Blurb: Proof of Existence picks up from Fractions of Existence's cliffhanger, where Gwendolyn is among the hostages of the Eyes in the Shadows, a religious sect that has been trying to free humans from the “prison” of life on Earth for millennia. Rescuing her requires the Existence to expose themselves. As omnipotent beings, their work to protect humanity has been mostly in secret for the last two centuries.
Gwendolyn must remember and embrace what she truly is, though fear and doubt stifle her. She risked everything by acting on her attraction to Xavier, but her religious beliefs stop her from taking the important next step. Life-threatening news has her wanting to go home to see her family. Will they still love and accept her, despite her actions and choices? Or could a secret rip her family apart?
Feeling lonely, tormented, and useless, Existence member Heath goes off the grid. A ransom video from Eyes in the Shadows demands he be traded for the lives of others. Can the Existence find him in time to tell him about the threat? Even if Heath can be reached, would his kind really trade him to potentially save someone else?
The Eyes in the Shadows is set to finally end all human life on Earth forever. Only if the Existence is reunited, with all members at full power, could they stand against them. How many will suffer if the Existence should fail? How much damage could possibly be done in the next twenty years? Proof of Existence, the second book of the Existence mythological urban fantasy series from J Lenni Dorner, is set during the first half of 2006.
Review: Gwendolyn (Wend) doesn't know why she's still alive and has given up on doing anything at all until seven young girls are brought before her. Her psychic cry for help to Xavier brings the rest of the Existence to rescue her. Even freed, they are not safe. Wend tries to figure out why this is happening and remember who she is, but she will not bend her beliefs and actions to please anyone else. Doubt and disbelief weigh heavily on her, and even with Xavier's love and patience, it is difficult for her to understand. Yet she must get control of her powers or not only will the Existence be lost but all of humanity.
This is the second book in the fantastic NA urban fantasy series, Existence. The Existence is a group of immortals with supernatural powers who have been around since the creation of Earth, and they are born again and again to help humanity. Except humanity doesn't always want their help. The Eyes in the Shadows (EitS) are a religious sect trying to free humans from the prison they claim the Existence has placed them in. They are fanatical, cruel, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. There are trigger warnings for this book and they are to be taken seriously. It can be dark and horrific, but never doubt the strength of compassion and the light of hope. We learn more about the Existence and its members, and I love the slow worldbuilding. It isn't a fast paced book, but it is emotional and many layered.
While we see more of the other Existence members this time around, which I really loved seeing more of Heath, Jez, and Jun, the story is still focused upon Wend and Xavier. While EitS are hunting them, the new couple must deal with several things within their relationship, their families, and within the Existence itself. Wend can be frustrating at times as she is stuck in her beliefs, has very little self worth, and doubts her own supernatural abilities. She clings to her fear, and all the traumatic events happening do not help, no matter how the rest of the Existence try to push her. Only time and the patience and unwavering love from those around her will help. Xavier has his own buried trauma that leaks out even while he's trying to woo Wend. Heath and Jez deal struggle with their loneliness and their purpose. Do they even have one anymore at all? A lot of deep conversations and emotional moments happen which grip you and don't let go. It's an amazing overall read and highly recommended.