• book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Hell Cop by Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling & Ginn Hale

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    Hell Cop – Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling & Ginn Hale

    Three award-wining authors bring a magical city and its fantastic defenders to life!

    Home to demons, enchanting creatures, sorcerers, and millions of ordinary people equipped with paranormal technology, Parmas City runs on magic. But not all sorcery is benign. Whether they’re murderous spells, supernatural assassinations, demon-fighting rings or illegal incantations, paranormal crimes abounds. Sworn to take on those threats are the tough, tireless, and often troubled members of the Metropolitan Demonic Unit–the Hell Cops.

    Next of Kin by Astrid Amara
    Jay Yervant is a Hell Cop so powerful that his bare skin incinerates anyone he contacts. Isolated, he is tortured by desire, until he meets Brian, a sensual young man who touches him with impunity. But Jay’s burgeoning hope is threatened when a malevolent sorcerer unleashes a host of demonic assassins against Brian. Keeping his lover may cost Jay his life
    .

    Red Sands by Nicole Kimberling
    Anthropologist Michael Gold’s got problems. His apartment’s been ransacked, his dad’s missing, and he’s been framed for murder. As a half-demon he expects trouble from the city’s Hell Cops. Instead, he gets Argent, a man immune to his psychic powers and armed with disturbingly intimate knowledge of Michael. But whether Argent intends to use that to exonerate Michael or to convict him may not matter, because someone wants him dead.

    Touching Sparks by Ginn Hale
    When photojournalist James Sparks stumbles into an underworld of sorcery, blood sports and demonic drug traffic, he believes that Detective Ben Moran may be his only way out. But playing the role of an informant is far from safe, and as James uncovers evidence of police corruption, he realizes that Moran may be in as much danger as he is.


    Hell Cop is a fantastic urban fantasy collection brought to us by the same author trio who created my favorite supernatural world of the Irregulars.

    Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling and Ginn Hale give us Parmas City, a city that is powered by demons. Demons and demon body parts are used to create technology, medicine, used as labor, fuel even illegal drugs. Some of these demons can be seen on the streets going about their daily tasks. The city is ruled by old rich sorcerer families called hotbloods who own huge corporations and control portals that summon demons.

    Hell Cops is the street term for the police officers who handle any case related to demons. It goes without saying the job is pretty dangerous so the hell cops are typically magic users.

    This collection has 3 interconnected stories starring hell cops, Jay Yervant, Sam Argent and Ben Moran. Each story is a police procedural/mystery with an innocent bystander who found himself entangled in the case and with a hell cop.


    Next of Kin by Astrid Amara

    This introduces us to the world of hell cops by way of country bumpkin Brian Day who left his cultish roots to look for his father in Parmas City. He was working at the hospital assisting nurses when he spotted a man literally on fire and offered him a glass of water. He turned out to be hell cop Jay Yervant.

    Jay was so taken by the young man that he followed (well, stalked really) him to his apartment and witnessed (he was peeping) Brian’s rather spicy interaction with an incubus that almost turned tragic. The two were thrown together when more threats to Brian’s life surfaced.

    This is a strong opener. It built the world smoothly as Brian navigates his way around the metropolis and Jay providing a more experienced perspective. It then flips the dynamics with Jay as the virgin and Brian introducing him to the sensual delights of human touch. By virtue of his powers, Jay expels too much energy and burns everything he touches. But to his amazement, Brian can touch him without harm.

    Family is the key theme. Jay is from the prominent hotblood family of the Yervants. Brian’s search for his father led him to another hotblood family, the Sairs, whose scion was suspected of illegal activities.

    From what was a seemingly unrelated case of demons massacring kindergartners to a long lost father to Jay and Brian’s blossoming romance, everything was built up really well and came together splendidly. The mystery was an intriguing one and made me want to learn more about the hotbloods and Parmas City.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Touch
    Artist: Daft Punk feat. Paul Williams
    Album: Random Access Memory


    Red Sands by Nicole Kimberling

    This is a story of half demon anthropologist Michael Gold framed for the murder of his cousin. The hell cop handling his case was Sam Argent, who he later realized was the same guy he hooked up with one summer.

    This is my least favorite of the three. For one, we only get Michael’s POV. I understand that this is to highlight Michael’s telepathy and Sam’s mysterious unreadable appeal. But I had a hard time connecting to the hell cop’s character which made the romance unconvincing. Another thing I was unimpressed with was how unprofessional Sam was sleeping with the main suspect.

    The mystery here wasn’t as compelling as the first but I liked that we get the perspective of somebody with a demonic blood. I wished this was developed more because it would be interesting to get a demon’s POV. However, this story meshed well with the general vibe of the book so I still liked it.

    Rating:
    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    Soundtrack: Read Your Mind
    Artist: Enya II
    Album: Read Your Mind


    Touching Sparks by Ginn Hale

    A slow burn, age gap, hell cop/informant romance of Ben Moran and James Sparks, the photojournalist who was helping him take down a corrupt official. As the story progressed, we learn more about the plight of hapless demons, often treated worse than animals, hidden behind the ostentatious wealth and power of hotbloods.

    Ben and James were the best couple and the most interesting characters. Ben has known James as a teenager. James has been crushing on Ben since forever. The older man has suffered the loss of his lover and has closed himself off.

    I’m glad we get James’ and Ben’s POVs. The hell cop is attracted to James but does not act on it. Especially because he was someone Ben watched grew up. There’s a lot of USTs simmering between them and I love the anticipation that built up through the story.

    I totally loved James’ spunky spirit! He’s a brave soul who took in upon himself to investigate a prominent official illegal activities. He almost got himself killed if not for a bunny suit. But it didn’t stop him from pursuing his target. He was clever and resourceful. Despite being completely human, he fought a dragon and saved a sorcerer’s life.

    This is a great blend of suspense, action and mystery with high stakes, nasty villains, a beautiful romance and a sweet ending. This is my favorite of the three.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: SPARK-AGAIN
    Artist: Aimer
    Album: SPARK-AGAIN


    All three Hell Cop stories fit together seamlessly while letting us see the city through several sets of eyes. The authors did a great job great job creating this magical demon world. I’m so glad that stories were by no means over because we have more cases to investigate in Hell Cop 2.

    Overall Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits


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  • song,  Uncategorized

    SOUNDTRACK: Touch by Daft Punk (feat. Paul Williams), Read Your Mind by Enya II & SPARK-AGAIN by Aimer

    Soundtrack to Hell Cop: Next Of Kin by Astrid Amara

    Soundtrack to Hell Cop: Red Sands by Nicole Kimberling

    Soundtrack to Hell Cop: Touching Sparks by Ginn Hale

    Touch for the untouchable man on fire and his touchy-feely boyfriend.
    Read Your Mind for the telepathic half-demon trying to get inside the head of his hell cop hook up.
    SPARK-AGAIN for the brave young photographer who brought a sorcerer’s heart back to life.

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  • quote,  Uncategorized

    Nakushita mono bakari
    Nokoshita kono hidane wa hanasanai
    Hanasanai kara zutto

    Aimai monogatari
    Seikai nante nakutatte
    Fumidasu you ni naretara

    “Dou ka shiteru” tte iu kedo
    Dou ni ka shite ageru yo
    Dou nattara ii ka sae wakaranaku naru kedo

    Yume ga sono tonari de kakugo wo kimeta nara
    Utagau mono nante nanimo naku naru kara

    Hibana chitte hibuta kitte
    Shiro ka kuro no hai ni kaeru made
    Tobikiri no kuraun nara te ni iretai te ni iretai

    Kaze wo kitte kimi no hou e
    Ichi ka bachi ka zero ni kaeru made
    Fusagikonda kuraun nara
    Shinra banshou hajimannai yo

    Hai mo kogasu you na
    Ai wo miseru kara
    I just spark again.

    Kurayami yamikumo ni
    Sagashita sono senaka wa
    Todokanai todokanai kedo kitto

    Nannimo nai kuse ni
    Tomadou mae ni tobidashita
    Ano hi no you ni naretara

    Doukasen ga nakutemo
    Kokoro ni hi tomosu yo
    Doko ni iku no ka sae
    Wakaranaku nattemo

    Kimi no sono tonari de tsuyokute wo tsunageba
    Osoreru mono nante nanimo naku naru kara

    Hikari sashite terasu hou e
    Itsuka yoru no koe mo ageru made
    Arifureta dawn nara
    Mou iranai me mo kurenai

    Koe wo kiite mae wo muite
    Shiro ka kuro de kataru dake no mirai
    Ojikezuite shimau mae ni
    Sonna gensou keshisaritai yo

    Taiyou mitai na
    Ai wo miseru kara
    I just spark again.

    Nakushite kita mono nara kazu shirezu
    Sutete shimatta mono nado nanimo nai

    Hibana chitte hibuta kitte
    Shiro ka kuro no hai ni kaeru made
    Tobikiri no kuraun nara te ni iretai te ni iretai

    Kaze wo kitte kimi no hou e
    Ichi ka bachi ka zero ni kaeru made
    Fusagikonda kuraun nara
    Shinra banshou hajimannai yo

    Hai mo kogasu you na
    Ai wo miseru kara
    I just spark again.

    Taiyou mitai na
    Ai de terasu kara

    I just spark again.

    I lost so many things
    But this small starter fire I still have
    I won’t let it die, I won’t let it die
    Forever

    An ambiguous story
    I want to be able to take a step forward
    Even if there’s no right answer

    “You are crazy” people said
    Sure, I’ll make it crazy
    I don’t even know what it should be
    Sometimes

    If my dream gets ready right next to it with a firm determination
    There would be nothing I need to doubt

    With a spark, it fires up
    Until it turns into white or black ashes
    If it’s the best crown
    I want to get it

    I ran towards you fast
    Take my chance, it’s all or nothing
    If you are a sad clown, nothing’s going to start in the universe

    I’ll show you love
    That can even bur the ashes
    I just spark-again

    The silhouette I search for blindly in the dark
    I can’t reach it, I can’t reach it for sure, but

    If I can jump out before worrying about anything
    Even if I didn’t have anything
    Just like that day

    Even if there is no fuse, I’ll light the fire in your heart
    Even if I lose track where I am going

    If I hold your hand next to you
    There would be nothing I’d be afraid of

    To the place where the light shines down
    Until the voice in the night gets higher
    I don’t need an ordinary dawn, I don’t even pay attentions to

    Listen to the voice, look ahead
    The future that you only see in black and white
    I want to get rid of the delusion before I realize it

    I”ll show you love like the sun
    I just spark-again

    I lost so many things
    But I don’t have anything I threw away

    With a spark, it fires up
    Until it turns into white or black ashes
    If it’s the best crown
    I want to get it

    I ran towards you fast
    Take a chance, it’s all or nothing
    If you are a sad clown, nothing’s going to start in the universe

    I’ll show you love
    That can even heat up love
    I just spark-again

    I’ll shine you down with love like the sun

    I just spark-again

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