"Hades had a lot of names. Lord of the Dead. Keeper of Souls. Jailor of the Baddies. Asshole. He owned them all. Ruled his piece of the underworld with an iron fist. Feared nothing. Correction. He feared nothing except the Grim Reaper"
Hades is one hell of a man (no pun intended here). Or the author is trying to present him as such. She keeps on saying how he is a badass, cold, loner, skilled torturer etc but really we see almost none of that. We only hear about it and we are supposed to take it as a fact. I really dislike that. I think it would be so much better if the intro to this novella was a short depiction of Hades actually torturing someone and enjoying it and then the transformation after that.
Maybe I expect too much from paranormal romance books, I get that a lot actually. But somehow when I read the genre that is considered to be one of the genres "for the masses" or the "low genres" of literature, I want it to be the best possible in the range given. Which means establishing characters before throwing them in each other's arms.
Okay, I will admit, they do have a past and it is mentioned, one fragment at a time. But I just didn't feel that half-evil emanating from Hades as I am sure author wanted us/me to.
Hades is the Jailor of the Dead, which means Azagoth's right hand man, person who is keeping all those evil souls in the Inner Sanctum and punishes them when they try to break out. He is a Fallen Angel, but not True Fallen. There is a quirk in that and I won't spoil it for you. He spent centuries alone trapped in the Inner Sanctum doing Azagoth's dirty work. It was his punishment.
Cataclysm also had her wings taken away. She was helping Gethel and it cost her. No one really cared that she didn't know Gethel's real plans. Now she is working for Azagoth and Lilliana trying to get her wings back. She can sense good and evil in others through her skin, which is why she is exposing as much of it as she can, right right. Anyway, she sees Hades and she is smitten with him. Then her clumsiness causes some souls to enter the Inner Sanctum that shouldn't be there which starts a riot and she as stupidly as she can ends up trapped in there with the rioters. And Hades has to go save her and stop millions of souls from escaping.
My issues with this novella.
I'm sorry, I just have to rant a little.
1. Cataclysm aka Cat is a gorgeous Unfallen. Long, curly red hair, some freckles, flat stomach, big boobs and almost nothing on her at almost all times. But. She is a VIRGIN! Oh, you've got to be kidding me *faceplam*. I mean, seriously.
2. How could she have been so utterly stupid to think that she can go to Inner Sanctum where the most evil of souls reside without any weapon or plan and fix her mistake? Which she didn't, she made it worse and she was the victim in the end. For someone who has portrayed as a person of intelligence and curiosity, she sure is dumb at times.
3. Hades went thousands of years without a woman. THOUSANDS.
Writing, grammar and spelling are top notch this time around, well done. I hate to see a grammar errors that divert my attention from the story.
I already mentioned but it doesn't hurt to say again. I love Larissa's way of writing and presenting the Demonica world and its characters to us. She has that special extra kick like Jeaniene Frost, Karen Marie Moning and J.R.Ward have.
Hades, despite not being as bad of a boy as we would like, is still pretty badass. And I mean he has a fantastic butt apparently, and let's not forget his whole appearance ;)
"Hades, Azagoth’s second-in-command and the designated Jailor of the Dead, was walking next to him. No, not walking. With the way his thigh muscles flexed in those form-fitting black pants with every silent step, it was more like prowling. His body sang with barely-leashed power, and she shivered in primal, feminine response.
Son of a bitch, Hades was hot. Hard-cut cheekbones and a firm, square jaw gave him a rugged appearance that bordered on sinister, especially when paired with a blue Mohawk she’d kill to run her palm over."
Steamy parts are indeed steamy. Larissa knows how to build sexual tension between two characters. You just cannot love those scenes. Although sometimes they are a bit... too primitive for my taste.
„And what do you feel when you’re near me?” He knew he shouldn’t ask. Knew he was encouraging something that shouldn’t be encouraged, but holy hell, he was starving for female contact. Maybe this little bit would be enough. And maybe he was lying to himself.
Closing her eyes, she inhaled. “Like I want to climb your body like a tree so you can wrap yourself around me.”
Hot...damn. He wasn’t sure if the rum had gone to her head or if she was affected by his inner evil, but what she’d said made him want desperately to play giant oak for her so she could do whatever she wanted with his hardwood.
Giant oak. Hardwood. Man, he cracked himself up sometimes.“
The author Larissa Ione has an incredible sense of humour sometimes. That is why my rating isn't lower. Because when I reached the end of this novella I laughed for half an hour like a maniac and let me just say that it was 2.30 a.m. at that time. Thankfully, my neighbours are considerate and patient people.
Part that made me laugh might be a humour-spoiler so I will tag it as such:
Maybe it won't be as funny to you but this has made me up my rating so trust me when I say that I almost burst into tears from laughing so much.
I thought this sentence as pretty amusing as well:
"Nope, because the curvy redhead was off-limits to him, and panting after her like a hellhound on the trail of a hellbitch in heat would only end in pain."
All in all.
Sometimes I can rant about some little things too much, I know I know. But that's only because I care about this series and the characters. If I didn't, I wouldn't have spent so much time writing reviews about it.
I like Larissa Ione and I like the Demonica world. I like the easygoing nature of some characters and the depths and layers of others. I like that they can make me laugh and I can empathize with them. I also like that often they give out the right message, the message that is universally true, whether in fiction or reality. And this novella is no different than other titles in this series.
I will end with messages from both of our main characters.
"Not everyone has to have badass superpowers to be something special." (Cat)
"Home is where the people who want you are." (Hades)