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2.0 out of 5 starsConfused
Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2018
I don't get it. Supposedly you can read any of the author's series in any order. I don't think this is true. I even did some research to decide where to start and this seemed like a good choice, but the author never explains this world. The world building is terrible. I'm only giving it two stars because the story was decent, if you can get over the feeling that you jumped into the middle of a series and have no idea what is happening.
3.0 out of 5 starsThis was a pretty good read overall
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2014
This was a pretty good read overall. I thought that the main character of Elise was interesting in a prickly way, but I also saw plenty of room for growth (which the author seemed successful in doing). There were some secondary characters that had appeal, though the romance angle seemed to be thrown in at random because . . . well, these books are supposed to have romances, right? The action was plentiful and well thought out, and there was never any part of the book that dragged (which is pretty impressive considering the glut of urban fantasy books out there). The ending was a good setup for a second novel and gave the author lots of paths to follow.
There were two big problems for me that kept this book from getting a slightly higher rating. The first were how the flashback sequences were integrated. The author attempted to tell some of the back story through chapter-long flashbacks that are interspersed at odd intervals throughout the book, and it really kept me from getting a good rhythm going while reading. Also, I was really confused as to what exactly Elise was supposed to be (or what the source of her powers was). She was obviously a more-than-she-appears heroine, but the author really didn't do a good job of explaining why (or even giving any hints that made sense). Still, there was enough there to draw me in for round 2, which is more than a lot of these series has been able to do.
3.0 out of 5 starsInteresting book, but with issues
Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2013
When I started reading this book, I was immediately taken into the world of demons, demon slayers, witches and more. The author does a fairly good job creating her universe, though I would have liked there to be even more detail. We get some hints about the main character's (Elise) dark background but that's it.
The plot then gets underway and it turns into a demon-wants-to-take-over-the-world story. I don't mind that as such, on the contrary, but there were some issues with both the story itself and the writing style. Issues that spoiled it for me were: - The flashbacks were used in a confusing manner. You often end up turning back a few pages to make sure you didn't miss something and then suddenly you're in real time again. Overall, the flashbacks detracted more from the story than add to it. - The pacing is a bit off. At one point, the book seems to go from pretty much no action to non-stop action. A side effect of that is that the ending feels like an anti-climax. - The teaser/cliffhanger at the end was done in a not so elegant manner. It didn't really make me want to pick up the next book in this series.
Overall, I liked the book and enjoyed the world the author created. It has many original components, there are some interesting directions she can take it in, so it certainly has promise to get better throughout the series. However, the issues I mentioned took away a lot of the fun of reading for me. If you don't mind those, then you might enjoy this book. As is, I would only recommend this book to fans of the genre who are looking for something new to try.
I was excited when I first learned Reine has a new series coming out, since she's one of my favourite indie authors. Where `Seasons of the Moon'-series is more about a teenage girl trying to find her way, Death's Hand gives us an adult main character with a new set of problems.
The book opens with a scene from days gone, where James meets Elise the first time -- or `meets' might be a wrong word since he finds her in the middle of Russian woods with a stack of dead bodies. The opening is intriguing, giving us insight, that there might be something wrong with Elise and it builds up from there.
Death's hand is an action packed page turner. The book starts to entwine plots that rise from Elise's everyday life with burdens from her past, which she's trying to obliterate. On several occasions I found myself thinking: "No you didn't! How the heck is this going to get resolved?" -- but every time Reine did a good job finding a solution that was believable. She also has a way of describing action; she can bring the scenes alive to the reader in a way where you can almost smell the blood and feel the bruises.
I love kick-ass female characters and I love them more when they're real with actual flaws instead of virtues masked as vices. She makes mistakes and pays for them. She gets hurt without magically being healed for the next fight. Her relationship with her mentor James is messy.
I should note that Elise and James DO NOT have a romantic relationship. It's more about their lives being tied together and the mentor-apprentice relationship which has evolved into mutual fondness and friendship. To be clear there's hardly no romantic aspect at all in this book, just a little bit for the spice, but I didn't even miss any. A deep romantic relationship would have shifted the book into something else.
Even though the main character is an adult woman, this book's style in general is more for the YA audience. So if you're looking for an adult book, you might want to read the sample first. And if you swear to only read YA, you should still check this one out.
(This is a review of the older edition, that didn't have Death's Avatar integrated in it.)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2013
I have spent the last 7 weeks reading this entire series and have to say it is the best most complete and compelling series of books I have ever read. From the 1st page your hooked and it becomes an obsession to find out what happens next, but it does not end with this series the books roll seamlessly into the ascension series which introduce characters from the other SM Reine books. These characters just meld straight in and are so fascinating that I now have the Cain series and the moon series to catch up on. This series is a must for anyone who likes this genre of books. Without doubt the best author out there, and will not disappoint.
I Think this world started off as a buffy/giles fanfiction.
So so to publish it you need to rub the serial numbers off, unfortunately in this instance it seems to be more off a copy and replace rather then a reimaging.
The writing is ok, the problem is that I never liked the buffy/giles ship. It felt kinda of icky like a teacher/student relationship.
Also I think it suffers from the fact that fanfiction doesn't usually have to tell the audience much backstory due to them being fans. Whilce when you create your own world you have to establish backstory.
But on the other hand I did finish the story, so it wasn't all bad.
This is totally different type of Demon novel than i have read in the pass, i am already reading the next in the series it is that good. The main character is a woman which i do normally like but she pulls it off with her strong will and no nonsense fighting and takes control of her witch who is a man. Carry on with this series. I am impressed
This is the second time I've read this book, i loved it just as much as the first time. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I would be happy to recommend to any fan of reading fansty novels