Review of "Hell Becomes Her" by R.A. McCandless

R.A. McCandless is a skilled storyteller, and "Hell Becomes Her" is a very good sequel to Tears of Heaven (Flames of Perdition) (Volume 1). These books follow the adventures of Del, a Nephilim assassin who has wandered the earth for centuries and made no small amount of enemies in her long life. In "Hell Becomes Her," a nefarious group makes the mistake of kidnapping her adopted daughter, and very little exists on heaven or earth that can prevent Del from retrieving her charge.

The action is constant and McCandless does a good job of dropping clever lines in to keep the mood light. There's even the occasional Star Wars quote to make you smile. But when things get down to business, McCandless is very good at creating tension. There's a stand-off scene about a third of the way through the book where you get a genuine sense of danger. With as many stand-offs as we are subjected to in novels, film, and television, it's amazing to come across such a scene that brings something new to the table. That scene alone justifies this novel (and it is one of many quality moments).

There's a bit of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Del, but she's by no means a retread. This is a unique, nuanced character and McCandless does a nice job of providing backstory to his world building. It's always fun to have a fantasy novel which takes place in modern times, with mythical cities hidden in plain sight among the sights and sounds we recognize.

The Biblical connection is minimal. Biblical stories and places are referenced, but only to establish a social hierarchy and to lend weight to the proceedings. The purpose of this book is to be an action-packed joyride with cool characters spraying hails of bullets from twin pistols upon hoards of bad guys. This book stands alone, but I think I'd recommend you read Tears of Heaven (Flames of Perdition) (Volume 1) first. You won't regret giving either of these books a try!

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