Monday, December 2, 2013

REVIEW: The Darkest Gate by SM Reine

Description: When Elise Kavanagh retired from demon hunting, she swore it would be permanent. But an attack from a powerful necromancer forced her back into the business, and now she's trying to balance her normal boyfriend and normal job with everything supernatural.

Mr. Black is a demon hunter gone rogue. He's enslaving angels and stealing ethereal artifacts in pursuit of forbidden immortality. An old grudge drives him to make his final stand in Elise's territory. Destroying her life and killing her friends isn't the goal, but it's a definite perk.

A demonic overlord offers to join against Mr. Black and protect Elise's loved ones. All she needs to do is ally with the demons she's sworn to kill, at the cost of her morals--and maybe her immortal soul. But once she crosses that line, there's no turning back.

Nothing is sacred when Heaven and Hell collide on Earth...

My Thoughts: One of the things I enjoy most about Reine's Elise is how likably unlikable she is.  Someone as traumatized as Elise isn't going to flop and angst, because they're not going to understand that they're traumatized.  The Darkest Gate begins where Death's Hand left off in exploring more fully this strange, dangerous woman.  The flashbacks are fantastic both in bringing the plot into focus without need of a full-fledged prequel and in showing that Elise is, if anything, in pretty good shape compared to her teenaged self.  Elise and her aspis, James, are at an inevitable crossroads: he wants a normal life.  She knows she can never have one, and James is the only person she truly allows herself to trust.  She's struggling to play nice in her own not-quite-nice way; as sweet as Anthony is, it's clear that it's not going to work.  Featuring at least one Joss Whedon screamer moment.

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