I first found S.M. Reine through her Seasons of the Moon Series. There were a lot of vampire and werewolf books available back then and I read them extensively. This was back, almost a decade when I first started reading electronic books. I preferred physical books, but as we were moving from Canada to Indonesia, our library required downsizing. I could not justify the purchase of a new book series, usually bought at a used book store and then at the local bookstore when the new releases came out. Instead, I was testing out the concept of electronic books. And I didn’t like it. Not one bit. I worked in an office and spent a minimum of four hours tied to a computer, what possible relaxation could come from continuing my screen time?
I was willing to give electronic books a chance though, because if I didn’t, I would have hardly any new books to choose from. We took out library of thousands of books and reduced it to approximately one hundred. We kept only our most cherished series. I kept Elizabeth Haydon, Kristen Britain, and Terry Brooks series, my partner kept his Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and David Farland series. There were many wonderful authors we gifted to our friends. The rest, we took to the used book store and the free book shed. This was before there were free little libraries everywhere.
Throughout the process, I attempted to find replacements for my missing books, the fantasy worlds I travelled in whenever I chose. The Seasons of the Moon Series was one of those I tried out. I enjoyed it at the time, but it was not my favourite type of story. I wasn’t used to reading young adult and so did not quite get into the series. But then, years later, I found the decent series. There, I fell in love.
Elise Kavanagh was a broken violent girl, who grew up with twin falchion swords gripped in her hands. She killed her first demon at seven years old and lost track not long after. Elise, and her partner, James Faulkner, roamed the earth killing supernatural creatures until she turned away from all the killing and wanted to lead a normal life. However, the supernatural world was not done with her. Death’s Hand, book 1 in the Descent Series, was a wonderful draw into dark fantasy. Where the characters were no longer new adults learning about the magical world they lived in. Rather they were true adults with years of memories and scars they tried to hide from. Elise wanted to start over and forget her past.
I am — or used to be — a warrior against the forces of HellDeath’s Hand, S.M. Reine
The depth of her emotional wounds and lack of societal norms makes Elise a wonderful character to follow. She was not brought up in one culture where she learned what was considered normal behaviour, therefore she has no preconceived notions of what normal is. Dating, getting invoices paid, all become newly awkward events when Elise is involved. Then when her former partner James asks for her help with a problem in the supernatural community, Elise is drawn into the darkness and her ability to be violent might be the only way Elise and their few people she knows will have a chance to survive.
The story is dark and Elise is pressed by James to determine if a five-year-old girl needed to be exorcised. It was the first step of Elise’s move back into her violent past and away from the solid, boring present, she was hoping for. Between the possessed girl and the missing bodies from the cemetery, there were unnatural events occurring and it was up to Elise and James to figure out how they were related. Before it was too late for the people they were starting to care about.
Death’s hand is an action-filled snarky entry into the Decent Series. It was easy to be drawn into Elise and Jame’s world of supernatural violence. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys sarcasm and magical violence. Once you finish reading the Descent Series, I would suggest the Ascent Series as well as it continues with Elise’s journey through the supernatural world. Fortunately for me, I became accustomed to reading ebooks and continued on through the Elise Kavanagh series. To anyone traveling for years at a time, ebooks are the best way not to give up a great reading habit. Happy Reading!