Back in 2013 the world was first introduced to Del, the half-human, half-angel hitter for the Throne. That book was Tears of Heaven and it was a wickedly fun tale of Nephilim kicking demon butt. We saw Del’s half-human side far more than we saw her half-angel side, which was quite apropos. If you take a character that is far more powerful than pretty much anyone else and make them perfect, you wind up with a pretty boring character. It was her flaws that made Del such an interesting character. In the end, absinthe was downed, bullets were fired, and evil took a few solid shots on the nose.
Today, I’m pleased to announce, the sequel to that story is (finally) available. Hell Becomes Her has been a couple years in the making and it shows. The plot is tight, the writing smooth, and the villains are extremely villainous. If you’re wondering how I managed to get a review up in time for the release, it’s not because I’m a super fast reader. In fact, I’m writing this the day before you’re reading it, so in a sense I’m speaking to you from the past.
No, I got ARC copy of Hell Becomes Her for various reasons that have nothing to do with a bet I made with Rob back in 1997. I’ve actually been reading it for the past couple weeks while everyone else was waiting with baited breath. I’d like to tell you I’ve also seen the new Star Wars movie but I made a promise I wouldn’t say that.
But I digress.
Sequels have a nasty habit of either rehashing the same old stories and becoming stale or ramping up the action so much that story goes completely off the rails and becomes completely outlandish. Hell Becomes Her doesn’t fall into either of those categories; the action is ramped up, but the characters have evolved. They fit the story and the story fits itself.
It would be all too easy to rehash the same ideas from the first novel, but McCandless has let the world evolve along with the characters and introduced another element to the story that expands the mythology of his world. And make no mistake, writing is about nothing more than world building. Not in the Weyland/Yutani sense of world building, but something far more interesting: writing is about creating things and places and people, and that’s what is happening here.
McCandless is creating his own mythology; taking things and shaking them up and making a brand new world from the result. It’s a world filled with danger and craziness and more action than you can shake a stick at, but it’s also a world filled with a soul.
Now, I can’t give away the whole plot without giving away the secrets, but I can tell you it’s full of twists and turns, it never goes off the rails, and it’s always a great read.
“Angels should be a human’s worst nightmare. Del didn’t think there was anything worse than angels, or their fallen kin, demons. She and her partner Marrin helped to keep the world safe from the horrors of escaped demons for generations. But when Del’s daughter is kidnapped by a shadowy group, Del will find that the world is even more dangerous than she suspected.
There are worse things than angels and demons.”