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Release-Day Review: Heaven and Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro (Hellsbane #2)

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Heaven and Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro // VBC ReviewHeaven and Hellsbane (Hellsbane #2)
Paige Cuccaro
Published: August 27, 2013 (Entangled)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: This review will be spoiler free, but may reference plot points from the first book in the series.

Nephilim are the half-angel, half-human offspring born from Fallen Angels. Emma Jane Hellsbane is an illorium, a nephilim whose angelic powers have been awakened, and she’s charged with the task of fighting and killing Fallen Angels and demons in the stead of Seraphim in order to avoid starting another war between the angels.

Someone has starting attacking and killing magisters—angels who have chosen to train the illorium to fight—along with their respective illoriums. The act of killing an angel is nearly impossible, and Emma and her magister Eli have to find who or what is strong enough to kill angels, but with their feelings for each other so close to the surface will they be able to solve the mystery without both of them losing their souls?

Heaven and Hellsbane is the perfect example where everything is in shades of gray. The Seraphim, whom we are constantly reminded are the “good guys,” will not hesitate to use people for their own gain, and some won’t question sacrificing one for the good of many. We find that some of the Fallen Angels actually care about the humans they interact with and are not just slaves to their lustful emotions. It’s difficult to choose a right or wrong side. I found it a lot easier when I decided to be on the side of Emma.

As another strong, sword-wielding heroine in the paranormal genre, I really liked Emma’s character. She always tries to do what is right, sometimes that works out and other times not so much. She fully understands what her actions mean and she owns up to them regardless. When push comes to shove, she does what is needed of her. With all that comes to light in this book, you can see everything she’s been told in the past being questioned now

The relationship between Emma and Eli is such that there is no winner. No situation will make anyone happy, and it goes back to the whole shades of gray as mentioned above. They are finding it more and more difficult to keep the line drawn between angel/illorium and lovers. Because they that have “forbidden love” we want to see them together all the more, but that means that Eli becomes a Fallen, which will then make him an enemy to all illorium and Seraphim alike.

We’ve come to know Eli as a caring and good soul; it goes against what we already know of him to consider him on the side of evil. There are some things, of course, that are predictable and inevitable in regards to their relationship, but I wish after the fact that the book would have surprised us all and taken a completely different direction.

Something I liked, and wish we would have gotten more of, was Emma interacting with other Magisters and Seraphim. She is very personable, and many of the angels are repulsed by the illorium because of their mixed heritage. They remind them of their fallen brothers. So when Emma and these closed-off, no-nonsense angels get together it’s an interesting, and often humorous, mix.

A lot of issues are opened up with this book, which really makes it feel like a spring-board toward what is coming in the next book. I’m really interested to see what decisions our characters make.

Sexual content: Sex

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