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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-04 07:16
The Rift by R.J. Clark
The Rift (Detectives and Demons #1) - R.J. Clark

The Rift by R.J. Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Matt Faustus, whose very soul is connected to a high ranking fiend, finds himself neck-deep in a new case - one he accepted despite being warned about the possible ramifications. A little girl is missing, abducted by the family's house-cleaning demon, and it's his job to find her. Eager to earn that paycheck, Matt's enthusiasm soon lands him in trouble within the Hellspawn society, though that sure doesn't stop him.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to R.J. Clark for giving me the opportunity!

This came as an unexpected surprise, especially considering I added this one to my Goodreads shelf way back in 2011; the year I made the decision to start reviewing everything I read. Being able to jump into something that piqued my interest that long ago, well, it was more than nice. What initially drew me in was the compelling aspect of the Rift itself, and how it expelled demons of all shapes and sizes right out into the city of New Orleans. Can you imagine if that happened? It's a terrifying thought; an apocalyptic occurrence right out from Revelations. However, whilst the book includes adult themes of gore and some sensitive subject matters, I wouldn't classify it as horror. For me, it was urban fantasy through and through - perhaps on the darker side of the spectrum, yes, but urban fantasy all the same - a genre that still appeals to me despite my tastes evolving toward more darker material.

Matt was certainly an entertaining and likeable protagonist, even if he displayed selfish and immature behaviour, but those faults didn't affect my impression of him. His soul-bound connection to Baalberith was yet another high point, offering a more intimate and unique peek into the relationship between man and monster. A large part of what intrigued me was Matt's entire history - there's so much backstory, so much unexplored territory to his character. Mentioned throughout were snippets of his difficult childhood, a large portion including Father Donovan and his ceaseless exorcism attempts. Clark has a great amount of freedom if he wishes to return to the world in which Matthew resides, either as a recollection of earlier events, or following the conclusion of this debut. Maybe even involving a new hero entirely!

My favourite character had to be Persephone, however. I found him a great addition to the team as he added much needed spice to what would've been a couple's day out. There was nothing wrong with Alura per se; she had a temper I found to be enticing, and I loved the Succubi as a species, but overall I didn't quite feel connected to her partnership with Matt. This could be because their attachment had already been established, and instead of accompanying them along with their courtship, I was thrown into the middle. I felt somewhat lost at times, and when particular information was held back, of which concerned the reason why they had fallen out in the first place, it even further distanced me.

The plot itself was the definition of action packed. It just didn't stop; trouble followed Matt everywhere, biting at his heels. I appreciated the fact that injuries were in abundance - pain, bloody and brutal, was dished out over and over. There's nothing more tedious than an overpowered hero that comes out on top of every bad situation. For me to get properly invested and absorbed, there has to be that feeling of danger and struggle, even if it's nothing but a convincing illusion. Clark was able to pull this off superbly, successfully giving considerable weight to every threat. The ending also held a twist I adored, because of the sheer horribleness of it. Suffice it to say, I felt sorry for Matt.

As for the Bestiary and wide selection of demons - I enjoyed the large amount of creativity put into their creation. They had their own culture and each offered their own strengths and weaknesses. It might not have been pretty, but I was completely on board with that.

As you can tell, I've a lot to say about this once forgotten novel as I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I do believe it's in need of further editing. There's a large amount of mistakes; incorrect words placed within sentences, although it didn't bother me all too much.

In conclusion: I would consider this a great beginning to a series. I enjoyed the demonic elements, and Matt as protagonist. This book deserves more recognition in the urban fantasy genre, for sure, however I believe it needs a bit of tidying up in regards to sentence structure.

Notable Quote:

Most humans saw these creatures as second class citizens, and treated them decidedly so. Like their slaves for the most part. Regardless of the concept of inalienable rights, man is a creature attracted to subjugation, and since it wasn't legal in this country to enslave each other anymore, many figured they'd just substitute the Hellspawn. Demons were the food that fed that primal urge without attracting social ire or reproach.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/05/04/the-rift-by-r-j-clark
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review 2016-07-09 00:00
Hellspawn Odyssey
Hellspawn Odyssey - Ricky Fleet,Christin... Hellspawn Odyssey - Ricky Fleet,Christina Hargis Smith Following on from Hellspawn, Kurt and his family are still trying to get to the army base for protection. At the start of the book we get introduced to two new characters, and Ricky addresses a topic not openly discussed here in the UK-domestic violence on a male. Pete is a lovely guy that has one messed up girlfriend Debbie and I personally would have fed her to the zombies straight away. Throughout this book we get introduced to new characters and you can see cracks appear in the group. There is more action in this book and with the added twists involving humans and zombies, Kurt and co really have their work cut out trying to survive. There is a moment in the book that left me with tears in my eyes as the scene was such a shock and so well written, but I understand why it needed to be done
All the characters have developed since Hellspawn as for them to survive they needed to harden up and although Kurt is stronger, he is doing it for the family he loves. There are scenes in this book that will make you laugh, cry and even shout out to warn the characters. A great book that kept the suspense going right to the very end. The action started from page 1 and was so well written I finished reading it really quickly and I cannot wait for the 3rd book in the series. If you love zombies get the Hellspawn series
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review 2016-06-17 00:00
Hellspawn - Ricky Fleet,Jeffrey Kosh,Chr... Hellspawn - Ricky Fleet,Jeffrey Kosh,Christina Hargis Smith I came across this book as a recommendation from another author, and I am so glad that I bought it.
The story is about a regular family just like you and I. Kurt the father has just finished work and sees a sight that is just not right. From that moment it is a case of getting his family and surviving. On the way he gets some extra members to the group, including Braiden that has bullied his son Sam all the way through school and a semi-retired teacher Gloria or Mrs Blume to her pupils.
What I loved about this book was that as regular family that had no survival training but through working as a team they learn how to survive. Using everyday items they come up with ingenious ways to kill the zombies and to get on with everyday tasks. The back stories involving the secondary characters really help tell the story and as a mother my heart went out to Braiden when I find out why he bullies Sam, and it doesn’t take Sarah long to start forgiving Braiden for what he has done to her son. The relationship between Kurt and his dad is a bit tense but again the author does a great job explaining the reasons. Now what can I say about Mrs Blume, I bet we all had a teacher like that at school, but what I loved, when the time came to survive she wasn’t your prim and proper elderly lady, and she is my favourite character.
Yes this book is about zombies but it is so much more, it about families, love and survival. This is so well written that I did not want this book to finish and I have downloaded book 2 to continuing with this family’s journey, Full of action and fast paced a must for zombie lovers
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review 2016-01-23 00:11
Hellspawn #10
Hellspawn #10 - Ashley Wood,Steve Niles

Spawn and Cy-Gor come face to face and one time friends are now deadly enemies. Damascus turns up and gives Cy-Gor a reminder of who is now pulling his strings. Cy-Gor seems to have bested Spawn and Damascus realises that Spawn is Al Simmons. Whilst he enjoys what he thinks is Spawns last moments, Spawn shows himself in all his undead glory.
Meanwhile, the young girl that Spawn thought he'd saved is now pregnant with a demon that will battle Spawn for hell's throne.
Spawn is trying to reach the human part of Cy-Gor, that of Mike Koninsky. Whilst he hasn't connected to him yet, he's not far off and I think that Damascus is in for a nasty shock when he does. I liked the panels with the young girl, her meeker nature has now been taken over by whatever resides in her and she is taking no nonsense from anyone.

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review 2016-01-22 23:47
Hellspawn #9
Hellspawn #9 - Ashley Wood,Steve Niles

A young girl comes back from the dead and Spawn is given a message from the Rat City homeless that threatens an epic battle. Damascus is using Cy-Gor to tidy up all the agencies loose ends but is horrified when Cy-Gor becomes resistent to the implanted microchip, Cy-Gor has his own agenda and it's one that involves the destruction of Spawn.
Mike Moran is on the look out for a story and thinks the large influx of homeless in Rat City could be it, he instead encounters Cy-Gor.
This was another very readable issue that I managed to keep up with. I can't help but feel sorry for Cy-Gor as he's being manipulated by Damascus to do his dirty work. I'm looking forward to finding out more about his history with Spawn although as with the rest of the series so far it probably won't explain nearly enough to satisfy me.

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