My Thoughts on The Harbinger Trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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After reading The Dark Elements series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I knew I was instantly going to start reading the follow-up series called The Harbinger trilogy since I knew it involved Zayne. The main reason I never got overly invested in the love triangle of that book since I knew Zayne was never going to be the love interest for Layla, but for Trinity in this series. But I didn’t really know what the focus of the series was going to be. I avoided looking at the descriptions when I ordered these, so there were no spoilers for either trilogy.

This series like the previous is a Young Adult paranormal fantasy series. If you would like to see my thoughts on The Dark Elements series, please check out that post using the link.

Before I get into my thoughts, here are the synopses for each of the books in the series. If you don’t want spoilers, please skip to the end of the post to get my thoughts. I’m going to keep things general and avoid mentioning too many details regarding the plot of the books.

Storm and Fury

Synopsis

Meet Trinity Marrow, a girl with an explosive secret whose hiding place has just been discovered…

Eighteen-year-old Trinity may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her gift is the reason she’s been in hiding for years in a compound guarded by Wardens—shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her to enhance their powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with reports that something is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to trust Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

Book Details

  • Published: June 11, 2019
  • Page Count: 504 pages
  • Rating: 4 stars

Rage and Ruin

Synopsis

Half-angel Trinity and her bonded gargoyle protector, Zayne, have been working with demons to stop the apocalypse while avoiding falling in love. The Harbinger is coming…but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can’t win the race against time as sinister forces gather.

As tensions rise, they must stay close together and patrol the DC streets at night, seeking signs of the Harbinger, an entity that is killing Wardens and demons with no seeming rhyme or reason. But as deaths pile up and they uncover a plot endangering someone dear to Zayne, Trin realizes she is being led…herded…played for some unknown end. As anger builds and feelings spiral out of control, it becomes clear that rage may be the ruin of them all.

Book Details

  • Published: June 9, 2020
  • Page Count: 600 pages
  • Rating: 4 stars

Grace and Glory

Synopsis

Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger.

Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome.

As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain—nothing will ever be the same.

Book Details

  • Published: June 1, 2021
  • Page Count: 503 pages
  • Rating: 4 stars

My Thoughts on Characters that make the most Appearances

  • Trinity Marrow: a half-angel half-human individual, who has grown up in a Warden community waiting for her father, Michael, to call upon her. She often references social media and television shows, overthinks everything, drinks pop over water, and often awkward. Basically myself in a character on a personality level. Though I am by no means as badass as she is.
  • Zayne: Warden who lives on his own that previously was in love with Layla and had a fling with Stacey (Layla’s best friend). He later becomes the Protector and boyfriend of Trinity. He also is pictured as a health and neat freak. I don’t recall either being mentioned that much by Layla during the original series, but it was something Trinity made mention on numerous times throughout The Harbinger.
  • Roth: The Crown Prince of hell who has five familiars (Bambi, Nitro, Thor, Fury, and Thumper), who all make appearances during the series. He is still dating Layla and mostly lives in their mansion rather than the apartment in Washington D.C. He’s still one of my favorite characters. While he might be a demon, he generally is focused on the greater good and ensuring that free-will continues.
  • Layla Shaw: A half-Warden half-demon (fallen angel blooded) who was the childhood friend of Zayne and girlfriend of Roth. She has a fox familiar named Robin. She has moved on from the time she briefly dated Zayne and excepted him to return to their friendship as if nothing ever happened. Which wasn’t fair on Zayne, even if I can get why she wanted that. But I’m glad they were able to make up eventually during the series. I also never realized how much she wore pastels until Trinity pointed it out.
  • Cayman: Cross-road demon that I swear looks different every time he’s described. Or maybe I kept forgetting what he was described as looking like. But I think it’s the former. He’s a mood. He’s always been a mood. But it was nice to see him make appearances again.
  • Dez, Nicolai, and Danika: I love that these three didn’t disappear. While they don’t make a lot of appearances, they are staple individuals that appear throughout the series. Nicolai and Danika are now dating, and she is credited by the trio to be the true main leader of the clan. They don’t hold her back, but one of them is always with her if she goes out in public. You can really see how much Layla had an impact on them, because they really have a different viewpoint from the other Wardens like Matthew and Thierry (guardians who raised Trinity).
  • Peanut: Ghost who has been around for Trinity since she was a child. Only she can see him due to her angelic blood. While other ghosts that don’t pass on turn into wraiths, Peanut doesn’t have that issue. He just refuses to move on and isn’t tied to any one location. Something I thought was weird, but didn’t think too much about. The dude is a bit out there where I didn’t question much regarding him. Not spoiling the truth regarding Peanut, but I liked his character and how he was always there for Trinity.

My Thoughts on The Harbinger Trilogy

This trilogy takes place six to seven months after the events of the first series. It follows Trinity Marrow. She has been bonded to a Warden to serve as her protector. However, this isn’t her true Protector. She was actually supposed to have grown up and been bonded to Zayne. Something that becomes very clear when he visits the community looking for help against an entity that’s been killing off Wardens and demons in a public fashion in Washington D.C. However, this isn’t revealed until later though the signs are there throughout the entire first book. Hell, the signs were clear the moment the two first met. Of course, she’s bonded to someone else who goes missing.

The entire first book focuses on locating this individual (Misha) and determining who is causing issues in Washington D.C. They end up learning that said individual is known as The Harbinger. Hence the name of the trilogy. It’s all related but the truth regarding who the Harbinger is isn’t revealed until the end of the second book. The final book focuses on eliminating the Harbinger.

While we get new characters: Jada (Trinity’s best friend from the Warden community), Ty (Jada’s boyfriend), Trinity (our main character), and Peanut (a ghost who refuses to move on and never leaves Trinity’s side). We also get all the characters from the previous series. I knew Roth and Layla would make appearances, but I didn’t think they were going to be as involved as they ended up being. The two were right along for the ride the entire time. I loved their interactions and seeing how much Zayne has changed since The Dark Elements series. He doesn’t go after all demons anymore and works with Roth to a point where they are friends. Layla’s and Zayne’s relationship is still strained but it greatly improves over the course of the trilogy. There are also closures I wasn’t expecting to occur. I won’t spoil what they were but I was glad we got to see those closures.

It was also interesting to read a book series where the main character has retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and cataracts. The former is a disease where individuals are sensitive to light (can’t see in low light or lots of light) and have a loss of side vision. Trinity can barely see anything, so there aren’t a lot of descriptions of what things look like because Trinity can’t see them. But she’s not limited by the disease. Jennifer L. Armentrout, herself, has RP. I have terrible eyesight myself, not to that degree, but it was nice to see it written in a way where it wasn’t a flaw. Sure it caused for some moments, but as I mentioned it never truly held Trinity back. Or used as a plot device. I liked how it was handled. Sometimes disabilities are used or described poorly, and I’m glad that wasn’t the case.

The ending of the series wasn’t really a surprise to me. Since I think I can boil Jennifer L. Armentrout’s series to a rough guide at this point. Or rather her trilogies since Blood and Ash kind of follows it but has continued on past there with additional books. It will be interesting to see if Flesh and Fire end up following those lines. I can see characteristics stand out from there. Not that it takes away from the series in any way, but I roughly could guess where things were heading. Though things still surprised me. Like Peanut… the truth regarding Peanut was a complete surprise. Though looking back it also was right there to some degree. Though I still don’t think I would’ve come to that conclusion based on the information available.

Overall, I really enjoyed this trilogy. I couldn’t put the books down. I would give these books a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. From the ending of the series, it does seem like there might be a third series that takes place decades from the ending of the book. I’ll be curious if that happens, and where it goes. But it’s definitely set up for there to be more that happens in the future. If all the characters make an appearance remains to be seen, but Zayne and Trinity for sure will be based on the way it was set up. Roth and Layla will probably be there as well since they are constantly the backup for the main characters of this trilogy.

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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