Most helpful review:
I just finished reading Book 8 of this series, and decided it was time to pay my respects to this author. I know I'm reviewing Books 1-3 here, but the series absolutely MUST be read in order, and the first three books are currently available free on Amazon for Kindle.
The books sounded vaguely interesting when I saw them on my daily book alert, and they were free, so I grabbed them. I wasn't sure what to expect exactly, but it was one of the best book decisions I've made this year. I place this series squarely and categorically with Jennifer Armentrout's "Covenant" series, and Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy". It will take over your life until you've read every last word of it.
The concept is very different, although similar in some ways to Covenant. The world is one of "meta-humans", those with extraordinary powers who are descended from the originals who once ruled the earth: Zeus, Thor, Odin, Hades, etc. etc. If you've read Armentrout, you know that universe.
The protagonist is a young girl, Sienna Nealon, a succubus, who finds herself the center of an "old order" ending war intended to destroy most of the "metas" in existence, and to bring about a safer world for any who survive. Ordinary humans are part of this plan, but it really isn't clear exactly WHAT kind of world they will inherit. The author does an incredible job of slowly revealing details here and there relating to this theme, while spinning his tale with depth and detail.
The richness of the character development was a surprise. I actually had a hard time believing that the author was a man. Ordinarily, men simply do not write female characters well, and specifically, teenaged girls. Crane is a master at character development. His characters span the gamut of age (really -- some of them are thousands of years old), and Crane gives them all rich interior lives, that we are witness to. Seeing lives in flashback is one thing, but when those lives belong to those formerly known as "gods", it takes a crafty writer to pull it off.
You will know them all, and care deeply when one is lost, one way or the other. This world is filled with the good, the bad, and the very, very bad. (I almost stopped reading after one of the books, when one of the losses seemed too much to bear. If I'd known the author personally I'd have probably choked him for it.)
Answers to the reasons for the attempted extermination are slow to come, and you will find yourself chewing over even the smallest little clue, trying to force it to make some kind of sense. Each book has its reveals, but the Big Reveal doesn't come until Book 8. And, it was a surprise. I ordinarily see endings coming. Being a careful reader, I catch all clues and set them aside to put together. I didn't see this coming. Parts of it were hinted at, but the final scene in the 8th book brings it all into perspective, and sets everything up for what will surely be a monumental ending.
All 8 books are worth reading. And, they are all worth 5 stars. I'm dying for the next one to appear. Absolutely read this series. Read it carefully, because you won't be going back to reread it. You won't be able to wait until you open the next book. These books are spectacular.