Book Review: “Cipher” by Larissa Ione

Posted November 1, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: “Cipher” by Larissa Ione

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

"Cipher" by Larissa Ione
Series: Demonica Underworld #8
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Published by Evil Eye Concepts Incorporated on April 9, 2019
Pages: 197
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also in this series: "Z", "Azagoth", "Hades", "Razr", "Hawkyn"

Also by this author: Bound by Night, Reaver, Revenant, Snowbound, "Bond of Destiny", "Z", "Azagoth", "Revenant's Epilogue", "Hades", "Razr", "Hawkyn"

A novella that is eighth in the Demonica Underworld, a continuation of the Demonica Universe (#19) dark paranormal romance. This Underworld revolves around Azagoth, the Grim Reaper and lord of Sheoul-gra. The couple focus is on Cipher and the virginal Lyre.

My Take

Wow, Ione gives us an inside look at at the war Lyre has going on with herself. Her reasons for entering Sheoul and the frustration she’s experiencing with Cipher, forcing her to reconsider what she wants. Even as she wonders why she ain’t feelin’ the mean.

It’s a third person dual protagonist point-of-view with perspectives from Lyre (see above!) and Cipher who can’t decide who he hates more.

One of the overall Demonica Universe arcs is releasing Satan from his prison. Geez, I can’t go to Hell . . . no one has a sense of humor! And those bad guys sure are inventive in how they intend to free Satan.

Ooh, “Cipher” has caused me to remember that angel family and friends do not stand by you, not in Ione’s Heaven. You get accused of something, and they dump you so fast! Jealousy is not just a human emotion.

This is the story to read to realize why one should cool down before acting too hastily, for you might have to repent forever.

It’s melodramatic, but not in a bad way with plenty of action and events in Hell that will make you resolve to be good.

The pace wavers somewhat from quick to slow; it all depends on your mood and preferences.

The Story

Lyre has been assigned to seduce Cipher, for Bael wants that list. It’s a convoluted plan, but what fun is it if it’s not . . . Bael always says.

The Characters

Lyre, Lyresiel when she was a top analyst for the Intelligence Department in Heaven, is now a Fallen angel, and usually Bael’s errand girl. Lihandra was her betraying older sister; Bellagias was a younger sister. Dailon, a demon, had been a psychotherapist and a Somniatus, a nightmare devil.

Cipher, a Fallen, oops, no, a True Fallen angel, once used his cyberskills to work for Azagoth until he was betrayed seven months ago.

Felicia had been a primori in Fiji, an abandoned bride with Hawkyn as her Guardian Angel.

Sheoul-gra is . . .
. . .an underworld realm, a holding tank for the souls of dead demons and evil humans, ruled by Azagoth (“Azagoth“, 1 (DU), 11 (Dem)). His mate, Lilliana, has been gone for nine months (and she’s pregnant). A young son of his, Niclas, as well as three grown, trained Memitim have been murdered inside Sheoul-gra. Zhubaal “Z”, a Fallen angel, is his Chief of Operations and chief enforcer (“Z” 3 (DU), 14 (Dem)). Hades, with his blue mohawk, is in charge of the Inner Sanctum (Hades, 2 (DU), 13 (Dem), 6.5 (LoD)). Hawkyn, a Memitim, is one of Cipher’s friends who is married to Aurora (“Hawkyn” 5 (DU), 16 (Dem)). Other Memitims include Journey, another one who’s a wizard on the computer; Maddox; Suzanne; Tuvol is one of Cipher’s oldest friends; Emerico; Gretchen had been kidnapped; Amelia, who was also a primori; Jasmine; and, Meera, who was killed.

Sheoul is what . . .
. . . humans call Hell. Revenant, NOT a Fallen angel, is the current king of Sheoul (Revenant, 6 (LoD) and 11 (Dem)). The impulsively cruel Bael, an ancient fallen angel, is/was one of Satan’s top generals. Moloc is Bael’s twin brother and as evil as Bael. Flail has no qualms. Rancor is a female Fallen angel who has control of the Horun region. Malachi is a demon from the Islith region of Sheoul.

Underworld General Hospital (UGH) was . . .
. . . founded by three Seminus demon brothers to serve demons. One of the founders is Eidolon who’s married to Tayla (Pleasure Unbound, 1). Kynan Morgan, formerly of The Aegis, is now a doctor at UGH.

The Four Horsemen
Yep, of the Apocalypse. Arik Wagner is the husband of Limos, Famine (Immortal Rider, 2 (LoD), 7 (Dem). Ares is War and married to Cara (Eternal Rider, 1 (LoD), 6 (Dem)). Their baby is Aleka. Maleficent is one of Cara’s hellhounds.

Heaven
Reaver is a Radiant Angel, the highest rank there is of angels, a Prince of Heaven. He’s also the father of the Four Horsemen. “Jim Bob” is Azagoth’s spy in Heaven. The Moirai are angelic seers who live on another plane and in all timelines.

The Demon Activity Response Team (DART) . . .
. . . fights demons for a living. Declan is an agent, Journey’s brother-in-law, and his primori.

A True Fallen angel is one who was kicked out of Heaven and entered Sheoul, developing fangs and getting their powers back. And they can never return to Heaven. A Fallen angel is one who was kicked out of Heaven and entered Sheoul. An Unfallen angel is one who was kicked out of Heaven but hasn’t entered Sheoul. A Memitim is a child fathered by Azagoth whose job is to be Guardian Angels to primori. Orphmages are one of the most powerful sorcerer-class demons.

An ascerdisc is made from a Fallen angel’s bones to control another. Destroying a soul gives Satan power. Created from imps, griminions are Azagoth’s worker bees.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a black background with the upper two-thirds using an orange filigree of stars and trefoils texturing the background. The novella publisher’s name is in a gradated orange. It’s Cipher standing in profile in the first “0” with a head-down pouty look, as his right wing appears as a flash of brown and fuchsia. In the second “0” is a landscape scene from Sheoul with its mountains, red sky, and flowing lava river. In the middle is the title and the series information in a pale, pale orange. In the bottom third is the author’s name in a gradated fuchsia; the middle “i” has a demonic caduceus against a filigreed background of fuchsia trefoils and stars. At the very bottom is a testimonial in a very dark fuchsia.

The title is the protagonist who discovers he’s a “Cipher”.

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