Book Review – Hell Becomes Her by R.A. McCandless

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.

Oooh. Scaarrry.

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.”


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Heaven’s Ass Kickers

Way back in college, sometime in the 90s (yes, I am that old) I saw a mediocre movie about angels.  No, it wasn’t Highway to Heaven, which was a God-awful piece of dreary pulp about angels helping people.  It was The Prophecy and it starred Eric Stoltz and Christopher Walken as angels out to respectively save the soul of a general and steal the same soul.

Or something.

Honestly, the plot was kind of convoluted.

Anyway, the angels in the movie were the classic warriors of Heaven angels and were generally pretty good at kicking ass and taking names for Heaven.  If you’re ever bored, the movie’s a good way to pass a couple of hours.

A number of years later comes a much better interpretation of the fearsome defenders of righteousness in the form of a book by a buddy of mine.  The buddy is Rob McCandless and the book is “Tears of Heaven.”

So, full disclosure here: I know Rob from way, way back.  We were roomies in college (he got the best room and I still haven’t forgiven him for that), competed on the speech and debate team together and so on.  That said, I’m not plugging his book because I’ve known and respected him for, like, ever, but because he’s written something off-the-wall unique.  He’s managed to take the outlandish and bring it back to Earth and make it real.

If you want to read something clever and unique, give it a shot.  You can find it easily on Amazon, and it’s also on Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and probably some other places.

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Rob’s Blog Rob’s Website



“In the past, the children of angels and humans, the Nephilim, were allowed to lead their lives as they willed. But they proved too strong, too ambitious, and too cunning for their own good. They became warlords, conquerors and emperors. They caused war and strife until the Throne stepped in and forced them to submit to Its will, or die.

Unlike most of her fellows, Del, one of the first Nephilim, had no interest in conquest and domination. In the ancient past, prior to the Throne’s interdiction, she met and fell in love with Dami, a Mediterranean ship captain and trader. Together, they face down pirates and storms and try to create a future together.

In the present, Del unwillingly works for the Throne, obeying the commands of the angel Ahadiel. She helps to keep the world safe from the horrors of escaped demons. At the same time, she keeps herself in the Throne’s good graces. Whenever a rogue demon breaks free from Hell, she and her partner, Marrin, another Nephilim, work together to banish it.

Thrilling danger, fast-paced adventure, high-seas action, and heart-warming romance fill this novel, with a page-turning story that won’t let you put it down.”