Hell for Hire by Rachel Aaron @Rachel_Aaron ‏ #KindleUnlimited @snyderBridge4

Posted June 17, 2024 by Robin in Book Review / 11 Comments

Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hell for Hire by Rachel Aaron @Rachel_Aaron ‏ #KindleUnlimited @snyderBridge4 Hell for Hire by Rachel Aaron / Bach
Series: Tear Down Heaven #1
Published by Self-Published on June 4, 2024
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 350
Format: eARC
Source: Author
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Crew
A hulked-out wrath demon who eats gamer rage and loves cats, a shapeshifting lust demon who enjoys their food a bit too much, and a void demon who doesn’t see the point of any of this. They’re not the sort of mercenaries you'd hire on purpose, but Bex wouldn’t trust her life to anyone else.

Ever since the ancient Mesopotamian king Gilgamesh decided death wasn’t for him, killed the gods, and conquered the afterlife, times have been rough for a free demon. But the denizens of the Nine Hells aren’t the quitting sort, and Bex and her team have been choking a living out of the Eternal King’s lackeys for years. It’s not honest work, but when Heaven itself declares you a non-person, you smash-and-grab what you can get.

This next gig looks like more of the same…until Bex meets the client.

The Job
Adrian Blackwood is a witch with a problem. His family has skirted the edges of King Gilgamesh’s ire for centuries, but thanks to a decision he made as a child, Adrian is personally responsible for putting his entire coven in Heaven’s crosshairs.

Determined to set things right, Adrian drags his broom, caldron, and talking cat thousands of miles across the country to Seattle where he can fight the Eternal King’s warlocks without bringing the rest of his family into the fray. But witchcraft--like all crafts--takes time, and if the warlocks catch him before his spells are ready, he’s dead. So Adrian does what any professional witch would do and hires a team of mercenaries to keep the warlocks off his back. He didn’t expect to get demons, but when you’re already on the killing-edge of Heaven’s bad side, what’s a bit more fuel on the fire?

Sometimes you get more than you paid for.
Neither Adrian nor Bex knew what to expect when they signed their contract, but witch-plus-demon turns out to be a match made in the Hells. With this much chaos at their fingertips, even impossible dreams can come back into reach, because Bex wasn’t always a mercenary. She used to be the Eternal King's biggest nightmare, and now that she’s got a witch in her corner, it’s time to put the old magics back on the field and show Adrian Blackwood just how much Hell he’s hired.

Hell for Hire is the first book in a new world and the new series Tear Down Heaven.  Don’t let the title fool you, for something with heaven and hell in the title this doesn’t fall into much religious dogma, but instead makes up a whole new world with its own history and versions of the war between Heaven and Hell.  Think of them more like countries or dimensions than actual “good” and “bad”.

Bex runs a mercenary crew of cast out demons.  Since hell was conquered all demons are bound to warlocks, there are a rare few still free and Bex is determined to keep her crew firmly in the free category.  She has picked up a new client and is supposed to spend the next month protecting him while he builds a new witchwood on the West Coast.  Thing is, this is going to bring Bex and crew really close to some of the worst warlocks of the bunch.  As she protects her new client, it looks like she will set her crew up for a huge fight against some pretty big odds.  But they are the best demons out there and will fight tooth and nail for Bex because of who she is.

Adrian Blackwood ran away from his warlock apprenticeship he never wanted but was forced into.  He has one goal to start a magical Blackwood forest and he has planned this for a century.  One problem, he knows that soon the warlocks he ran from will find him.  His only chance is that Bex and her crew buy him the time needed to get his baby forest going and strong enough to keep his enemies out.  With the help of his cat familiar, they will get to work and make some friends of the demons hired to protect them.

“Adrian Blackwood, I’ve been your cat since you were seven and your familiar since you were thirteen. When you say ‘I’m worried,’ I know what you actually mean is ‘I’m about to do something colossally stupid,’

I was really engrossed in this story.  Rachel Aaron has created a very cool world with an interesting backstory to it. Mesopotamian king Gilgamesh overthrew the kingdoms of Heaven and Hell a thousand years ago.  Since then he has set himself up as a god and king.  Using warlocks, captured and bound demons, Heaven’s Princes and the captured Princesses of Hell to take control of everything and rule the world.  As information is teased out about the characters and the world I was more and more drawn into this underdog story.  It is Bex and her crew of demons against the former man who overthrew Heaven, then become a god.

There was a great blend of action, intrigue and perhaps a few hints that there might be a romance on the horizon.  Hell for Hire had everything I wanted in a first book of a series.  The introduction of the characters, set up of the world and lore and a redemption story to get behind.  Learning how the crew got their start and Bex’s history was quite an interesting journey but I loved how it played into the overall arc of the story.  Adrian and his witchwood creation along with how he interacts with his familiar cat added fun to the story and some interesting visions of how the magic systems of this world worked.

I have enjoyed many of Rachel Aaron’s other series.  This first book in the Tear Down Heaven series is really promising and leads me to believe I’m going to enjoy this story just as much if not more than other series I read in the Heartstriker world. This left off in a great place.  Not quite a cliffhanger but a place full of suspense so that if the next book was out I’d be ready to jump back in.  I was also happy that this never gave me religious dogma vibes ever.  I was a bit concerned as I’m not really into current religion in my reading.  I think Rachel Aaron did a great job making sure everything seemed like a something in a new fantasy world instead of current religion.

Now you see, Drox said as the flames overwhelmed her. Rage is useless, a knife with no handle that’s as likely to cut yourself as the enemy, but wrath is directed. It has choice, intention.

Rage is a poison, but wrath is a sword.

Your sword.

About Rachel Aaron / Bach

Hello, my name is Rachel Aaron, and I write the Heartstriker books, a new Urban Fantasy series about misfit dragons, starting with Nice Dragons Finish Last. I also wrote The Legend of Eli Monpress fantasy series for Orbit Books about a wizard thief and the poor bastards who have to try and stop him. PLUS I’m also the author of the new, rolicking fun Science Fiction romance Fortune’s Pawn under the name Rachel Bach. Confused yet? I know I am!

I was born in Atlanta, but I currently live a lovely, nerdy, bookish life in Athens, GA with my lightspeed son, perpetually understanding husband, and fat dog. Besides my own books, the internet knows me best for writing very fast. The best way to get to know me is probably to read my blog or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

Rating Breakdown
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Posted June 17, 2024 by Robin in Book Review / 11 Comments

11 responses to “Hell for Hire by Rachel Aaron

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