons than woman, Lola pursues a predator with a method of murder like no other.
The Tormenta.

If you think you’ve never encountered Tormenta, think again. You’re friends with one. Have worked for one. Maybe even fallen in love with one.

They walk amongst us — looking like us, talking like us. Coercing our subconscious with their actions.

Like the long-legged beauty who seduces the goofy geek only to break his heart, causing him to break his own neck in a noose. Or the rock star whose every song celebrates self-harm, inspiring his devoted fans to press knives to their own throats. The pusher who urges the addict toward one more hit, bringing him a high from which he’ll never come down. The tyrannical boss, crushing an assistant’s spirit until a bridge jump brings her low.

We call it suicide. Tormenta call it a score, their demonic powers allowing them to siphon off the unspent life span of those who harm themselves.

To Bianco, being a cop is about right and wrong. Working with Lola is about this world and the next… and maybe the one after that. Because everything is about to change. The coming of a mighty Tormenta is prophesied, a dark messiah known as the Mosca.

To stop him, Bianco and Lola must fight their way through a cryptic web of secret societies and powerful legends and crack an ancient code that holds the only answer to the Mosca’s defeat. If this miscreant rises before they can unmask him, darkness will reign and mankind will fall in a storm of suicides.
Nobody’s safe. Everyone’s a threat.


Obviously, the cover of this book was a big draw to me. And the name was interesting. {It took me half the book before I actually knew what it meant, and discovering it was a fun little surprise}. And also, I’ve never read a book where any character had my first name. {That I can recall}. Which is… odd… given the amount of books I’ve read.

As I read, I’ll be honest, there were times I felt a little lost {There’s a lot going on and I was reading it in little spurts… I didn’t have a lot of long stretches of time to read this one, oddly}, so I would sometimes not have a clue what was going on {obviously I won’t blame the book for this}. But it didn’t really even matter. The premise — the idea behind this story was just so intriguing. I enjoyed discovering how things worked in this world and trying to figure out who was on what side. And so, overall, it was really entertaining.

First Line

…But I say, life’s too short.

Favorite Lines 

  • The glitter she saw surrounding her career turns out to be knives, and, blow by blow, amid howls of derision from her peers, her professional reputation is destroyed. Sliced. Shredded.
  • Eyes rolled in wrinkles.
  • But Hatchling it is. Fresh from the egg of ambition.
  • [He] smiles like a paper cut.
  • She’d tell it as it was, call you out, spit the truth and take the consequences.
  • Lola’s voice was no more than a whisper but it seemed twisted tight, sinking like a needle into her ear.
  • Livi stares at the eyes. They are so dilated, the pupils look as though they are about to roll down the girl’s cheeks like tears.
  • The day you chose [her], you gave her no choice at all. You just turned up and hit her with the truth. And I don’t doubt that everything you revealed is ripping her in two, even now.
  • The young guard pauses but Grotteschi waits, knowing that sarcasm moves in slow motion around here.
  • He loves not what a book reveals, but what it does not. The insidious intent. The masquerade of meaning. The subtle subtext, sliding another message like a razor blade beneath your eyelid.
  • His hand missed; his body fell. His chest was impaled upon a set of iron spikes that crowned the post. In New Orleans, these deterrents are called Romeo Spikes. And the longest spike pierced [his] heart.
  • Names have enormous potency.
  • …to reflect upon the horrors of one’s past is the surest means of keeping one’s future pure. I cleave to [it], lest I forget.
  • Get up, kid. And make yourself worth saving.
  • She has a duty. She has a purpose. But maybe she needs more than this to live?
  • Ah, silence — the half brother of insolence.
  • He beckons the young monk closer, as if lower his voice diminishes the madness of his words.
  • …but I believe there is an evil in her. She takes hearts already broken, and with cunning words, she grinds them to dust.
  • But something in her told her she would need to be twice as fast as the next kid to stand a chance of outrunning her past.
  • …she savored second place so many times it tasted like vanilla.
  • [She] rolls her shoulders. feeling the weight of everything she knows bear heavily upon her. She may look the same, but she has changed beyond recognition.
  • Faith is belief in the absence of proof!
  • That’s the thing about forever. There’s always later.
  • Inside his skull, his brain sparks with an explosion of new information. A fresh vision of the world, broken and reset.
  • With patience, all is possible.
  • …must be something south of evil.
  • Proof indeed that misplaced trust cuts closer than a razor.
  • My heart died the moment I left you, and though I might still breathe and my body perform this physical charade, I exist not. Life without you is worse than any death.
  • …so I saved the world — solely to spare you.
  • The happy recollection of this smart banter rouses a chuckle, cut short by Lola’s fist, which indicates she finds nothing funny.
  • She may hunt Tormenta to save mankind, but the truth is, your average vanilla human is still a pretty vicious creature. Look at what they routinely inflict upon each other — they bully as children, persecute as adults, break hearts, wreck lives. Every damn thing that Tormenta do, except Tormenta have an excuse: They do it to survive. Humans do it… because they can.
  • She just pulls something outta the bayou and fries it to death. Mystery meals. Kinda Agatha Crispy.
  • It may not be all that occurred, but it is all that he knows. The rest of what ensued is beyond his understanding.
  • An incandescent euphoria. A deep need, spectacularly satisfied.
  • He listens to the rain, battering against his window. How unnatural that this storm should be so unrelenting. The skies know it. Heaven itself is horribly aware. Something comes…
  • What beast lives within me, that I must be a stranger to myself?
  • Whatever dark realms exist beyond this, I know that God’s hand lies above them all and that He would not forsake us.
  • I’d say there’s something wrong with you.” // “I’d say there’s something wrong with all of us.
  • True worship is what the soul does unseen. Faith is to forget the self.
  • This will pass. It always passes.
  • Where is my strength? What must I do?” // “Give up… Give yourself up. Set yourself free. Because to receive the strength to win, you must first surrender.
  • The plan is not yours, and the path is never of your making.
  • You are incomplete.” // “But I am not alone.
  • …without faith, a cross is nothing…
  • And that is your weakness. You trust only in what you can see… the physical world, the touchable truth. And so you are blind. You cannot know.
  • Now that you seek proof, I know you doubt.
  • Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
  • But [he] no longer held out hope that this particular hurt would be healed by explanation.
  • …perhaps I feared ridicule.” // “I suggest instead you fear failure.
  • I like to fight and I can fight most anything… but destiny, that’s always gonna get ya.
  • So this is it?” // “Yes. This is living.” // “But we’re not doing anything.” // “Yes, we are. We’re doing nothing.
  • I mean, we laugh at mankind … Because they love and hurt and trust. Emotions that we just don’t deal in. But I’m no longer sure that makes them weak.
  • …books are like a magnet to the chosen mind.
  • You had fallen in love, to find it as sharp as a Romeo spike.
  • I offer you this from the gospel of John 4:18: Perfect love casts out fear, because fear is torment.

Last Word

  • you

Reader, Author, Bookstagrammer, and Mom; Alexis runs Nerdy Post, a fandom artwork box as well as serves as chief editor and writer on Drop and Give me Nerdy.

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