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.Reaper by Larissa Ione
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Evil Eye Concepts Incorporated on October 15, 2019
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: Bound by Night, Reaver, Revenant, Snowbound, "Bond of Destiny", "Z", "Azagoth", "Revenant's Epilogue", "Hades", "Razr", "Hawkyn", "Cipher"
Ninth in the Demonica Underworld paranormal romance series and revolving around Azagoth primarily, as his world falls apart.
This is a useful tale, as it explains how Sheoul-Gra came to be as well as the bargain about the guardians for the Primori. It also finds Azagoth realizing he needs to lighten up and rejoice in that first child born from love.
Azagoth plans a major upgrade to his griminions, and it doesn’t sound like a good idea. Of course, he is being pressed from all sides, and we know everything, eventually!!, through Ione’s use of third person global subjective point-of-view. Everybody jumps in with their ideas!
It’s action. It’s characters. It’s war. War against Azagoth’s children, the Memitim. Those he trusts most among them are those who stand up to Azagoth with honesty, however brutal. Heaven is also against Azagoth — think of Heaven as Republicans who don’t want to “let facts get in the way of [their] narrative”. It’s sad that Reaver prefers hanging out with demons . . . because they’re more honorable. I gotta say that the demons are at least predictable in that they are reasonably straightforward in their evilness.
I do like the result of Lilliana into Azagoth’s life with life returning to Sheoul-gra and Azagoth’s own happiness, including his children, the Memitim, starting to return to Sheoul-gra. What has been done to all those Memitim, abandoned as they were, was a useful series conflict while this story’s Harrowgate disruption creates other possibilities as does the attack on Lilliana and her baby and the hellhounds refusing to fight. It only gets worse, though, as Heaven gets involved.
Ione has an amazing version of humans’ purpose on earth. As for her postulation about the fate of Atlantis . . . hoo boy!
A number of character arcs are affected, including Eidolon’s and the question of who he spends the most time on. Workaholics unite . . . Wraith has quite the turnaround, well, Hell, everywhere turns topsy-turvy when Azagoth is enraged by all these betrayals.
It sounds as if Reaper is the end of the Demonica series with the Aegis carrying on from here. Should be interesting.
The Grim Reaper is a fallen angel who maintains a crucial balance between Heaven and Hell and the existence of life on Earth and beyond. But as all the realms gear up for the prophesied End of Days, the ties that bind him to Sheoul-gra have begun to chafe with breaches of faith on both sides
Now, with his beloved mate and unborn child the target of an ancient enemy, Azagoth will stop at nothing to save them, even if it means breaking blood oaths and shattering age-old alliances.
Even if it means destroying himself and setting the world on fire…
Dem – Demonica
LoD – Lords of Deliverance
DU – Demonica Underworld
Sheoul-gra was . . .
. . . built thousands of years ago to “exist as its own realm , , , between the human and demon realms”. A need has come to gather demon souls and evil human ones. A fallen angel was chosen to lead, one who became Azagoth, Reaper of Souls.
The pregnant Lilliana, a dirty angel with a gift of time travel, is Azagoth’s mate (“Azagoth“, 1 (DU), 11 (Dem)). Maleficent is the hellhound who bonded with Lilliana (“Azagoth“). The Genesis Chamber gives Azagoth power.
Journey is Azagoth’s son and Declan’s guardian. Idess is his daughter who gave up her opportunity for Heaven when she married Lore, half-brother to Eidolon, Shade, Sin (Lore’s twin), and Wraith (“Revenant’s Epilogue“, 6.1 (11.1)). Mace is Idess and Lore’s son. Others of Azagoth’s children include Suzanne, who married her Primori, Declan; Maddox “Mad”; Emerico; ten-year-old Ulrike; and, eleven-year-old Obasi, who had been found in a brutal Boko Haram camp. Razr is mated to Jedda, a Gem Elf (“Razr“, 4 (DU), 15 (Dem)) who calls Azagoth’s baby Raika, which means Hellmouth in her native language. Zhubaal is Azagoth’s trusted lieutenant (“Z” 3 (DU), 14 (Dem)). Cipher has become a True Fallen (“Cipher“, 8 (DU), 19 (Dem)).
Hades hates shirts and is the jailor of the Underworld and the Inner Sanctum, the rings of Dante fame. Cataclysm “Cat” is his mate and Lilli’s best friend (Hades, 2 (DU), 13 (Dem), 6.5 (LoD)). Malonius is a warden at the Rot, Hades’ torture prison.
Memitim are the offspring of Azagoth and scores of angels; their purpose is to become guardians to Primori, the more they oversee, the sooner they can gain Heaven. Primori are humans who have an essential task to perform in their lifetime. Jasmine is a four-hundred-year-old Memitim; her mother is Lucielle, an angel who had slept with Azagoth and bore 212 children. Hawkyn, one of Azagoth’s most trusted sons and is the Memitim liaison to Heaven, got a release for his siblings; he’s mated to Aurora (“Hawkyn” 5 (DU), 16 (Dem)).
Sheoul is . . .
. . . Hell where Satan rules, or ruled. He got put in a prison by Revenant and Reaver (Revenant, 6 (LoD) and 11 (Dem)). Lucifer is Satan’s son. Revenant, Reaver’s twin, is the current King of Hell (Revenant, 6 (LoD) and 11 (Dem)). The demon Bael is dead (and his soul merged with his twin, Moloc — the merging changed Moloc to Moloch; “Cipher“). Viscerog is an Orphmage. Chainfist is part of a revolution in Hell. Flail is a backstabbing fallen angel, and Maddox is her nephew. Ellandra had been Mad’s mother and Flail’s sister who walked into the Abyss. Drakiin seems to be a liaison. Fearr is a fallen angel in command of a legion of Soulshredders. Assailant. Curson and Falnor, fallen angels, are killers.
Dire and Dyre are demon lawyers.
Heaven is . . .
. . . ruled by the overall Council of Orders and the Angel Council?? — and too many of the angels are backstabbing hypocrites. Reaver, a.k.a. Yenrieth, is an angel with a convoluted life path, from angel to Unfallen, to angel and now a Radiant who will break the rules. Harvester is his mate (Reaver, 5 (LoD), 10 (Dem)) as well as Satan’s daughter and a former fallen angel. Zachariel was the first angel of the apocalypse. Metatron, the Mouth of God, is the highest-ranking angel in Heaven and Reaver’s uncle; his mate, Calia, was with Azagoth and bore a Memitim before they were mated. Jophiel is a senior throne and Metatron’s best friend. Muriel is the Second of the Order of Dominions. Barbiel is a virtue. Camael is part of the shamed Order of Powers. Phaleg is a super-douche from the Order of Angels. Gabriel is an archangel who had made Azagoth and Sheoul-gra his personal project. Michael and Uriel are more archangels. Royelle is a cherubim and mother to at least four Memitim. Raphael, an archangel, was discovered to be a traitor. The Moirai are sequestered angels who live on another plane and in all timelines at once. More angels include Sorel and Jeriah. “Jim-Bob“, an angel, is Azagoth’s spy in Heaven.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Ares (War) is mated to Cara, the hellhound-whisperer (Eternal Rider, 1 (LoD), 6 (Dem)). Aleka is their daughter. Limos, promised to Satan as his bride when she was an infant, is Famine and she’s the only one who had been raised by their mother in Sheoul. She’s mated to Arik Wagner (Immortal Rider, 2 (LoD), 7 (Dem)), who is of Aegis infamy. Thanatos is Death. He’s mated to Regan (Lethal Rider, 3 (LoD), 8 (Dem)) and they have two children: Logan and Amber. Cujo is their bison-sized hellhound. Reseph is Pestilence and married to Jillian (Rogue Rider, 4 (LoD), 9 (Dem)). Reaver is their father.
Underworld General Hospital (UG) is . . .
. . . the demon hospital where Dr Eidolon, a Seminus demon, is in charge; he’s mated to Tayla, a demon-slayer (Pleasure Unbound, 1). Drake, a vampire, is a physician assistant. Meesa, a lion shapeshifter, is a new nurse. Shade, one of Eidolon’s brothers, is a paramedic who can manipulate body functions and is mated to Runa, Arik’s sister (Desire Unchained, 2). Gem, Tayla’s twin sister, one of Eidolon’s best physicians, and his sister-in-law, is mated to Kynan, a doctor at UG and a member of the Aegis (Ecstasy Unveiled, 4 (Dem)). Sin, Eidolon’s sister and a walking super-plague, is the only female Seminus demon in existence; she’s mated to Conall, half-vampire, half-werewolf (Sin Undone, 5). Wraith is another brother, half-vampire, half-Seminus, with a reputation for chaos. He’s mated to Serena, a vampire (Passion Unleashed, 3), and they have a son, Stewie. Chu-hua and Vladlena.
Dr Blaspheme is an angel who runs UG’s London clinic. Her mother, Deva, was a fallen angel and totally nuts.
Arabian Peninsula, Before Sheoul-gra
Thousands of years ago, Gabriel finds Asrael in primitive conditions. Jaguriel, another angel, had died.
A griminion is a three-foot tall male who collect souls, evil ones, iffy ones. Harrowgates are a transportation system allowing underworlders to travel anywhere. Sarnat is one of the Charnel Apostles, who are considered evil even by Hell. The Abyss is a mythical place said to be findable only by those who have truly lost the will to live. A Morabuble is a weakened barrier between realms that allows one realm to push inside the other and cause bizarre anomalies. A labyrinx is a demon goat. Seminus demons are all about the sex, especially when they enter the Change. The Judicia is a race of demons dedicated to logic and justice. Cerberus is king of the hellhounds. “Man Bun” is a werewolf who works for a human software company. Malibites can’t use technology. Blights are hellhound-shark hybrids, angelic police dogs.
The Aegis is a private organization whose Guardians hunt demons with twelve Elders running it. The Demonic Activity Response Team (DART) is made up of the true believers of Aegis.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a dark brown background with a lighter gray where sky meets land. A ruin stands to the left while a lake is visible to the right of Azagoth in his torn blue jeans. His bare back is to us and we can see the elaborate tattoo on his back. His well-muscled arms are above his head holding a flaming sickle. More flames billow out on the lower right and the left bottom corner. The author’s name is in a black-shadowed white with the demonic caduceus in a range of oranges forming the “i” in her first name. Below that is an info blurb in white. Crossing Azagoth’s thighs is the title in orange with the series info below that in a combination of white and orange.
The title is who Azagoth is, the Grim Reaper.