Tag Archives: Angels and demons

Ee, Susan: End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days III) (2015)

… “Hey, you! Dinnertime! I’m over here, you scabby rats! Come and get me!”

The Hyundai is rocking with hellions as they pile on. I’m about to screech out of the lot – or at least make donuts until all the hellions head my way and leave the rest of the people alone – when I feel a thump. The car drops on one side. Then I see the shredded rubber of a tire being flung over the hood.

That was the front tire.

I stare dumbly at the ripped-up tire as it flops and wobbles to a standstill in the parking lot.

Then so many hellions pile onto my car that I can’t see the tire anymore.

I stroke the fur of my teddy bear. It’s all I can think to do.

Pooky Bear can’t help me in a vehicle. Not a lot of room to slice and dice.

That means I need to exit the car if I want a chance at getting out of this.

I sit in the car.

I wonder how long a person can stay in a vehicle.

But then, of course, the hellions begin pounding on the windshield. (p. 105)

Susan Ee, End of Days

Hyndman, Jennifer Elizabeth: Grinch, Demon Slayer (2013)

Bryce didn’t see the string attached to a fishing hook which Noah had hid, with the direction of Samuel, under his drinking glass. He looked at Brooklyn and said, “You dipped your hair in your gravy again.”

Brooklyn squealed, looking down at her hair and examining it for food. When Bryce had his full attention on Brooke’s hair Noah quickly slipped the fishing hook into the wrist cuff of the head elf’s button up shirt. Bryce didn’t notice nor did anyone else.

“Well it looks like I was wrong.” Noah chuckled at his own genius. Well, technically it was Samuel’s genius. Keeping the string loose, he waited until Bryce was about to lift a spoonful of mashed potatoes to his mouth. That was when he held the string tight so that Bryce had to pull extra hard to lift his hand.

When Bryce pulled harder on his hand, confused at the resistance, the string broke and he quite literally punched himself in the face with a spoon of potatoes. He was not amused. Luckily, Noah was faster than Bryce. …

Miles, T.A.: Raventide (2013)

Raventide - TA Miles

Antiques appraiser and investigator Drayden Torvannes is 33 years old. His great love in life is the study of history. To live out his love Drayden checks out heirlooms and family documents for the wealthy and gives his customers an opinion on the value of what he has been asked to investigate.

Drayden considered survival in his profession to be tantamount to walking a thin line stretched high above the winding lengths of the canals; holding one’s balance and knowing when to risk a leap onto a balcony or rooftop was essential in staying clear of the turbid, and sometimes poisonous waters.

Dealing with the powerful works the same way in the real world. In the world of Drayden Torvannes we also enjoy a bit of the super-natural in the form of angels and demons along with the strange phenomena that sometimes occur when they and humans interact.

People in Raventide embrace many well-known traditions of our regular world. Good and evil, we and them, save the world, and protect the innocent are all parts of TA Miles story about Drayden Torvannes and his adventures.

Cults are confusing yet understandable belief systems for me. I grew up in a faith that many consider a cult. Yet Mormons are innocents when compared with the cults we meet in Raventide. Our Raventide cults are more in line with IS or KKK. In other words, pretty intense people who are willing to do absolutely anything for their cause.

A great many of the citizens of the town of Raventide and the Fannael family suffer from cultism. The story of Raventide is about unveiling the truth of horrors past and present and the role of various people in these deeds. Poor Drayden is going to get his fill of betrayal by the end of the story. Betrayal is, thankfully, not his only lot in life. Unexpected friendships and loyalty comes to him as well.

I loved Raventide. For me the pace worked T.A. Miles’ writing was excellent and engaging. Meeting authors like this is always a relief. Writing isn’t an exact science. There are some qualities that especially appeal to my brain and TA Miles managed to fill those demands.


Reviews:


Raventide available on Raventidebooks.com


Lester, Robert W.: What is a cult?

Ee, Susan: World After (Penryn And The End of Days II) (2014)

World After
Cover design by Sammy Yuen

Seven years old. That is how old poor Paige is when the angels take her from her mother and sister and do medical experiments on her. Seven years old is how old Paige is when Penryn manages to rescue Paige and seven years old is how old Paige is when she sees the rejection of her new self from her sister and others. The only one who accepts Paige as she is happens to be her schizophrenic mother. Seven years old. Seven years old.

Paige’s story is the one that affects me the most in World After. Paige’s story is the one that causes my mind to ponder the concept of rejection and how rejection creates invisible wounds in an already visibly wounded body. And Paige’s story is the one that brings to mind the many people out there who have been changed visibly and invisibly themselves. How do I meet them? Am I one of them? How many wounds can a person bear before they become lost?

Penryn and Paige’s mother is a paranoid schizophrenic. Except in The End of Days serial many of her paranoias are real. Now the monsters are here and doing their best to off humanity. My grandmother was a paranoid schizophrenic. From what my father has told of his childhood Susan Ee‘s description of how a paranoid schizophrenic can appear to others seems right on the dot. The pain of the fear a person carries in such a condition is incomprehensible.

Penryn feels guilty at not being able to accept Paige as she is. I believe that is probably a common feeling when a person comes back changed from an accident or war or disease. After all, the person we loved seems to have disappeared. Perhaps they have. Perhaps we just need to see past the wounds and scars. Penryn is only 17 and 17 is awfully young to have experienced what she has. So Penryn carries wounds of her own, although hers are invisible. Her childhood and the responsibilities she ended up with, the first days after the world ended and having an angel steal her little sister would threaten to destroy a person. In part it does. But not completely. Penryn finds short-term solutions to deal with her inner wounds and a way to hold on to hope.

Penryn And The End of Days serial is a difficult serial to read for an old woman due to Susan Ee’s amazing writing. This is definitely a serial I recommend, painful as it is.


Reviews:



My review of Angelfall

Reine, S.M.: Paradise Damned (The Descent VII) (2013)

Paradise Damned
Cover art by S.M. Reine
Model photo on cover by Marcus J. Ranum
Paradise Damned is the last novel in The Descent serial. Like all the rest, Paradise Damned is dark. We get plenty of violence. Part of that violence involves abuse of Elise in the Garden of Araboth.

SEPTEMBER 1, 5509 BCE

In the beginning, there was the earth, formless and empty. Darkness hung over the surface of the deep.

And then there was light.

It spilled over the waters, vast and powerful, and its creation severed the unity that had come before. This light was a separate entity from the darkness. Something novel and cruelly different.

The spirits called it “day.” Its opposite was called “night.” Between them was evening and morning – the First Day.

This division marked the end of peace in the universe.

Everything has been pretty much fucked up since then.”

S.M. Reine’s humour seems to fit mine just fine.

Half the fun of writing reviews is the preparatory work I do. This time I felt like checking out the ancient dates in Paradise Damned and ended up with the info at the bottom of this post.

I want to give S.M. Reine a special thanks for coming up with the old women of Oymyakon, Russia. No wonder these ladies are so tough. Oymyakon is so cold that it has the lowest recorded temperature of any permanent village (- 71.2 C). Brrr, not my kind of winter. Here, indeed, “Winter is coming”. Nothing phases these matriarchs. Give them hybrids or Malcolm, and they won’t hesitate to shoot either if they have to.

Paradise Damned is divided into four different stories that tie together. The first is from the good old ancient days, the next is from the good old days, the third is from Limbo with James and the last story occurs in Araboth 2010.

Longevity or immortality is a concept that I have found a lot of people would like to take part in. How would you stay sane? It seems to me that all the people around you would have to be immortal as well. Otherwise, you would have to watch loved ones die over and over all through “eternal life”. I see how people react to such losses already, and have to wonder how you could deal with it on such a time-scale.

Adam seems to stink at it. His one major loss gave him a liking for mayhem. Yatam and Yatai didn’t deal well with it either. In the end they got the release they sought. What about Adam? Will someone relieve him of the burden of life?

Elise is now back to her job of being a false Eve. She isn’t taking to it. Fighting against it brings grooming/training her way in the form of severe mental and physical torture. I wonder if her lifetime of abuse and pain is aiding her or hindering her in keeping hold of who she is?

Sometimes when I read stories about real life people who have gone through stuff like this (not the impossible things but the rest), I wonder how they managed to hold on to themselves through it all. I know it messed up my grandfather who was tortured during WWII. The post traumatic stress was so strong he tried to self-medicate to deal with the mental pain. The face he showed me as a child was that of a gentle and loving man who brought joy to my life. He managed to stay away from alcohol in his meeting with his grand-children.

Granted, Elise is make-believe, but not really. There are people out there who go through grooming/torture in order for another person to achieve some kind of result. Each and every one of these people will end up changed forever. While a lot of them will be able to hold on to themselves, some will not. The question in Paradise Damned is whether Elise manages to stay true to herself and her ideals in spite of what she goes through.

On a lighter tone for me (maybe not for the rest of you), Elise’s arrival at Oymyakon was amazing. I liked what she did and how she did it.

Once again S.M. Reine has done an excellent job.


Review:


  • File Size: 458 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Red Iris Books (June 3, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CWG91QE

My review of:

  1. Death’s Hand
  2. The Darkest Gate
  3. Dark Union
  4. Damnation Marked
  5. Dire Blood
  6. Defying Fate

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p>5509 BCE: The Byzantine calendar dates creation to 1 September of this year.

4009 BCE: ” placing the creation of Adam no later than 4009 B.C.E.”

3504 BCE: Eve’s creations, angels that are about to hatch, are killed. (Paradise Damned)

3242 BCE: Adam’s need for human replacements for Eve comes about. (Paradise Damned)

Reine, S.M.: Defying Fate (The Descent VI) (2013)

Defying Fate
Cover art by S.M. Reine
Chapter one of Defying Fate reveals exactly who James Faulkner is and has been since 1993. Whereas Elise became a demon, James ended up an angel instead.

There is a need in me to try to understand something about the characters I meet in various fictional and non-fictional works. In Defying Fate it is easy to understand a person like Zane St. Vil. Zane is a kopis with the Union. He is of average intelligence and pleased with the power and firepower the Union brings him. He is a coward at heart and bullyish on the outside. Zane will always do what makes him seem bigger and badder than the rest and if he meets resistance he will use the greatest force possible.

Then we have a person like James. Ultimately, I know that James will do what serves James the best. But what route is he going to take? We are talking about a highly intelligent man with a devious mind and lots of power at hand. He is perfectly willing to harm the people he loves if he thinks it will serve them in the long run, in spite of him never having had the gift of prescience. A person like that is difficult to predict.

I won’t pretend to understand James. His personality has so many twists and turns that I cannot follow along. I imagine part of that personality has come about because he has had to hide his nature from Elise and every other person he has met since his change. Part of it has been with him all along, but as we tend to be the sum of our parts, being an angel would have influence on some of what James does.

Nathaniel is the perfect son for him. This is one powerful kid. James needs a person who exceeds his own abilities so he can stop seeing himself as the epitome of witchcraft. In addition Nathaniel is a 12-year-old in the way that only peeved-off and disappointed 12-year-olds can be. He’d practically worshipped his father ever since he discovered who his father was. Then Nathaniel met the person behind the myths and found that James was not as glorious as he had been made out to be.

Nathaniel is like Elise in many ways. He is fiercely loyal to those he attaches himself to and he will do just about anything for them. In this case that means saving Elise. James says he cannot come along and Nathaniel pretty much says that James has nothing to say in the matter. In the end James brings Nathaniel along because a coming together of choices leaves Hannah dead. Poor Nathaniel.

Gary Zettel is a dedicated and driven leader of the local unit of the Union. He and Allyson are probably the two worst people the Union could have made kopis and apsis. The two of them together are a nuclear bomb waiting to explode. Their potential for destruction is enormous and, like James, they don’t care who gets hurt along the way. Well, James cares, but he still does it. Gary and Allyson on the other hand follow the teaching of “ends justifying the means”. They are also unpredictable.

With a group of people like this Defying Fate can only be one thing – full of thrills. My goodness, Reine writes action well and her descriptions of Malebolge are a delight. Dark, violent and crazy is what Defying Fate is.


Review:


  • File Size: 415 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Red Iris Books (April 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C7EPL42

My review of:

  1. Death’s Hand
  2. The Darkest Gate
  3. Dark Union
  4. Damnation Marked
  5. Dire Blood

Reine, S.M.: Dire Blood (The Descent V) (2012)

Dire Blood
Cover art S.M. Reine
I’ve had some strange and terrible things happen in my life. Most people have. I grew up in a home with parents who had managed to stray from the original paths their lives might have taken. Instead they changed what they had grown up with into a new type of family life. But the consequences of the lives they had grown up with were there. And let me tell you, their growing up years were extremely difficult. But they changed the script of their lives.

Maybe this is why I prefer Elise over James. Elise continually tries to change what life throws at her into something that will keep the balance between different types of people. James, on the other hand, is driven by his ambition. Both grew up with challenges, although Elise’s seem much more extreme than James’ challenges.

When James was a kid it became apparent that his talent for magic was extreme. At nine years old he taught three girls who were older than he. He thirsted for more knowledge of magic. Conquering magic became his goal in life, no matter what he might end up sacrificing to get there. Sadly, he was good at everything he tried his hand at. I say sadly because in James’ case all of his success turned out to give him a skewed sense of morality (at least it seems that way to me). That affects his relationship with Elise and just about every other person he meets. To him demons are dirty, filthy, evil creatures who deserve only death. Humans are the important breed to him, the ones he needs to protect.

James’ coven has been under the rulership of the angel Metaraon for years and years and years.

Metatron: (Metatetron, Merraton, Metaraon) A great angel honored as the angel of presence, chief of ministering angels, chancellor of heaven, and whom maintained the world.

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p>The coven has provided Metaraon with girls who are taken to a garden to be with Adam (or Him / God). While James was young Metaraon came to the coven to take away a young girl (Ariane). Metaraon’s ultimate goal was to create “The Godslayer” (yes, you are catching on now, huh? ;= ). Ariane was matched with Isaac Kavenagh in order to create a baby. Ariane became Isaac’s apsis so the two of them would be bound to each other. When Ariane was 16 and Isaac 20 years old Elise was born. And who is Elise supposed to be????

One of Ariane’s co-students was Hannah Pritchard. Hannah later became involved with James and she and James had a son – Nathaniel. If you remember, James found out about Nathaniel in Damnation Marked. James now discovers that Hannah has kept the knowledge of their son from James because of the kind of person James is. That’s got to hurt. James is the god of rationalisation and so manages to keep on finding justification for his actions and ways. Some of the choices he makes bring him and Hannah into great danger. Danger from which Elise is going to have to save them.

As you discovered at the end of Damnation Marked, Elise survived her death. She was changed into a demon of the kind that Yatam and Yatai were. For a kopis that had to suck. All of a sudden she has become what she has fought against her whole life (ever since she was able to hold a falchion). Part of that change has brought confusing urges and a look into other people that she isn’t understanding. So, she is confused, angry and worried.

When Nathaniel turns up, what does she do? Well, in true Elise style she drops everything and goes off to help James. Anthony has stuck with her through thick and thin, but this time he says no thanks and leaves Elise and Nathaniel to the job. And what a job this is turning out to be. Throughout Dire Blood I am reminded of why I like Elise so much (and now Nathaniel as well). Sure, she is a mess, her life has turned up-side-down and she has no idea what is happening to her. So what. Life has to go on and a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. If that means saving James with his magically talented son coming along, then that is what she will do.

Action. Is there action in Dire Blood. Oh, yes. Plenty of that. I had fun with both the action and the background information on our main characters. As usual I loved S.M. Reine’s writing. She does an excellent job with this kind of fantasy.


Review:


  • File Size: 482 KB
  • Print Length: 428 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Red Iris Books (December 23, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ASDEHLM

Source: Angelology


My review of:

  1. Death’s Hand
  2. The Darkest Gate
  3. Dark Union
  4. Damnation Marked