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Hellsbane, #1

First Line:

I couldn’t breathe. My heart slammed in my chest like a caged animal and sweat chilled down my back. Muscles all over my body tensed, and instinct screamed through my mind, telling me to run. Run. RUN!


Then it was gone. Darkness engulfed us, with only the distant stars twinkling in the vast emptiness. My hands leached around Eli’s neck, brought us cheek to cheek. “You’re safe in my arms, Emma Jane. Always,” he said, his lips brushing my ear. A shudder traveled straight down to my center with the sweet sound of his words. The man had an orgasmic voice.


Half human and half Angel the illorum remain dormant, living out their lives as normal humans unaware of the demons and Fallen Angels who control them mingling among them. Though if unlucky (depending on your outlook) and their destiny activated by touching a sword made in the fire pits of Heaven to banish the evil from Earth, they must pay for the sins of their fathers-the Fallen Angels-and slay all escaped demons and send their father back to the abyss in order to have those sins forgiven and be allowed into Heaven.

Hellsbane was a challenge to read. It pushed my boundaries, forced me to set aside my own personal beliefs and to let my guard down. This book showed me how to enjoy a book without judgment and I loved it! It is not to often that I am challenged in such a way that I want to put down a book because I happen to not agree with the a plot point or character's point of view, but NOT put it down for the same exact reasons. Ms. Cuccaro has written a story that uses so many of the known stories and references in the Bible, slightly bent them in a way that made Hellsbane unique all the while exploring the 'possibilities' hidden right under our noses. Brilliant!

After the first few chapters my understanding of the story the author was telling through her main character, Emma Jame Hellsbane grew vastly and I found myself actually high-lightening words, small references hidden within the action scenes and throw downs between the Fallen and the illorum. I think that is why it took me four days to read instead of my normal two days. It was like a big egg hunt-exciting, thrilling when you found a delicious hint or clue and then you're on to the next hoping to find something else just as tasty.

The story itself, beyond the references that I spoke of above, was tight and strong. The plot and characters so intricately woven that every action of Emma Jane, Tommy, the one who brought her into the world of the illorum and the Angel Magester Eli, sent to guide them, flowed seamlessly from chapter to chapter. This story occupied my complete attention the whole time and had me holding my breath waiting to see if Eli would take risks for Emma, though against all laws set by the Angel council that received direction for the Big Man Himself. Of course, there were moments that I dreaded reading but I understood the reasoning behind all outcomes and as much as I would like to give all the juicy details away I find it best to let you read the story for yourself. Not fair, I know but if you want to experience a unique story filled with consuming emotions, action, suspense, and engaging dialogue then read Hellsbane. I know I am glad it did! The ending was nicely wrapped up without a dramatic cliff hanger but at the same token I can't help but want to know what is so different and alluring about the main character. A mystery to piece together in the next installment for sure!


This makes three books I have read by Paige Cuccaro. Her talent has increased with each book and has left me really wanting to get my hands on the second installment of Hellsbane. Her flow of words and descriptive abilities are note worthy to readers because she doesn't allow you to read a scene and not feel what the characters are going through. You are right there when swords clank and bullets whiz by within a hairs width from your head, or make that the character's head. Either way you feel the need to dodge!


I am glad I stuck with this book. It challenged me and gave me something to think about in my own life on so many levels. I highly recommend this book not only for the fabulous Urban Fantasy story, but also to enjoy a very talented author weaving magic with her words.

Book Blurb for Hellsbane

Emma Jane Hellsbane always knew she was different, but she had no idea she wasn’t even human. Well, at least she’s half-human. She’s half-fallen angel, too, and now dear ol’ dad wants her dead. All the Fallen angels want all their troublesome offspring removed from the mortal coil so she’s trying not to take it personally. Besides, she wants him dead just as much. Her father’s death is the only way she’ll be forgiven for his sin, stop those pesky demons from trying to hack off her head, and have any hope at all of getting back to a normal life as a wicked slick Intuitive Consciousness Explorer.

Of course, first she’ll have to figure out which fallen angel is her father, avoid accidentally seducing her angelic mentor, help an old friend conquer his own fallen sperm donor, and basically save the world from a cataclysmic divine smack down.

No problem. With a last name like Hellsbane, Emma Jane was definitely born for the job.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2012 4.50