Review of The Darkest Gate by S.M. Reine

How's it going fellow booksnakes? I've recently started a new "segment" here in The Booksnake Etc. titled S.M. Reine Rave. This has the same concept as Marian Tee Mania, only this time, I dedicate it to my Paranormal Romance hero, Sara or S.M. Reine. She created one of my favourite female characters ever, Elise Kavanagh, and on the first day of SMRR (S.M. Reine Rave) I started things off with Death's Hand Descent # 1. Continuing the series, I'm now going to be reviewing The Darkest Gate, the second instalment in this 7-part saga.

NOTE: Spoilers for Death's Hand up ahead.

Title: The Darkest Gate (Descent #2)
Author: S.M. Reine 
Publication Date: May 4, 2012 
Published by: Red Iris Books
Source: Bought Free on Amazon


When Elise Kavanagh retired from demon hunting, she swore it would be permanent. But an attack from a powerful necromancer forced her back into the business, and now she's trying to balance her normal boyfriend and normal job with everything supernatural.

Mr. Black is a demon hunter gone rogue. He's enslaving angels and stealing ethereal artifacts in pursuit of forbidden immortality. An old grudge drives him to make his final stand in Elise's territory. Destroying her life and killing her friends isn't the goal, but it's a definite perk.

A demonic overlord offers to join against Mr. Black and protect Elise's loved ones. All she needs to do is ally with the demons she's sworn to kill, at the cost of her morals--and maybe her immortal soul. But once she crosses that line, there's no turning back.

Nothing is sacred when Heaven and Hell collide on Earth...



Elise Kavanagh is now back in the demon hunting game...for good. She also has a new ally, a boyfriend, and a bunch of enemies. Her fierceness has increased, but she also feels more fear and pain now -- both physically and emotionally. Her feelings for James only cause her pain, especially since he seemed to be moving on without her, Anthony's love is something she finds useless and bothersome, and her past that has caught up to them brings her nothing but complication. She's mad, sad, and afraid.

James Faulkner is worried. He notices Elise pulling away from him and not asking for his help even if she needs it. He's in a normal relationship with a normal woman, but he doesn't want to let his kopis roam around and be killed, especially since their enemies are apparently alive and more vengeful than ever. Mix in giant demonic spiders, and a gateway to the garden, they're pretty much busy.


Death's Hand ended on such an emotional note; with James dying and Elise about to go crazy before she attempted -- and succeeded -- to bring him back to life. Of course, something so powerful cannot possibly have no consequences. Again, let me break down the reasons why I found myself lost in this book: 


Elise, as always, is amazing. She fights hard and dirty and she won't apologize for it. She becomes a lackey for an overlord who is OVER-the-top annoying and bossy, only because she needs it to survive and protect the people she loves...namely, James. People think she's so cold and unfeeling, but they don't see just how much she FEELS; she's jealous of James' and Stephanie's relationship, hurt by how he can easily move on without her, afraid of the people she cares about being hurt, confused by how much she wants to help beings that she shouldn't care about, mad at the overlord who seems to be playing her, and resolute on not letting Him have her. See, she feels a lot, she's just really good at hiding it from the rest of the world.

Anthony is still rather interesting. He's only human, but he really wants to help Elise fight her battles and accomplish her missions. The feelings he has for Elise is powerful enough that he can't stay away even though she pushes and discards him like he's no loss at all, but for some reason, he wants her despite all of the roughness and goreness that surrounds them.

Thom is very mysterious, and there's this line that made me just...GAAHHH!! 

“No matter the why, she is the Godslayer. Watch her well, James Faulkner, because she is mine. I will be back for her."

His intentions are unclear and until now we still don't really know what he is. One thing is for sure though, he's powerful and he wants Elise for some reason. Did I mention how hot he was? 


As usual, there were more twists in the plot than that of a...something that has lots of twists. There was pain, lots of it, and it was heartbreaking. You will be kept on the edge of your seat, and that is a guarantee.


As if I need to explain it further. The fight scenes were intense, and we see a couple of characters acting very heroically, fighting with everything they have even if it means risking their own lives. 

However, I was quite disappointed when James didn't even cry. It's like he didn't even feel...broken when this thing, that I'm not going to tell you about, happened. Like dude, really? I thought you're forever bound and stuff. Also, Stephanie? Still?! 


It's intense, painful, and amusing. I really adore Elise. Watch out for my review of  Dark Union, book 3 in the Descent series.


Book image from Goodreads

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