Larissa Ione is in my “top 10” list of favorite writers so I don’t know how I missed this book when it first came out. I usually have books like this on preorder and they deliver automatically to my Kindle but this one slipped through the cracks. I even follow Larissa on Facebook and I still missed this book. I’m so disappointed in myself! I have to find a better way of keeping track of all the ongoing series that I read and when a new book will be released. But there is good news. I have been totally jonesing for a good paranormal book to read so I was elated to read this one even if I did get to it a little late.
Hades is in the 1001 Dark Nights series which is a group of stories by different paranormal romance authors but Hades is also part of Larissa’s ongoing series of The Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series. It can be read as part of the series or if you have not read the previous books in the series, it can be read as a “stand alone” book.
If you have read any of the previous books in the series, you’ll have had a few glimpses and encounters with Hades. He always left an impression on me because of his blue Mohawk and his willingness to help the good guys…well, he always did it begrudgingly and with attitude but I liked him anyway.
Hades is the warden of the Underworld. He’s badass and merciless as he doles out punishment to the souls in Sheoul-gra, the demon’s version of hell. He can wipe out a demon with barely a thought so very few would ever challenge him.
Cataclysm is an Unfallen angel, an angel who has lost her wings but has not become truly evil yet or truly Fallen. At least if she was Fallen, she would have wings and powers but as an Unfallen she is virtually defenseless. She is working for Azagoth aka The Grim Reaper aka most powerful creature of the Underworld as a housekeeper, a mediocre housekeeper at best. Azagoth has created a sanctuary for Unfallen to live because anywhere else Unfallen are easy pickings for other demons and even angels who like killing them.
Azagoth and Hades have a history. Hades did something to piss off Azagoth thousands of years ago…something really bad…so Azagoth is still punishing Hades. He rarely can leave Sheoul-gra, all females are off limits to him and he lives in a crude crypt. He doesn’t usually mind but ever since he has met Cat, he has been attracted to her and it kills him not to be able to touch her.
When Azagoth asks her to clean his office of a mess…he basically nuked a demon and left the bloody mess, Cat accidently opens a secret passage but before she can close it, she lets in a few souls to Sheoul-gra. Azagoth is the only one allowed to oversee the souls passing into Sheoul-gra to ensure no innocent or good souls enter. Cat is scared shitless that Azagoth will nuke her if he finds out so she says nothing about it to anyone. Shortly afterwards, she overhears Reaver telling Azagoth that a human soul who was bound for Heaven mistakenly passed into Sheoul-gra so Cat decides that she needs to fix it and opens the portal again to go find the human. She immediately changes her mind but when she turns around the portal and passage are gone. She is stuck in Sheoul-gra.
All hell, literally, has broken loose in Sheoul-gra. Communication is down between Sheoul-gra and the outer world. The most evil demons are gathering and causing trouble, not that they don’t always cause trouble, but now they have gotten ahold of something that will allow them to cast a spell to be able to escape. When Hades goes to investigate, he discovers Cat, hanging from a crucifix. Just as he reaches her, an Orphmage demon—one of the most powerful sorcerer class demons–does the impossible. He is wielding a bone staff and lighting is shooting out of it. Nobody except Azagoth, Hades and his wardens have magical powers in Sheoul-gra but somehow this demon does and he stabs Cat in the chest with his staff.
Hades saves Cat but learns that the demons somehow got ahold of a human and the ritual where the Orphmage stabbed Cat in the chest with lightning along with the human soul will drain the life-force from both and both will be dead within 24 hours. When they die, holes will open and allow demons to escape Sheoul-gra.
Now, they have to find the human soul and save both the human and Cat all while trying to keep each other’s hands to themselves as not to be obliterated by Azagoth.
As with all Larissa Ione novels, I hated the ending…not because it was a bad ending but because I craved more. I hope the next book is about Zhubaal but I’m pretty sure….maybe from the announcement at the end of the book that said, “Coming Soon Late 2015” and the sneak preview….that the next book is about Slake. He may have been mentioned in the other books but I don’t remember him. Oh well, I am sure I will love it.