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The Descent Series: Vol.1 (Descent, #1-3)
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The Descent Series: Vol.1

(Descent #1-3)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  6,682 ratings  ·  269 reviews
This is a collection of the first three titles in The Descent Series, which are gritty urban fantasy books about an exorcist, a witch, and their battles against the forces of Heaven and Hell. (Approx. 200,000 words total.)

Books included:
1. Death's Hand
2. The Darkest Gate
3. Dark Union

Elise Kavanagh doesn't want to hunt demons anymore. It's been five years since
Kindle Edition, 630 pages
Published December 21st 2012 by Red Iris Books
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,682 ratings  ·  269 reviews

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Kirsten Lenius
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have read all three books included in this series and chose to review each of them seperately.

Elise Kavanaugh and James Faulkner are kopis and aspis, sword and shield. Their lives are dedicated to battling infernal forces that try to disrupt the world and to keep peace between infernal and ethereal factions. Sound difficult? More than you could imagine.

The dark urban fantasy includes angels, demons, gods and witches and is well worth reading.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Disclaimer: I must have been slightly mad when I wrote this thing. I mean, Elise is one of my favourite kick ass chicks ever, but comparing her to Kate Daniels? I don't know what I was high on when I non-reviewed this, but it must have been high quality stuff.

Friendly warning: do not read this thing. You'll be glad you didn't. You're welcome.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

I recently discovered S.M. Reine through her Preternatural Affairs series and enjoyed it quite a lot so I decided to gave Descent a
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
All in all, I really enjoyed the books. They were fast paced and the world was easy to immerse myself in. Elise is certainly bad-ass demon slayer, but not without realistic edges to her abilities and prowess, which was refreshing. She's not invincible; or at least, she's got to work hard to get the job done.

That said, something about the relationship between James and Elise really bugged me. She's a Kopis and he's her witch Apis, her protector. Maybe its that I've read too many romance novels,
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75 I still hope to find some book in the series that makes me give it 4 stars without feeling that I am rounding up the rating.
My feelings:
- The three books deserved to be read for any UF series lover
- They are not great but always keep your attention and make you wish for more books.
- That doesn't mean that they have cliffhungers but I must say that had I had to wait for the release of the sequels, I would probably lose my interest in the way. So I'll strongly recommend you the series (so f
If I had read these 3 titles separately, at least the first one (if not also the second) would have earned 3 stars, but taken as a whole the 2 might be generous. One problem was reading them back-to-back-to-back. The series seems to suffer from "one damn thing after another" syndrome, which has become a big pet peeve of mine, so reading all three in a row really exacerbated that.

Very little is ever explained. I don't mind "get to the action, let's not get bogged down in world building," but I ne
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This is a 3 book bundle:
Book 1 was amazing. At first I had a hard time grasping the whole new lingo to go with the world and the sudden flashbacks to five years prior. After a little bit everthing flowed extreamly well. Extremly action pack, Elise is a character among herself. So much action, kicking butt and basically staying alive that I didn't want to put it down....

Book 2 was equally awesome. The past has caught up with Elise and someone she thought she killed is now back for revenge. Also s
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am glad this was a set of the first three books. It gave the characters more time to develop and relationships more time to flower. Elise is a hunter and definitely someone not to trifle with as she faces off with hags, demons, a few nightmares not to mention covert government agents. She is constantly on the move or most likely she would be dead. Amongst all the fighting she is trying to start a relationship with Anthony. Can you imagine trying to date someone who carries swords for a living? ...more
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, comedy
I originally got these books (its a three volume series) because of a link from the Free Book Hub. They sounded as if they would be entertaining and I gave them a shot.

The author's abilities grow markedly throughout the series, and their ability to handle the narrative improves. This isn't a criticism. I say much the same thing about J.K. Rowling!

Getting the Criticism out of the way first: These books read like fanfic written by someone who has watched a lot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The cent
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
What a book. I absolutely loved it!
Elise and James <3
I stumbled upon these books by accident in the free kindle book section and I could not put them down the writing is fantastic, The plots are great and the characters have real guts to them. As I was reading these I couldn't wait to turn the page to find out what happened next for Elise such a complex wonderful character. I shall be buying the rest of the books in the collection cannot wait for the story to continue well done SM Re
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I finished reading The Descent Series box set on Tuesday. It is a series that deals with the war between demons and angels and the humans who stand in the gap to protect humanity from it. I enjoyed the first three books in the series and will get the others as I have the money. The only complaint I have about the series is how it switches from scenes in the past to present scenes. If you don't pay attention to the date at the very beginning of each section, it can become very confusing. By the t ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This series is really good. SM Reine writes well, and the relationship between Elise and James is believable. Ms. Reine effectively builds a world where demons and angels exist in the same realm with humans, and creates interesting conflicts across dimensions. The ideas are truly original, and Elise is a kick-ass main character who is at once invincible yet utterly vulnerable. I've read every single one in the series and recommend it highly.
May 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I only read the first story, Death's Hand. Elise is an exorcist and James is her witch. Elise's enemy, Death's Hand is trying to get out of Hell and has taken over James' body! I found it confusing when the story went back in time then continued with the present day. There's plenty of action but I felt I wasn't grasping the meaning of events.
Jonny Illuminati
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
If you like nonstop action with weak, unlikable character, who are constantly fighting their way through countless demons, undead, and whatevers, then this series is for you.

I, however, wanted nothing more than for the "protagonist" to die a slow, miserable, death, just so she would have a reason for being the hardhearted bitch that she is. Ugh!

Skip 'em!
Bonnie Jennings
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I really like this series. The one thing I wish is that she would have a bit of "down time" before jumping into the next crisis. Her life is so dark, it would be nice if she had one positive thing in her life.
Maggie Mcdonald
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
why did I take so long to read this series???? I couldn't put this down. And then I immediately bought book 4 & read it in 2 days. And then bought book 5.

I love strong female characters. I love how complicated all of the characters are and the world she built. Great urban fantasy.
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Difficult but lovable

I appreciate the atmosphere of the book, the flashback chapters, it show us how a past situation that elise and James faced bring new problems in their present. I can see the author really researched for the contents too, I like quality series like this.
Holly Hawkins
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
All in all a good read. Granted I do agree with some of the other comments about some parts not flowing well and leaving many questions unanswered.
Jackyn, Acct 2
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am currently going through a reread of the series, and it has been both an enjoyable and embarrassing journey.

I still find the story to be intriguing and stirring enough to pull me back in obsessively, but I've noticed a lot of things irritated or made me uncomfortable. Most of which was Elise's misogyny. It's not really something that I like seeing from female characters now that I'm older and engage in what I read a bit more critically.

The environment in which Elise grew up in (of which is
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
There are so many issues and annoyances in this trio of books I don't know where to start my review! I gave this set of books a shot because it was free and I like supernatural book... but I hated the story line, characters, plot, development (or lack there of) so much that it took me almost all year to read it! And if I wasn't annoyed I was usually confused about what was happening - or why.

First, we are never really told who Elise is or why she is so special. Eventually we get bits and pieces
Ann O'Nymos
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Following on from reading the Seasons of the Moon, I now met Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner and how the main characters of SM Reines universe started off.
I didn't really connect with Elise, she seems too detached from humanity. She tries to lead a normal life even though she was trained from the time being born to slaughter demons – and ultimatively gods – that's why she is called the Godslayer. Maybe being raised under such circumstances leaves you a bit detached from emotions.
I also didn'
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
The series started slow for me. I like Elise because she is a bad azz. I am not feeling James because he is insensitive. The jumping back and forth to other periods to explain the back story was both helpful and confusing. By the end of the Dark Union I am on board and looking forward to what’s coming next. Still don’t get what the heck happened with the parents or what is Elise’s relationship with the Angels.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I needed a break from vampires, werewolves and shape shifters and decided to check out some demon slayers, angels & witches. Not bad. There was a lot going on. I had to look up a few terms since I wasn't familiar though. Elise Kavanagh is the bad ass, don't f with me demon hunter. Any story that has a strong female character is my kind of book. Didnt seem to be many dull moments with all the fighting and scary creatures Elise and her crew had to constantly fight off. Off to #4 in this series ...more
Louise Ann Benjamin
May 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
Scattered plot

The plot was scattered all over hell and gone. The book was hard to track. Thank God it was an ebook, that I can easily delete. If it was a paperback, I would burn it on the campfire. The main character only develops over three books, as the author only gives hints and no meat and potatoes for the meal. Worthless piece of trash.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Elise Kavanagh kicks serious but. As you keep reading each story in the descent series you grow to love her more and more. She is one fantastic leading lady. You grow with her as you read and learn that you can't trust everyone even those close. If you want an enjoyable series in the supernatural world I highly recommend this series and the spin offs from the descent series.
Damien Franco
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full of action

Witches, demons, and angels aren't typically on my radar but I'm glad I took a chance on this series.

The first book had great character development and the second and third books kept me turning pages late into the night.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. I expect I'll continue the series when I need to add more books to my queue.
Joanna Pedagno
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one is a winner

At first I asked myself why am I reading this. But very shortly I didn't want it to end. That's why seconds after I was finished I did something I never do. I bought the fourth book. I highly recommend this series if you are into the supernatural.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Are angels as bad as demons? I don't think so myself. A lot of writers do. That's just a different opinion than mine. And I am not in a debate so I can read it and not care and enjoy the story.
Takiyah Dudley
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
this is an ok series not as good as i hoped. i got a little confused with the time jumping in the storyline & that kinda made me interest diminish. not sure if its worth continuing the series because this set was free.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
pretty darn interesting

I love SM Refine... She doesn't ever disappoint me as an author. She has great storytelling ability. I won't say any spoilers but I really loved this series and can't wait to read more of it. Thank you.
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Hi everyone! My name is Sara, and I write urban fantasy and paranormal novels as SM Reine. I collect swords, cat hair, and typewriters (which I do use for writing!). It's a good day when those three things have nothing to do with each other.

If you would like to know the instant my next book is available, you should enlist in my Army of Evil! We have a wicked cool secret handshake, but you'll have

Other books in the series

Descent (7 books)
  • Death's Hand (Descent, #1)
  • The Darkest Gate (Descent, #2)
  • Dark Union (Descent, #3)
  • Damnation Marked (Descent, #4)
  • Dire Blood (Descent, #5)
  • Defying Fate (Descent, #6)
  • Paradise Damned (Descent, #7)
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