Read The Darkest Gate by S.M. Reine Online


When Elise Kavanagh retired from demon hunting, she swore it would be permanent. But an attack from a powerful necromancer forced her back into the business, and now she's trying to balance her normal boyfriend and normal job with everything supernatural.Mr. Black is a demon hunter gone rogue. He's enslaving angels and stealing ethereal artifacts in pursuit of forbidden imWhen Elise Kavanagh retired from demon hunting, she swore it would be permanent. But an attack from a powerful necromancer forced her back into the business, and now she's trying to balance her normal boyfriend and normal job with everything supernatural.Mr. Black is a demon hunter gone rogue. He's enslaving angels and stealing ethereal artifacts in pursuit of forbidden immortality. An old grudge drives him to make his final stand in Elise's territory. Destroying her life and killing her friends isn't the goal, but it's a definite perk.A demonic overlord offers to join against Mr. Black and protect Elise's loved ones. All she needs to do is ally with the demons she's sworn to kill, at the cost of her morals--and maybe her immortal soul. But once she crosses that line, there's no turning back.Nothing is sacred when Heaven and Hell collide on Earth......

Title : The Darkest Gate
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1230000118943
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 322 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Darkest Gate Reviews

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    2019-03-21 20:57

    ❣ Marital Buddy Read (MBR™) with my Dearest of Wives (DoW™), aka Choko ❣● Previous rating: 3.5 stars. For the books 1-3 bundle as a whole and stuff.● New rating: 4.5 stars. Because euraka I saw the light and all that crap.How could I ever think I'd be disappointed if I reread this series?! I really am a worthless, pitiful, undeserving miscreant. I should go hide in one of my Undersea Caves of Shame (UCoS™) or something. Because this series right here? It is, hands freaking shrimping down, the mostest darkest, twistiest, unsettlingest (yes, this is a word) UF series I have ever read. And the bloody, weird, disturbing stuff gets beautifully worse better with each instalment. This sure ain't no pastel-colored rainbow world, my Little Barnacles! And it's kinda sorta marvellously marvellous, if you ask me.Elise Kavanagh, our resident badass, is so much more than you friendly neighbourhood ass-kicking chick. Mainly because she's not friendly. At all. And the girl is so beautifully screwed up, it makes me want to throw a Let's Butcher Fluffy Bunnies Celebration Party (LBSFBCP™). Yeah, Elise is that shrimping amazing. She is raw. She is anti-social. She is a delightfully ruthless slaughtering machine. She is a puzzle. She is a mistery. I am SO in love. And even though I already know why Elise is, you know, the way she is and stuff, because I sorta kinda already read this series and stuff, I just could not help being gripped to the tip of my lovely little toes by the story once again. The way Reine builds up the tension and puts her intrigue together by giving you little glimpses of Elise's past is pretty shrimping awesome. The woman's vicious, too, and loves to torture her readers and sucker-punch them repeatedly, à la Wicked Pippa DaCosta (WPDC™). And since I love to suffer and to have the little heart that I don't have properly squeezed and broken and crushed and stuff, I tend to somewhat enjoy Reine's Scrumptious Manhandling (RSM™).You know what else I love? Most of the characters in the series are wonderfully exasperating, and you find yourself wanting to chop them into tiny little pieces more than once. Okay, some of them you just want to die a slow, horrible, painful and, if possible, slightly agonizing death, like Stephanie the Bitch from Hell who Needs to Croak Yesterday Please (StBfHwNtCNYP™). Others you just want to strangle heartily because they are Pathetic Specimens of Total Lameness (PSoTL™) *waves at Anthony* Then you have the Slap Worthy Idiots (SWI™) like Betty the Airhead. And THEN, you have James. The kind of guy you want to build a torture chamber in your basement for. So you can torment him for all of eternity. And so he can persecute you right back. Because you love to hate him. And hate to love him. And because tough love, it's a very hot thing.And you know what else else I love? This world. So original. So creative. So gritty. So intense. So bloody shrimping fantastic. I mean, have you ever read a story that covers creeptastic demon overlords, Mary Poppins bodies, godslayers, casino show choreographing, giant spiders, piggybacking, freaking paper magic, mirrored upside down cities and enslaved, vicious angels (which, incidentally, totally deserve to be enslaved because, as you are well aware, all angels are assholes)? No you haven't. Trust me on that one. I've read lots of UF crap over the years (view spoiler)[someone please give me a medal (hide spoiler)] and I'm telling you, my Tiny Decapods, you have NEVER read something like this. And given what awaits in the upcoming instalments, you might not want to, either. Because this series ain't for the faint of heart, my Lovely Arthropods, and things are about to get wayyyyyyyy more disturbing. And dark. So lusciously dark and twisted this book should be mandatory reading for all Historical Romance Loving Freaks (HRLF™) out there. So that they'd be scarred for life and stuff. Because yes, this series is THAT gloriously evil and grim and stuff. » And the moral of this Oh My Freaking Shrimp Why Did I Wait so Long to Reread this Bloody Amazing Series Stupid Stupid Sarah (OMFSWDIWsLtRtBASSSS™) is: S.M. Reine, I love thee. QED and stuff.Original Super Extra Crappy Non Review (OSECNR™) for books 1-3 in this series can be found here. I wouldn't read it if I were you, but it's your life and you're most welcome to waste it as you see fit.✎ Book 1: Death's Hand ★★★★ ✎ Book 3: Dark Union ★★★★ ✎ Book 4: Damnation Marked ★★★★✎ Book 5: Dire Blood ★★★★✎ Book 6: Defying Fate ★★★★✎ Book 7: Paradise Damned ★★★★★["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Choko
    2019-03-07 23:56

    *** 4 ***A buddy read with my lovely Sarah @ The MacHalo Freaks!I love Fantasy! I love it in all of its recreations, from the oldest to the newest and everything in the middle. Urban Fantasy is one of the offshoots I am very fond of and which had a particular Renaissance about 15-20 years ago and we were gifted with a myriad of series by some very exciting new authors, who are now a standard for excellence in many of our library shelves. S. M. Reine started this series in 1996, exactly at the time when our generation was reimagining the classics of shape shifters and witches. She decided to do so with the urban legends of demons, demonic possession, demon slayers, witches, angels, and gods. Like some of her contemporaries she decided to take the darker, moodier approach to telling her story. I have to admit, I personally like my Fantasy with a generous portion of humor and less dramatic torture, but I can appreciate a good story and dynamic style of writing no matter what.The second book in the Descent Series is one dark, gory, and quite disturbing tale of a young woman and her older male witch friend, who try to keep our realm free of creatures invading from other realms, be it demons, angels, or obviously insane deities set on taking over. Elise is not a very friendly or social individual. Exactly the opposite. She is trying to keep low, get noticed as little as possible, since some big bad guys have been looking for her and she rather not give herself away. James is her bonded witch, but since they have been out of the demon slaying business for a while, he has moved on with his life and at this time is slowly trying to build a personal life with his doctor girlfriend, whom I think is a total bitch! Elise has a best friend who is also her roommate, as well as a boyfriend, who wants to get closer, but Elise manages to keep at an emotional arm's length. So, she is mostly a loner, and despite having those three as close as her personality would allow, she feels lonelier than ever. On top of that, someone burned her office down, is attacking her friends, and she only has $2 in the bank with bills waiting to be paid... And now it seems old bad guys are coming after her with a vengeance!!! And the Demon Overlord of the city wants to have a chat...The story is told in a very engaging and dynamic way, full of action, plotting and some angst, but it is well earned with all the stuff that goes on. The author feeds us bits and pieces of information about Elise and her past, and the more we find out, the more questions are raised. I am sure that we are going to find out everything we want to know by the end of the series:-) I am looking forward to reading it all!!! I wish you all Happy Reading and many wonderful books to come!!!

  • mich
    2019-03-27 00:19

    This sequel to Death's Hand did not disappoint. Reine's writing style continues to grip me and not let go until the last page is read. Like the first book, it's hard to give any sort of substantive summary without giving things away. The gradual unfolding of the story is fantastic - really, the intrigue is a huge part of what kept me reading.The whole atmosphere of the book is just so intense. The flashbacks are effective in building up to the climax, and for me, it worked well with the pacing of the story.Things I loved: Elise's eerie relationship with the angels. The introduction of Thom (who/what IS he??) The relationship between James and Elise (strained now, but still intense). And finally -finally!- we get a real glimpse of Him (the descriptions in that chapter were absolutely amazing).Definitely do not read this without reading book 1. It won't make any sense, and you'll lose a lot of character background.

  • Tia
    2019-03-19 20:04

    I find this book a bit too chunky or blocky if you prefer. A lot of things make the book feel detached and unemotional. Some of it is getting better. I'm still confused why James would want to be with Stephanie who seems like a raging self righteous bitch, rather than be with Elise, his other half. Even despite the age difference and the fact she can't have children. I don't think those two should of ever partnered up, they are on different paths. I'm very curious about Thom though and will follow the rest of the series to find out what is going on. Curiosity killed the cat and I'm afraid I'm the cat.

  • Emma
    2019-02-23 18:11

    This was a bit of a disappointment after the first book in some ways...The relationship between Elise and James seemed to have been changed dramatically just to suit the fact that Elise wanted to go off and fight evil by herself in this book! Also she seemed content to let Anthony trail around after her even though he had no supernatural abilities! Betty dying was a bit of a surprise because she was just starting to become a little bit likeable. I liked the idea of there being a rogue Kopis and Aspis going up against Elise and James but the whole thing felt a bit disjointed. Also all the stuff at the end with the angels and HIM whoever HIM is supposed to be was a bit rushed confusing. I quite liked the Night Hag and David Nicholas in this book though. Also as before the fight scenes are violent which adds an air of believability to the whole set up. Also I think the one moment that possibly redeemed this volume for me was when Elise asked James why she wasn't enough. One moment of vulnerability made her seem more likeable despite behaving so out of character from the first book. Also someone either needs to explain everything to Stephanie or just slap her!!

  • Krazykiwi
    2019-03-09 00:23

    Book 2 in the series that follows Elise, the demon fighting "sword" or Kopis, and James, the witch she is bound to, her "shield" or Aspis. Despite having been retired for 5 years, and in hiding as normal people, by the end of book 1 they had been unwillingly dragged back into the conflict between the demonic and ethereal realms, and while they successfully saved the day, several old enemies now had a lock on their whereabouts. So no more hiding for Elise and James. One of the old enemies who were stirring at the end of book 1, now having found Elise and James, turns up to cause trouble. Elise stole something for Mr Black, another Kopis gone bad, many years ago, which he then used to initiate a horrific ritual. Faced with the consequences of that, she stole a piece of it back, and left Mr Black's mansion in flames, with him and his Aspis inside. Of course that would be too easy, and now Mr Black is back, and he wants the item Elise stole, and will destroy her and everything and everyone she loves to get it, with pleasure. Rather a lot more back-story on the main characters here, but the world is still building, and we're not told everything. The ongoing romance between Elise and her neighbour Anthony is still cute, and not overwhelming, but the one between James and the cranky doctor from book 1 doesn't seem to make much sense to me. It does however, take James a little out of the picture, leaving Elise doing the stupidest thing she can possibly come up with, making an alliance with the local demon overlord against Mr Black, figuring "the enemy of my enemy". I'm still not entirely sold on these books, and can't place my finger on why. The writing is good, better than good even. It's fast paced, action oriented prose, the characters are well drawn, and flawed rather than perfect creatures. It's built Dresden style, there's definitely an overall arc and a building mythology, but each book has it's own story that is told and resolved, no direct cliffhangers for the major characters but plenty of hooks for the next story to hang on. Reine is not afraid to risk her characters, and not everyone makes it to the end of the book, and of the ones who don't, they aren't always the throwaway red-shirt characters either. All of these things I love! So beats me why I don't adore the series to pieces and want to rave about it to everyone. Don't get me wrong, I'm liking it just fine. I still have one more book in this box set to read, and I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it. I'm pretty sure if my library had these books, I'd keep reading the rest of the series too. I really don't know, just something about Elise doesn't grab me in the gut and twist, the way some characters can, and make me want to fanatically hunt down the rest of the series.

  • Fangs for the Fantasy
    2019-03-23 21:25

    Elise, demon hunting Kopis, is struggling to hold her life together. After her last adventure revealed her presence to the world, her quite life as an accountant is under threat. The magic she used to resurrect James has woken up vast forces in the city – and attracted old enemies who have been hunting her. She is attacked on all sides – but for every giant spider trying to kill her, there are other, more insidious attacks. Her demonic clientel switch to other accountants, her office burned, her bank account emptied – the foundations of her normal life are being undermined, leaving her penniless, homeless and everything she fought for going up in flames.Which is all the more poignant when we see back into her past and how little she had, how much she has fought to create this life and what she endured before. Ever more desperate, she is forced to make dubious deals and reckless acts to try and stay afloat. How much must she compromise to try and keep herself and her friends alive?But beyond mundane horrors, if she doesn’t stop the rogue kopis, Mr. Black, then far greater and more dangerous foes could be unleashed including her oldest and most powerful enemy. One she would literally rather die than faceThis world continues to be fascinating. It’s one of the few series out there that has a genuinely unique world that is completely different from any I’ve read before. The different kinds of demons, the Warrens, the Angels and, of course, Him are so hugely different from what I’ve seen elsewhere. The magic, the Angel city, the relationship between kopides and aspides and how do they relate to the demon world?Of course, it’s all the more compelling because we’re given innumerable hints – we know that kopides deal with demon overlords to enter their territory, but not why or how that matches with their demon hunts – or whether kopides do habitually demon hunt. We know that He (who we presume is… god? Maybe?) is Elise’s enemy, but not why. We know she and Angels have a hostile history, but again, not why. Even making portals and seeking the Angelic city – we do not know why they’re doing it. But because it all fits in with the theme of mystery in this book, it doesn’t feel like poor writing (characters doing things without motive) but it hints of a complex and fascinating world that we’ve only seen slivers of. It’s compelling, it’s intriguing and it leaves me hungry for more. I will say, though, that if I don’t get more in the third book I will be frustrated – there’s only so many appetisers you can eat before you want your entrée to arrive.It did take me a little while to get back in this book – partially because it has been some time since I read the first book and because it started with an un-introduced flashback which I didn’t immediately recognise as such – which made me doubt my memories of what had happened before. It actually took me a while to realise the flashbacks were flashbacks. Once we were past the flashbacks, though, the story picked up extremely well and became much more exciting. Elise is often desperate and feels like she’s facing some impossible odds – both personally with James and generally against two massively powerful and connected enemies. There’s a really strong sense of her desperation not just to try to navigate between these massive forces, trying to survive without compromising herself too greatly and finding out just how much of a pawn she’s turned into, but even simple things like trying to hold her life together, trying to find a place to sleep that is safe and trying to earn enough money to make a living as more and more of the life she has built is torn apart. It’s action packed, it’s emotion packed, it’s information packed – it’s a packed story and it will hold you more

  • Lise
    2019-03-03 23:00

    I think my favorite part of "The Darkest Gate" is the way S.M. Reine writes Elise’s pain. Her emotional baggage is at least ten sizes larger than her and the manner she deals with other creatures (human or not) reflects that. Emotional pain eats you up and makes itself so much at home that you forget that it is there. But your interactions will reflect the depth of your pain and the extent to which you work to keep a lid on it. For once the lid comes off, man. Well, it’s an experience.Elise’s awkwardness is not only due to her emotional pain. As we get snippets of her past we see that the main focus of her parents has been to train her to fight and to repress her feelings. At 14 James found her (see "Death’s Hand") and her career as a kopis began. No wonder Elise has no time for the niceties.Another factor influences Elise’s interactions with others. In 1999 (as you will discover in this novel) Elise went to a gynecologist to figure out what her problem was. Her discovery shocked her and created another wound to place in her casket of pain.How much influence this next factor has had on Elise’s way of dealing with the world, I do not know, but I imagine quite a deal. The life of kopis and aspis is not an easy one. It requires a great deal of dedication and sacrifice. There is no glory and no wealth in the life of keeping humanity safer from other creatures. At one point James tells us that:“hope for was dying in the service of mankind. The idea of being able to settle down was equally tempting and disappointing, since he knew it was something he couldn’t have. He couldn’t afford to eat on many days.”We get several realistic descriptions of their situations. My parents grew up with poverty, my dad with hunger. When they speak of the harsher parts of their childhoods I find myself amazed to see the people they have become and the lives they have been able to provide us. I see some of their pain reflected in the writing of S.M. Reine.When you are placed in such a position, some of us find ourselves willing to do things we might not otherwise do. Our practical sense of survival takes over. In 1999 Elise, not James, was the practical one of the two and decided she had to do the job Mr. Black offered to pay for. Doing that job and the consequences that derived from it led to the situation the retired kopis and aspis find themselves in when 2009 comes around. One might say that James and Elise’s lovely rear ends are being royally bitten by the past catching up with them.I think I am going to leave you with that. Well, that and (as you have probably guess) I LOVED "The Darkest Gate".

  • Kelly
    2019-03-24 21:13

    It had been a while since I read book 1 in this series and, holy smokes, I had forgotten so much of the crazy that Elise and James got into in that one. Death, zombies, more death... which is pretty much what they deal with in this book if you swap out zombies and insert "giant demonic spiders". Huh. No, there's even more crazy in this one, I think. Highly suspicious covenants with powerful and deadly creatures, enslaved angels, one nasty bad guy trying to raise an even nastier bad guy, cage fights, and interdimensional trans-location. You know, the basics.One thing I think I need to talk about is Elise's relationships. I can't really see anything happening long term with Anthony. Besides the fact that Elise is emotionally closed off (with good reason) and has some serious communication issues, Anthony is only human. Best case scenario, he'll die quickly one of the times they tangle with something otherwordly. Worst case? He'll die slow. He's a good guy, don't get me wrong, but he's not really equipped to handle Elise's world. I also don't think he really understands her. Which isn't his fault because Elise is not one to share her inner feelings. Or show any outer ones.James, on the other hand, knows that she's a messed up, emotionally stunted woman. That they've grown apart recently was one of those things that stung a little. Their bond goes deeper than most people can imagine and it grows exponentially in this book. One thing I'm not a huge fan of is the way that both Anthony and Stephanie (James' lady friend) keep pulling at the relationship that James and Elise have. While I love the tension (and the fact that part of Elise couldn't give two shits about how Stephanie feels about her) this brings, I *want* James and Elise to find a happy balance. Right now, they're pulled in too many directions and it's hurting them.This was an action packed ride from beginning to end. Elise is a lethal mess trying to masquerade as a normal girl. The harder she tries to pull away, the more she gets pulled into the chaos around her. I'm intensely curious to see where things go from here and I absolutely expect that it will be properly bloody and pull of the type of whacky shenanigans only Elise and James can extract themselves from.-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal

  • Karen **Mess**
    2019-03-07 23:58

    WOW! If at all possible, this second book of the Descent series just blew the roof off of the first one. S.M Reine is an amazing author!

  • Cogito_ergo_sum
    2019-03-20 18:17

    I'm glad that I've decided to continue with the series. The author has no problem coming up with a good story, her only problem was presenting it in the right fashion. I'm glad to see that she's gotten the hang of it. Now, when she goes back and forth between past and present it doesn't feel abrupt. The story keeps flowing, but it fills in the blanks (sorry if that didn't make sense). There is no feeling of, "yeah, this is well and interesting, but I don't see how this really matters to the current plot line."As wonderful as her writing and plot are, I didn't connect with the characters. There is a wall between myself and the characters. Whatever she had planned for them in this story, I didn't feel their motivation, and character depth. I understood why they were doing it on an intellectual level, but understanding and connecting are two different things. However, I see the author improving. Since the difference between book 1 and 2 are drastic, I think that she will only get better.

  • Graylark
    2019-03-07 22:14

    You know, this series is well-written, but I didn't actually enjoy it that much. I only read this far because Elise and James romance possibilities. But even that can't sustain me past book 2, I think.Pros:- I like the complicated nature of Elise and James- Interesting plotsCons:- People are usually not very likable. They're not shown in their best light, and it's hard to get attached to side characters even if you've been seeing them for a while. - The bad guys were always one up on Elise. Elise was constantly falling into traps or running into something unexpected or arriving somewhere to find the bad guys had already beaten her to it. Basically bad guys = Road Runner. Elise et al = Wile E. Coyote- Constant use of "laying" instead of "lying" was grating. They are not ovulating fowl. I think, all in all, it was a good, gritty, exciting read, but I got tired of it because there was just no fun. The novellas and the 2 books I read were unrelentingly grim until the end.

  • ♥¸.•*´Tanya`*•.¸♥
    2019-03-05 21:22

    I purchased this as an ebook from Amazon.Ok this is going to be a little weird. My review will actually be for Books 1-6 in The Descent Series, Death's HandThe Darkest GateDark UnionDamnation MarkedDire BloodDefying FateThe reason is I became so obsessed in reading the next book that I didn't bother to stop to write a review. Really who'd want to write a review when you could be with James and Elise traveling through inter-dimensional gates to hell, fighting angels and demons or coming back from the dead.I loved the books even managed to read all six in two days I just couldn't stop reading. Great writing, Amazing storyline and superb well thought out characters.I highly recommend reading the series. Only down side is now that I've finished Defying Fate, Paradise Dammed isn't released until June. How does S. M. Reine expect me to wait it going to be freak'n torture.

  • Ragne
    2019-03-19 21:12

    I'm not sure what makes me unable to decide whether or not I like these books. I like the theme, the angels which are not exactly the benevolent guardians we think, the demons who enslave angels. I think my problem is with the main character. She is simply irritating. She is supposed to be tough and the best in her field, but she just makes stupid and illogical decisions, and almost dies in every fight. And, she is a bitch (not in that charming, funny way say, Dr. House is, she's just a mean bitch), and she has this tomboy image which is thoroughly ruined when she acts like a jealous idiot. I simply cannot relate to her. Still, I can't give them up. There's just something that makes me read on, and not want to make me put down my Kindle. It's a strange love/hate-relationship between Elise and me.

  • Shruthy Vaishali
    2019-03-11 22:16

    Wow ....The mystery of Elise just keeps getting better and better....Totally loved the twist which Thom gave....I CAN't BELIEVE IT......NOW THOM WANTS ELISE just after she escaped from Him......can't wait to read the next book and find out about Elise's if demons from another dimension isn't enough crazier stuff like Mad Angels is even more scarier ......this book keeps us wanting more......

  • Priya Harry
    2019-03-07 19:12

    Got this for free on Amazon and really wasn't expecting much so was very pleasantly surprised. Elise is one tough, badass, take-no-prisoners warrior. I love that she's more concerned with doing what she needs to do than dithering over her love life. She's one of my new favourite SF heroines. The story was intriguing and the world that the author has created is original. An great recreational read.

  • Kaisa
    2019-03-17 20:10

    Things start to escalate to Elise and James, and their retirement is so over. Action-packed story, very interesting and multi-dimensional characters with ulterior motives and more ulterior motives. Elise is quite asperger-like and just rocks everyone, James is so thick-headed and blind that it's aggravating but in a lovely way and Thom is really, really interesting.

  • svnshowers
    2019-03-11 16:19

    This series was definitely a positive surprise. There are some elements of it that are pretty standard, such as the "I'm too tough for emotions" heroine, but even that takes some unexpected turns in this book.I also like how genuinely disturbing the plot is. I find plots based on religious mythology to be pretty much endlessly fascinating. Some of the scariest horror movies to me are ones that revolve around demonic possession and other faith-based things. I'm not sure what element makes it so specifically scary to me, but this series is hitting that same chord in me.So, backing up: angels and demons are not new subjects in urban fantasy. It's been done many times, with loads of different, unique takes on the dynamics and how they might play out in our world. In all those books I've read, though, an author has never managed to make the heavenly host fill me with genuine horror. Anyway, I really like these books and I can't wait to read the next one! I'm looking forward to getting into the resolution of some of the interesting character dynamics that have been presented, especially in book 2.TL;DR emotionless killing machine vs. angels vs. demons and somehow demons aren't the scariest or most disturbing guys on the field. 10/10 readers expect to have super creepy dreams later.

  • Sarah (Workaday Reads)
    2019-03-23 20:04

    Reading the second book in a series, I always feel a bit hesitant that the story won't feel as alive or as thrilling as the first book, but in this case, that fear was unwarranted. This story had the same nonstop action as the first.It also had some of the same faults though too. There are a number of flashbacks, and one that lasts long enough that I actually got confused about what timeline I was reading. Also the same as the first book, there seems to be a lack of explanation. There is a bit revealed about Elise's history, but not enough to answer any questions, just enough to raise more. I feel really lost in some of it, it just doesn't make enough sense for me to comprehend.I think it's this confusion that makes me only like the series, rather than love it. But I do like it enough to continue, I just hope there are answers revealed soon.

  • Victoria
    2019-02-28 16:10

    I like this series. The plot is intriguing and Elise is just the right balance of tough badass with a soft side. But omg does this book need some editing. So many typos, so many sentences that don't make sense. The book was free (and self-published, I think) so I can't really complain, but it still irks me. I don't like having my internal editor turned on when I'm reading someone else's book. It ain't fun.

  • Ara Prado
    2019-03-22 18:55

    Title: The Darkest Gate (Descent #2)Author: S.M. Reine Publication Date: May 4, 2012 Published by: Red Iris BooksSource: Bought Free on AmazonARA'S NOTE:How's it going fellow booksnakes? I've recently started a new "segment" here in The Booksnake Etc. titled S.M. Reine Rave. This has the same concept as Marian Tee Mania, only this time, I dedicate it to my Paranormal Romance hero Sara or S.M. Reine. She created one of my favorite female characters ever, Elise Kavanagh, and on the first day of SMRR (S.M. Reine Rave) I started things off with Death's Hand Descent # 1. Continuing the series, I'm now going to be reviewing The Darkest Gate, the second installment in this 7-part saga. NOTE: Spoilers for Death's Hand up ahead.SYNOPSIS:When Elise Kavanagh retired from demon hunting, she swore it would be permanent. But an attack from a powerful necromancer forced her back into the business, and now she's trying to balance her normal boyfriend and normal job with everything supernatural.Mr. Black is a demon hunter gone rogue. He's enslaving angels and stealing ethereal artifacts in pursuit of forbidden immortality. An old grudge drives him to make his final stand in Elise's territory. Destroying her life and killing her friends isn't the goal, but it's a definite perk.A demonic overlord offers to join against Mr. Black and protect Elise's loved ones. All she needs to do is ally with the demons she's sworn to kill, at the cost of her morals--and maybe her immortal soul. But once she crosses that line, there's no turning back.Nothing is sacred when Heaven and Hell collide on Earth...CHARACTER BACKGROUND: Elise Kavanagh is now back in the demon hunting game...for good. She also has a new ally, a boyfriend, and a bunch of enemies. Her fierceness have increased, but she also feels more fear and pain now -- both physically and emotionally. Her feelings for James only cause her pain, especially since he seemed to be moving on without her, Anthony's love is something she find useless and bothersome, and her past that has caught up to them brings her nothing but complication. She's mad, sad, and afraid. James Faulkner is worried. He notices Elise pulling away from him and not asking for his help even if she needs it. He's in a normal relationship with a normal woman, but he doesn't want to let his kopis roam around and be killed, especially since their enemies are apparently alive and more vengeful than ever. Mix in giant demonic spiders, and a gateway to the garden, they're pretty much busy.TO LOVE: Death's Hand ended on such an emotional note; with James dying and Elise about to go crazy before she attempted -- and succeeded -- to bring him back to life. Of course something so powerful cannot possibly have no consequences. Again, let me break down the reasons why I found myself lost in this book: CHARACTERS: Elise, as always, is amazing. She fights hard and dirty and she won't apologize for it. She becomes a lacky for an overlord who is OVER-the-top annoying and bossy, only because she needs it to survive and protect the people she loves...namely, James. People think she's so cold and unfeeling, but they don't see just how much she FEELS; she's jealous of James' and Stephanie's relationship, hurt by how he can easily move on without her, afraid of the people she care about being hurt, confused by how much she wants to help being that she shouldn't care about, mad at the overlord who seems to be playing her, and resolute on not letting Him have her. See, she feels a lot, she's just really good at hiding it from the rest of the world.Anthony is still rather interesting. He's only human, but he really wants to help Elise fight her battles and accomplish her missions. The feelings he have for Elise is powerful enough that he can't stay away even though she pushes and discards him like he's no loss at all, but for some reason he wants her despite all of the roughness and goreness that surrounds them.Thom is very mysterious, and there's this line that made me just...GAAHHH!! “No matter the why, she is the Godslayer. Watch her well, James Faulkner, because she is mine. I will be back for her."His intentions are unclear and until now we still don't really know what he is. One thing is for sure though, he's powerful and he wants Elise for some reason. Did I mention how hot he was? STORY:As usual there were more twists in the plot than that of a...something that has lots of twists. There was pain, lots of it, and it was heartbreaking. You will be kept on the edge of your seat, and that is a guarantee.ACTION:As if I need to explain it further. The fight scenes were intense, and we see a couple of characters acting very heroically, fighting with everything they have even if it means risking their own lives. TO BLEH: James didn't even cry. It's like he didn't even feel...broken when this thing, that I'm not going to tell you about, happened. Like dude, really? I thought you're forever bound and stuff. Also, Stephanie? Still?! SUMMARY: 4 stars for The Darkest Gate. It's intense, painful, and amusing. I really adore Elise. Watch out for my review of Dark Union, book 3 in the Descent series.

  • Susan
    2019-03-14 20:05

    Loved it!

  • Karen
    2019-03-05 17:24

    I struggled with this one. Not sure what the problem was but I had a hard time getting into it and the whole story seemed to drag on too much.

  • Rhonda
    2019-03-10 20:59

    Great story and Elise is an awesome character, but it ad been so long since I read the first book in this series that it took me awhile to get into it

  • Eric Lewis
    2019-03-12 21:55

    A good read.

  • Joey Woolfardis
    2019-03-26 19:56

    Read as part of the Get Through The Crap On Your Kindle You Stubborn Eejit reading challenge. Nothing succinct to say. See review of previous book in the series. Will not test the third (or any of the /countless/ little novellas/short stories whatever they are).

  • Shirley
    2019-03-17 21:21

    I’ve learned a couple of things while reading S.M. Reine’s Descent series. The first is that I should have read this entire series before starting her Ascension series. (That ship has sailed, so I’m really only making this point so readers won’t make the same mistake that I have.) The second thing is that there is no way that I can possibly stop now. (Not that I am even considering it, but again… I needed to make a point.) Honestly, I’m not trying to discourage anyone from jumping in the the S.M. Reine universe, but it’s a complex, involved, intense and emotional place. Consider yourself both warned and tempted.So much happens in The Darkest Gate that I’m not sure quite where to start. Not a lot of time passes between Death’s Hand and The Darkest Gate, but there’s enough. This one jumps back and forth between the past and present too, but it wasn’t quite as disorienting as it seemed to be in Death’s Hand. That might be because I expected it. Some readers may not like the time changes, but there is so much back story that it is almost necessary. I kind of liked getting Elise and James’ back story. Who they are now is defined by who they were and even more important to who the eventually become… but that’s another story (and another series) entirely.Elise makes some decisions in The Darkest Gate that will affect everyone she cares about. She ends up doing the wrong things for the right reasons. She’s a physical and emotional wreck. She has grown to care about people she never expected to and the one person she has ever been remotely attached to seems to be moving on. Elise pretty much broke my heart in this one and it was totally unexpected. *sigh*Then there was James. I’m an emotional roller coaster when it comes to him and most of that is because I was first introduced to him in the Ascension series. He’s as confused about his feelings as Elise is and not in the way that you would expect. It’s obvious that he cares about Elise but he doesn’t know how to… at least that’s the way it seems to me. There relationship is beyond complicated… way beyond.Add to all of that the past enemies, new enemies, borderline enemies, friends, loved ones and characters that haven’t quite been classified yet and you can just imagine… or maybe not… how intense things get. The supporting characters are just as important as the main characters and you can’t help turning the pages just to see who survives, who doesn’t and what lengths people will go to get what they want. It’s not just the bad guys who straddle the line between good and evil. In true S.M. Reine fashion, no punches are pulled, there is no black and white, true good and evil or right and wrong. No one is immune or safe. This is one author who definitely keeps things interesting.As much as I wish I would have started from the beginning of this series before I started the Ascension series there’s not much I can do about it now. I’d also like to say that I will finish the Descent series before I continue the Ascension series but I know I won’t. I’m already immersed in both past Elise and future Elise and there’s no turning back. I’ve said it before – if S.M. Reine writes it, it will be read – regardless of where in the progression of things those books fall.

  • Katja
    2019-03-13 16:04

    I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC of this book. Since I finished the first book of the Descent-series, I’ve wanted to get more.Reading sequels is like coming back to see good old friends. At least that’s how I felt when I picked up “The Darkest Gate”. The book begins with a scene in the past, when Elise is still a scrawny teenager and she and James are struggling with their everyday life. I love the peeks of the past, that continue throughout the book — they also entwine tightly with the plot, so they’re not fillers.You don’t need to wait for the action in this book. We get tossed into life changing happenings from the start and see how well the characters can handle themselves in the midst of it all. I got to understand Elisa much better in this book. I think she’s a character very different from your usual heroine, and I like it. First my brain tried to force Elise into a mold and I expected her to behave differently, so she managed to surprise me over and over again. When I was done with the book, I felt I knew Elise better.James wasn’t my favorite in this book — he seemed a bit cold and trying to put a distance to Elise. I’ll be interested to see how all this will affect the third book, with all the happenings in this one. There was lots going on especially at the end, but you’ll have to read about that yourself for me not to spoil you. Anthony on the other hand is growing on me — he’s much stronger than he first appeared. Betty is pretty much the same, though she’s going through some hardship with the rest of them. And then there's the mysterious Thom... I have my suspicions of him.As usual, Reine is great at writing descriptions. She can make a battle so alive to the reader, you almost might be the one receiving the punches. We also got to know a lot of things in this book, that were left in the dark the last time, but there’s still things that were left unanswered and I believe will get and answer in the third part of the series. Personally I found it a bit frustrating, when Elise reveals something to Anthony, but it’s not revealed to the reader at that point. Overall the build ups in the book won’t let you hanging too bad, but just makes enough tension for you to keep turning pages.It’s no secret, that Reine is one of my favorite indie authors so I have high expectations for her books. “The Darkest Gate” keeps up with the standard of awesome. This is the true urban fantasy style book, where the action tops the romance — there’s hardly any of the latter. So, if you’re waiting for this sequel, it’s safe to say, you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re not familiar with the Descent-series yet, but you love urban fantasy, I suggest you go pick it up.

  • C. Erani Kole
    2019-03-24 18:03

    Reluctant yet Deserving 5 stars for me (does that make sense?)Elise and James carry on with their normal lives, but now they're out of retirement because they killed Death's Hand and, as a result, called attention to themselves with the power pulse that Elise used to save James. Poor Elise thought she could continue her normalcy but quickly realizes that the past won't let her.This was a great read with demon hunters, the demons and angels and all that other good gory stuff. The characters weren't as flat for me as they were in the first book, but Elise was still very closed off to me. However, I was able to sympathize with her a lot more, especially when shit hit the fan like James not telling her certain thingssss ugh. T_T Anyway there's a lot more stuff revealed and explained in this book, and I was really glad about that, because I didn't get some stuff in the first one. XDAnd I mean a LOT of stuff happens. *_* I didn't see many editing errors and the writing style was swift and awesome. This reminded me a little of Anita Blake, but in the sense of bad-assery and bluntness and detatchment.This was an amazing 4 stars for me, but I couldn't think of something bad enough to mark it down a star, so it's 5. I loved this book because it kept me entertained and I couldn't put it down, but there's something about the characters and the way they've chosen to act that bothers me. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the fact that I feel sad knowing that Elise loves James but at the same time is okay with them having their own normal bf/gf. Like James still has Stephanie and Elise is still with Anthony, but James and Elise are always so close, so it... ich weiss es nicht, I guess it just makes me sad knowing that one wants a normal life but won't let her go and the other will always choose him no matter who they meet. It's like they want different things but will still put the other as 'most important' despite what their other desires. The author does get better, though, in bringing down the glass wall between characters and readers.I recommend this to those who love anything demonic or angelic, UF, and bluntly cold (detatched) heroines who keeps to herself (James excluded) to get the job done.

  • Angela
    2019-03-18 19:25

    Okay, still loving Elise...and I like Anthony pretty well. I like that he's a norm that takes all that crap in stride and even "mans up" to help fight. James is a bit inscrutable to me...A bit too wishy washy in a way....I reserve some judgment, even though, after reading a bunch of reviews I can piece together what he does in future books. Anyways, I love this slowly unfolding, overarching plot. It's got me snapping at the bit to know more. I also like that each of these shit storms shes involved with all wrap into the overarching plot. Its unfolding very well, and Im currently in book three. Elise's resolve is growing stronger with each page. I like how once she realized her monster hunting days were far from over that she just started accepting it with the right amount of reticence along the way. SM Reine throws the right amount in. Ive been turned way off of books because there was too much of it (way more than was necessary to portray the characters feelings). So, with all the good, I have one thing that I am not loving. Despite enjoying the fast pace of one scrape after another, to me it seems to be a bit of a downside too. I mean I am no stranger to one scrape after another book.s Urban Fantasy is my favorite genre, and there are many authors who do this. Who comes to mind is Keri Arthur. i love her books but the pace is starting to bother me some. Anyways, I digress. The one thing that struck me as unrealistic was the one-scrape-after-another fight, beating, torture scene, etc...I know, right? I complain about this one thing being unrealistic when the story revolves around a FANTASY world of demons and angels and magic...even my husband looked at me like I was crazy ehen I talked to him about it. But everytime Elise turns around she gets hit with a shit stick without any breaks or small glimmering hope other than that she survived. Im not a person that exactly expects everything to be wrapped up in a pretty bow, but it's unrealstic that she gets hit with said stick a good chunk of the time. Other than that one thing, I did enjoy this book! Its definitely worth the read!