Review of Death's Hand by SM Reine

FINALLY!! I have been looking forward to reviewing the Descent series ever since I finished reading book 1, but I've been SO freaking swamped that I only got around it now. Doesn't matter, because I can now share with you guys how FANTASTIC this series is ... if you still don't know, that is. *smiles innocently*

I came across the boxed set of Death's Hand, Darkest Gate, and Dark Union one day while I was browsing through Amazon. I read the blurb, got interested, and the set was free. So I one-clicked that beyotch without even blinking. Did I read it immediately though? Nuh-uh. It sat, patiently waiting, in my Kindle reading app for about a month or so before I decided that I was in the mood for some kickass-ery. So I got to reading, and I just ... *sigh* 

NOTE: I've already finished the Descent series, but for the sake of being fair and not giving any spoilers, I will review each book as if I don't know what happens in the next one ... or the next one ... or the next one. 

Title: Death's Hand (Descent #1)
Author: S.M. Reine
Publication Date: October 21, 2011
Published by: Red Iris Books
Source: Bought Free on Amazon


Policing relations between Heaven, Hell, and Earth is messy and violent, but Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner excelled at it-- until coming across a job so brutal that even they couldn't stand to see one more dead body.

Now they've been pretending to be normal for five years, leaving their horrific history a dark secret. Elise works in an office. James owns a business. None of their friends realize they used to be one of the world's best killing teams.

After years of hiding, something stirs. Bodies are vanishing. Demons scurry in the shadows of the night. A child has been possessed.

Some enemies aren't willing to let the secrets of the past stay dead... 



Elise Kavanagh is a demon and angel slayer turned exorcist turned dancer turned accountant. (Lots of turns there, sister). She's known all over the world as the greatest kopis alive, and she doesn't even give a flying f*** about it. Her life may not be the most normal, but she's content and happy with her best friend and aspis. She's been running and hiding for a long time, and so far she -- they -- have been successful until one fateful afternoon.

James Faulkner is a thoughtful, passionate, and complicated man. He is Elise's aspis, her shield, her protector. They've been fighting, running, and surviving together for the last decade, and all he really wants is a normal life -- one without demons or angels waiting for the chance to kill them. The thing is, we can't really have everything we want. 


Death's Hand is just ... I don't even know how ... I'm ... GAAAHHHH!!! I LOVE YOU ELISE KAVANAGH!! Whew! Now that I got that out of my chest, Death's Hand is an amazing beginning to a spectacular series. From the very first page I was already hooked. Shall I break down the reasons why I fell in love with it? Well, since you asked...

Technical Aspect:

The writing is very direct and descriptive, even the gore parts which most people might find a bit too much ... I'm not one of them of course. There were barely any grammatical errors, which made the book easier to read because you weren't trying to figure out what the heck the author wanted to say. I was also a fan of the changes in POVs, because it's nice to get in on other people's thoughts and emotions.


Duuuu-uu-uude! Elise Kavanagh is definitely one of my favourite people. We should hangout sometime. Here's the thing, people say that she's stubborn and it's like she has no emotions, but she's very passionate and fights really hard to save as many people as she can. James is also quite dreamy. At this point, he acts like Elise is just his partner, as in kopis-aspis (sword & shield), but I think it will eventually evolve into something much more. Elise is obviously already there, James just needs to wake the freck up. Anthony, I really like him here. It's nice to have a guy panting over Elise, one who's willing to love her.


Totally AWESOME! Sure there were numerous occasion when Elise and James' asses were handed to them by their enemies. But this is just the beginning of a very action-packed road, and there's always room for improvement. And besides, they're still both human you know? The important thing is, at the end of the day, they come out the victor.


The plot runs very deep, and I don't think a person can simply guess where the story is heading or what's going to happen next. S.M. Reine managed to prove me wrong a number of times when I assumed I knew what's going to unfold. For that, I give you three big claps Ms. Reine.

I hated Stephanie and I found Betty annoying. Seriously, I don't understand what James found in the doctor aside from she's not bad to look at. Pfft. He could do so much better. One other thing, is James' eyes blue or brown? There are two different descriptions all the time and it's starting to bother me.  


I want to see this series turned into a TV series. Not a movie, because that will just be too short. Maybe this can fill in once the Vampire Diaries is over? Wishful thinking. By the way, I'm totally rooting for Brandon Routh to play James if this gets adapted. Just sayin'

Pick this up you guys, you WILL NOT regret it. I assure you and so do a hundreds, maybe thousands, more that you will enjoy every single page. 


Book image from Goodreads

Book review of Death's Hand by SM Reine, the first installment of the Descent series, here in The Booksnake Etc.

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