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Soul Eater #1

Hidden Blade

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"They call me devil, liar, thief. In whispers, they call me Soul Eater. They’re right. I’m all those things—and more."

Kicked out of the underworld and cursed to walk this earth for all eternity, the soul eater known as "Ace Dante" finds solace in helping others avoid the wrath of the gods.

But when warrior-bitch, Queen of Cats, and Ace's ex-wife, Bastet, hires him to stop whoever is slaughtering her blessed women, Ace is caught between two of the most powerful deities to have ever existed: Isis and Osiris.

The once-revered gods aren’t dead.

They’re back.

And Ace is in their way.

Welcome to a New York where the ancient gods roam.

184 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 11, 2016

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About the author

Pippa DaCosta

69 books1,513 followers
Two-time DragonCon Finalist & Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist--- "Wait a second. Let's cut to the chase. I write kick-ass urban fantasy & sci-fi novels with conflicted characters, breathless action, and no-holds-barred dialogue. My books may not leave you feeling all fluffy and warm inside, but they will excite you. There will be plot-twists, angst, probably a few dead bodies, and very likely your favorite character will turn out to be the bad guy. Don't say I didn't warn you..."


(I review on Goodreads as a reader, not a writer. Reviews here are my personal opinion, not a professional one).

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 279 reviews
January 1, 2022
Previous rating: 8 stars. I was young and naïve when I first read this book.
New rating : 10 stars. Now I am old and wise and stuff.

And the moral of this reread is :

And also:

And also, also:

Until next time.

· Book 2: Witches' Banes ★★★★★
· Book 3: See No Evil ★★★★★
· Book 4: Scorpion Trap ★★★★★
· Book 5: Serpent's Game ★★★★★
· Book 6: Edge of Forever ★★★★★

· Short-story: Chase the Dark ★★★★★

[Original review: July 2016]

Actual rating: 8 stars. Oh man, this is good. SO GOOD.

Some silly people out there think I'm slightly biased when it comes to Pippa DaCosta. I wonder why. I just happen to think Awesome Pippa DaCosta is Awesome (APDiA™), that is all. And that she can do no wrong. And that she is 100% fail proof, no matter what she writes. Does that make me a manic, rabid fangirl? Nope nope nope. Absolutely not. I'm a grown decapod woman, in case you haven't noticed. I don't do ridiculous, immature stuff. Nuh-uh. Not me.

Oh Spiderman, you self-righteous wimp, just shut up and go back to spinning your silly webs, or whatever it is you do in your spare time.

Shortest and Crappiest Short and Crappy Review Ever (SaCSaCRE™) time! Yay!

7 reasons why you HAVE to read this book:

① Because APDiA™ wrote itthis is me not being biased. At all. Nope nope nope. Absolutely not and all that crap.

② Because Ace is, in pure, glorious Pippa DaCosta fashion, gloriously fucked up. And isn't quite allergic to violence. And he kinda sucks people's souls up, too. Which is pretty yummy, if you ask me. Doing the Preemptive Kidnapping Thing (PKT™) on him was quick and magnificent thinking on my part. The Nameless One is MINE, people. ALL MINE. Touch him and I'll go all feral kitty cat on you, à la Shining. And let me tell you, it won't be pretty.

③ Because there is blood-and-gore-yay from the very first pages. So delicious.

④ Because I'm a sucker for mythology. And when slightly unhinged, somewhat devious, kinda cunning gods from the Egyptian pantheon start roaming the streets of New York, I be like:

How many times have you come across ancient Egyptian dudes and chicks in a UF story, my Little Barnacles? Ha. That's what I thought. I'm telling you, my tiny arthropods, UF doesn't get much hotter/original/refreshing than this.

⑤ Because I'm a sucker for pain and suffering and love it when Pippa "The Wicked" DaCosta turns me into an emotional wreck and breaks the little heart I don't have in tiny pieces. Repeatedly. It's beautiful.

⑥ Because, in typical APDiA™ fashion, this is pure, undiluted, fast-paced, action-packed coolness. And it makes me feel like:

⑦ And because APDiA™ wrote it. Obviously ← this is me not being biased. At all. Nope nope nope. Absolutely not and all that crap

You are, as usual, very welcome. And stuff.

PS: APDiA™ is a writing machine, and the next instalment in this series should be released in August 2016. More mature reviewing coming right up, so stay tuned.

ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for carol..
1,575 reviews8,226 followers
October 30, 2017

I'm a bit bummed, because my friends have such enthusiastic reviews and now I'm going to harsh all over their mellow. It could be the Kindle; I'm not known for loving the format. But the writing was awkward, the plotting scattered, and DaCosta relies on titillation over world-building.

"Instantly told two of the worlds’ most powerful deities exactly what I didn’t want them to know: that I’d prefer to be anywhere else but here with them."
Believe me, they know. Because you've already told us you hate them, and when you follow it up with "There was a time I'd screamed at him, raged, thrown my fists, and gotten myself strung up for my efforts," it makes the previous statement pretty much meaningless drama.

"Somehow, I smiled, and not for the first time, I secretly wished Osiris had.
Could that sentence be any more awkward?

We have a number of problems/crimes, beginning with lead Ace Dante following some kids from a summoning and now possessed by a demon; an ex-wife wanting a favor investigating the deaths of pregnant women; his mom requesting he visit her in the Underworld; and a hard-core favor for Osiris. There's also a spoiler thing . Too many plots jammed together in one book does indeed make for "non-stop action" as DaCosta claims, but to make it even more "fun," only one of those is completely resolved in this book. I knew it was going to end in a cliffhanger from my friends' reviews, but I didn't think there would be quite so many sub-plots. Speaking of plotting, although the opening scenes sort of set up a detection scenario, Dante does very little actual detecting. His 'investigation' consists of asking deux ex machinas his agency partner or his police contact for information.


I honestly didn't get develop much feeling for the main character either, consumed as he was by regret, self-loathing and hate, in between periods of frustrated sexual energy and ecstasy at eating souls (really, George Costanza in a nutshell). Dante lacks any agency; through most of the book he's only reacting to situations he is ordered to by others, acting because he sees no other option and acting because other people pushed him into it That ends up requiring a lot of back-story to justify, which isn't always done. Upside: less filler. Downside: lots of incomprehensible "I'm forced to do it" in ways that don't create sympathy or understanding.

I finished, although largely out of obligation to book OCD, making it just above one star.

Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
410 reviews914 followers
May 27, 2017
Short, engaging, original. Fabulous antihero lead. Loved it.
Buddy read with the Pippa fangirls at MacHalo's.

Ace Dante was once a nameless monster in the Ancient Egyptian underworld, judging the souls of mortals and eating those he found unworthy. But his taste for souls grew out of control; as punishment, he was banished to earth and cursed to obey the god Osiris unconditionally. 500 years later, Ace does odd jobs in New York, fixing magical problems with his demonic business partner Shukra and his soul-eating sword Alystair.
Cool premise, right?

The story gets going when Ace's ex-wife Bast, goddess of cats and protector of pregnant women, comes asking for help around the same time Osiris calls on him with a job for the first time in decades. Ace has his hands full with murders, conspiracies, and shocking reveals. Never a boring moment with this man!

Though short, Hidden Blade is packed with action, mystery, and emotion. I personally got way too emotionally involved in the book and had to reach for Book 2 the second I finished this.

Highly recommend! Pippa DaCosta does not disappoint.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,643 reviews1,512 followers
June 26, 2017
Well, well, well this is proof that you can write a UF fantasy series and not have a vampire or shifter in sight and it still is good.


The good news is that I enjoyed this so I shouldn’t have to worry about any of xXSarahXx”s crustaceans coming across land and sea to pinch me into submission.

❤️❤️❤️The High Points ❤️❤️❤️

Unconventional Main Character. Ace is cursed, a semi-reformed eater of souls, hey staying on the wagon is hard when souls are so delicious. He is stuck on earth working with his worst enemy and I immediately l♡ved him. He is not a good man, he has a past and from the glimpses we get it looks to be blacker than pitch. But I love a project.
They call me devil, liar, thief. In whispers, they call me Soul Eater. They’re right. I’m all those things—and more."

Rarely Used Egyptian Mythology: It isn’t my favorite but when done right it can be a lot of fun. Especially if you twist that Isis/Osiris relationship into some of it’s creepiest intonations and play on the brother/sister/husband/wife stuff. It is kind of disgusting if you think on it too long. Still the Gods are truly messed up and it seems that Ace is stuck in their pocket.

An Ex-Wife that is the Queen of Cats: The only thing worse than having an ex-wife, is having one that exhibits all those fun games that cats play.
Her thing was cats. I’d once woken in her bed surrounded by hundreds of felines— or maybe it had been thirty. Thirty cats sure felt like a hundred when they were watching you sleep. She was a cat— a big-ass jungle cat with claws like janbiya daggers who liked to pretend she was a person, or maybe it was the other way around. The lines had blurred. A lot had blurred in twenty years.


Best Frenemies Relationship Ever: What is worse than being cast out of your home world and bound to a gods will? Being sent there to work with your worst enemy. Shu might hate Ace but he is her only safeguard against being torn apart by the demons of hell. So while she might try to torture him a little and antagonize him a lot he is the only thing between her and a devastating end so she at least tries to make sure he doesn’t get killed.
“I know a girl like you.” I tightened my dangling grip on Alysdair. “All tongue.”
“Don’t get me wrong,” I pushed the words through my teeth, “there’s a lot the right girl can do with her tongue, but my friend’s is as sharp as a dagger and cuts like one too.”

These are short and jam packed at about 180-200 pages you are in and then it is over. It is nice to have a story laid out boom boom boom like that and then you are done and off to the next one.

☠☠☠ The Low Points ☠☠☠

These roll in around 200 pages and so there isn’t a lot of time for fluff or filler. I don’t want a lot. But I totally wanted so much more about Ace, Shu, the curse, their past and everything else that was going one. It was a great start to a series I just really only got a taste and needed more.

The God Craziness Might Not Be for Everyone: Straight up there are a few twisted scenes in this where Ace is made to watch some orgyesk situation or a God getting their rocks off. It was a bit graphic and I was fine with it but just a heads up to if you are sensitive to scenes like that.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,595 followers
May 22, 2017
*** 4.25 ***

A buddy read with the MacHalo Freaks, because we love us some Pippa!!!

Another fun, exciting, engaging and dynamic book by Pippa, who seems to do no wrong ever! In typical fashion she plunges us in a world full of demons, gods and everything in between. Ace Dante, the Nameless One from the underworld, has been cursed with a multi-faceted curse, which has bound him on our world with one of the gods from the Egyptian Pantheon, to an ex-demon-witch, and who knows what else, making him one very cranky, scrued-up dude with a soul-eating sword. His ex-wife, a cat-goddess Bastet, hires him to discover who is killing young pregnant women and makes it impossible to resist by dropping a huge shock on him... From here on everything would be a spoiler, so just prepare yourself for a ton of scrued-up deities and some action! I personally wanted to strangle the horrible self-serving bastards, but I have to trust that the author is going to get them for all the pain they inflict from pure boredom! In Pippa we trust😎😎😎

I would recommend this quick read to all Urban Fantasy and action enthusiasts, and a must read for this authors' fans.

Now I wish you all Happy Reading and many more wonderful books to come!!!
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,343 reviews1,015 followers
July 13, 2016
Final Review:
I don't know how she does it but Pippa DaCosta consistently comes up with exciting new ideas and Hidden Blade is a breath of fresh air for urban fantasy fans. Egyptian mythology is fascinating but it's actually very underused in UF so I couldn't be more thrilled about this series. Imagine a modern day New York that is actually run by ancient Egyptian gods who are hiding in plain sight. The mayor and his wife? You might not know to look at them but that's Osiris and his wife (and sister) Isis. They've been married for over 3,000 years so even though they're still crazy in love that's bound to put a strain on any relationship!

Our main character Ace, also known as the Nameless One, is a soul eater and, alongside his business partner Shu, he protects the streets of New York from demons and things that go bump in the night. When his ex-wife Bast (AKA Bastet, goddess of cats and protector of the innocent) asks for his help investigating the murders of a group of pregnant young girls who were living under her protection Ace finds himself caught up in something bigger than he could have imagined. Already trapped in the effects of a powerful curse Ace now ends up with an even bigger target on his back and caught between the sights of two vengeful gods.

This is such a hard book to review because I want to tell you how amazing it is but I don't want to give you spoilers. Pippa DaCosta creates such brilliantly multilayered characters and Ace is one of her best. Thanks to his soul eater abilities he's full of darkness and constantly battles between his desires to devour everyone in his path and his hope to become something more, something better. You'll discover the details of his curse for yourself when you read the book but it's certainly a harsh punishment for his crimes and you can't help but root for him even when he teeters on the edge of doing terrible things. The Egyptian gods are as crazy as they are powerful and you definitely wouldn't want them as an enemy.

Hidden Blade is full of action, the author doesn't shy away from sending her characters to hell and back and I'm not going to lie that makes for a gut wrenching read at times. This book will take you through every emotion you can think of and may turn you into an emotional wreck at times but it is so, so worth it. Brilliant world building, fascinating mythology, wonderful multilayered characters that you will either love or love to hate and a fast moving storyline that will keep you turning the pages until the end - Pippa DaCosta most certainly has another hit on her hands and I for one can't wait to get my hands on the sequel!

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

9th July:
OMG OMG OMG I HAVE AN ARC!!! I'm dying of excitement right now & that email has been sitting unread in my inbox for THREE DAYS! How did I miss it???? Great news: it's the weekend and I'm nearly finished my current book so guess what I'm starting next? LOL

April 2016:
I don't even need to see a blurb for this one. It's written by Pippa DaCosta and therefore I NEED IT!

Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!!!
Profile Image for Emma.
2,510 reviews855 followers
July 10, 2017
I flatter myself that I am quite discerning about urban fantasy- after all there is a LOT of it out there and a LOT of it isn't great. So I was a little sceptical going into this new series. However several goodreads friends have read this series recently and with overwhelmingly good reviews, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.
And wow! That is one decision I don't regret. This was fantastic! I don't even really like Egyptian story lines, but this was so well done. It's a short book but the world building is seamless. It's dark too and how the story plays out is quite sad. The protagonist is different because he is not a good guy but he is the Good Guy. I really liked this. Plan to read the rest of the series and in fact, by about halfway through had already bought books 2 and 3. A very different urban fantasy with not a vampire or shapeshifter in sight!
Profile Image for Steven.
1,089 reviews393 followers
June 22, 2017
3.5 stars rounded up. It would have been a full four but I felt that the end didn't really tie up the plot very well and make it feel complete. I loved the Egyptian mythology and have high expectations that book two will feel more complete and take the story to a higher level of awesome.
Profile Image for Louie the Mustache Matos.
1,011 reviews75 followers
July 19, 2023
Pippa DaCosta’s Hidden Blade is Book 1 of the Soul Eater series. Ace Dante is a former Egyptian demi-god that was expelled from the Underworld for being overzealous in the performance of his work (consuming souls). He now resides in our realm where he helps people in New York City. He is bound to his assistant, a former demon sorceress named Shukra.

They “hate” each other in a sort of symbiotic relationship. The destruction of one would result in the destruction of the other. They try to stay beneath the radar of the pantheon of Egyptian gods, but you can pretty much imagine how well that goes. Bastet, Ace’s ex-wife comes to him with a case, and of course, he can’t say no. I really ordinarily don’t like Urban Fantasy books like this, but this one works pretty well despite the fact that there is no resolution at the end of this one. It is after all the beginning of the series.
Profile Image for Milda Page Runner.
300 reviews234 followers
October 13, 2017
As I’m blitzing through the third book in a row it’s probably time to review the start of this series. :)
Engaging and fast paced urban fantasy set in New York. Paranormal side of the story is based on Egyptian mythology and old gods which is a nice change from usual vampires and werewolves. Main character is not exactly a goody two shoes and series turn out to be darker and edgier than it appears at the first glance. It could proudly sit on the shelf next to Sandman Slim and Daniel Faust.
Not quite as philosophical and noir as Sandman Slim and not quite as well written as Daniel Faust, in my opinion though it excels in pacing/suspense/action department. Plenty of unexpected twists that keep you on the edge of the seat and the author doesn’t soften the blows – there is hardly a moment to breath and so it’s a series that is hard to put down once you start.
Worldbuilding and characterisation are interesting if a bit sketchy in the first book, but fill in and acquire depth as you go on. Some humour and sarcasm which lightens but doesn’t overwhelm intensity and overall darker atmosphere of this series.

Highly recommended to urban fantasy and darker fantasy readers.
Profile Image for Maria Dimitrova.
745 reviews142 followers
May 22, 2017
Buddy read with the MacHalos.

Another brilliant urban fantasy by the Goddess Pippa DaCosta! Fast paced, fascinating worldbuilding (Egyptian Gods are real! Do I need to say more?) kickass characters! A perfect blend that hijacks your brain and demands that you pay attention to nothing else. The only real flaw was the length - it's way too short! I felt as if I just started and BOOM! it's over! That of course doesn't mean that the conclusion was rushed. Everything was expertly handled and as a first book in a series goes it does what it's intended to do - it makes you crave the next instalment like a junkie craves his next hit. If you ever need a fast fix to your urban fantasy addiction, don't hesitate and pick this book.
Profile Image for Jo.
957 reviews205 followers
June 23, 2017

3.5 Stars - Buddy read with the weekly UF group over at BB&B.

"They call me devil, liar, thief. In whispers, they call me Soul Eater. They’re right. I’m all those things—and more."

Is there anything better than a sexy anti-hero, who is a little broken and a lot bad-ass….? Nope ;-) Ace Dante is a Soul Eater who was kicked out of the underworld and cursed to walk the earth. He was forced to share a bond with a demon sorceress, one he deemed unworthy before and now they have a sort of frenemy thing going, working together and trying not to anger the god who hold their string.

But when Ace’s ex-wife Bastet, the Queen of Cats, asks him for help in protecting her blessed pregnant women who are being killed, Ace wants to refuse, but a secret Bastet has been keeping from him makes refusing impossible. Suddenly Ace is thrown in the middle of an evil plot and caught in the middle of Osiris and Isis, two powerful and evil deities, and one of them holds Ace’s curse.

I really liked Ace, this hero who has such darkness inside himself, but who also has the capacity to be more, if he chooses to be. Although I must say his curse and inability to fight back against the god who holds this curse has me very worried. I also love his bad-ass sword, Alysdair, who eats souls. Not a lot is revealed about Ace’s past and why he was kicked out of the underworld and cursed, but I’m sure more light will be shed on this as the series goes along.

There are also some very interesting secondary characters. Shu the demon Ace shares a bond with. I really like her, she might be a little evil, but not a bad person ;-) Then there’s Nick “Cujo” Jones, an ex-cop who also helps Ace from time to time. And Bast, Ace’s ex-wife. I really loved her and of course being the romance addict that I am, I had hoped there could be something again between them because I love how she sees there’s more to him than just being a Soul Eater, but after that devastating ending, my hopes seems to have turned to ashes.

Lastly there is Isis and Osiris, husband and wife, and also brother and sister. Yes, so GROSS!!! These two are SO very evil and disgusting and I just want them to DIE. I have no idea what evil things they are still going to inflict on Ace, but I’m sure Ace’s time for suffering under their hands is far from over. I just really hope he gets his revenge in the end.

I must say this was a very intense and action-packed first installment and I really enjoyed this world the author created. Gods that are powerful and evil, uncaring of who they use and abuse, and it’s terrifying to see just what monstrous lengths they would go to. If it wasn’t for that very sad and devastating end I would have loved this book, but despite my heartbreak I still enjoyed it very much.

Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,605 reviews2,309 followers
September 24, 2020
Hidden Blade
(Soul Eater #1)
by Pippa DaCosta
Terrific and terrifying gods that haven't the slightest morals or empathy for life. Ace finds out he has a daughter that is grown and in danger. He is trying to save her, save his ex-wives followers, keep from losing his mind from darkness, keep from getting himself killed by a sadistic god, and he is suppose to kill a god that he has no chance of killing. Plus, there is a demon on the loose! The book is never dull!
Profile Image for Meigan.
1,178 reviews70 followers
July 10, 2016
Fast-paced and full of action, Hidden Blade was a fantastic first entry in Pippa's new Soul Eaters series.

Ace Dante, otherwise known as the Nameless One, is a soul eater. Infamous in the city of New York, he's also feared. Not only because he's a soul eater, but mostly because he's one badass dude who excels at hunting and killing demons. He's also cursed and more often than not, the curse wears heavy on him, taking away much of his freedom. When a string of murders is brought to his attention by his ex-wife, Ace and Bast need to work together to figure out the hows and the whys and try to stop the murderer before they kill someone with a very personal connection to both Ace and Bast.

Pippa is very, very good at writing conflicted characters. Characters who spend much of their time living in self-doubt and punishing themselves for past sins. Such is the case with Ace Dante. He's a soul eater, yet he fights the impulse. Deep down, he knows he wants more from life, more than the blackness he's mostly in, yet it's not until Bast makes mention of it that it brings his inner thoughts to the forefront. I love characters with personal struggles, characters who are completely different inside than out.

Aside from the awesome characterization, I loved the story and the plot. Set in modern day NYC, much of it feels the same as the real NYC. Except for the gods, of course. Gods and goddesses pulled straight from Egyptian mythology run this city and hold all the power, managing to hide themselves from the general public. To the regular folks, gods like Osiris are merely just the mayor; Isis, merely the mayor's wife. Hidden in plain sight, yet it will be interesting to see over the course of this series if the gods' identities are ever revealed to the general population.

Bottom line - really enjoyed this first installment. I loved the mythology, I loved the characters, and I loved Acehole's relationship (or lack thereof) with his partner, Shu. The ending, while very tense, isn't a cliffhanger, but it's definitely a to-be-continued kind of ending. Really looking forward to the next installment to see what changes Pippa has in store for dear Ace, and to see exactly how he plans to move forward after the shitstorm he found himself in.

*Many thanks to Pippa DaCosta for providing a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
February 13, 2021
Second Reading
Oh the feels I got from this book, you can't help but love the very broken and on the wrong side of the line Ace. I loved his banter with Shu. I loved his tender moments with Bast. And that restaurant scene at the end - yeah, I may have shed a tear or two. I'm off to read Witches' Bane....

First Reading Review
Wow, this is so much darker than The Veil series and Girl From Above, however it is just as good. For some reason it took me a little while to get into the book, it might just have been my state of mind because when I picked it up for the second time I was soon into the story and didn't put it back down until I had finished it.

The book is entirely from one point of view, the male main character called Ace Dante - well that's what he's called in New York, elsewhere he goes by The Nameless One or Soul Eater. There are so many mysteries about Ace to learn and I am sure Ms DaCosta will slowly reveal the answers as the series continues. I liked Ace, he has a darkness to him but you can sense that he does have some goodness hidden inside him somewhere. He reminded my a little of Akil, The Prince of Greed from the Veil series, at times. I did struggle a little with the references to all the Egyptian gods - perhaps a little personal research would have made things clearer.

The story jumps right in from the off, with the action and pace continuing non-stop until the end. You can tell that there are a multitude of schemes being plotted by the various gods, one or two are revealed in this part of the story, but I sense that there is something SO MUCH BIGGER lurking in the background. This book focuses on Ace's connection with Bastet, the goddess of cat's and pregnant women, and why her 'followers' are being murdered. There are lots of other sub-plots too, some of which are not resolved in this book. That being said this could be read as a stand-alone, rather like you can watch the first Star Wars film or the first Hunger Games film and not need to watch the rest. However you just know you are missing out on more wonderfulness, as well as seeing the bad guys get their comeuppance and the hero get resolution.

I really like Pippa DaCosta's writing style, it has such depth and complexity and it is so very difficult to guess what will happen next. I can't wait to read the next book.
Profile Image for Dana aka ♥Belladonna♥ .
749 reviews178 followers
July 24, 2016
So. Freakin'. Awesome.

When I picked up this book, I wanted something I could totally lose myself in. Something that would wrap me up in a fast plot and whisk me off to a fantastic new place, to immerse me in someone else's world. And, oh boy, did Pippa DaCosta deliver.

Ace Dante. Wow. How to describe him… He’s like Deadpool, a mercenary for hire, only minus the manchild and heavy on the badass, with a spelled, glowing sword that eats the souls of those he slays. Demons, witches, preferably the darker the better. Usually. That sword will eat anything, though.

I loved the man. He’s gritty, rough around the edges, does his best to push people’s buttons and tries to bend the rules as much as he can. So, when his ex wife, Bastet, Queen of Cats, shows up wanting to hire him… Well, let’s just say he doesn’t come running.

Set in modern day New York where the Ancient Egyptian Pantheon of Gods and Goddesses walk hidden amongst ordinary citizens, you get the feel of something hanging in the air. Something holding its breath, waiting for the right time. It’s dark and up to no good.

Without giving away serious spoilers, it’s impossible to go into the plot. But, I can say a whole host of familiar Gods and Goddesses names pop up in this book in addition to Bastet. I.E. Osiris, Isis, Thoth, Ammit, Anubis just to name a few. But, if you think this is going to be a young adult book a la The Lightning Thief, think again. This book is definitely adult. There are scenes where it gets very dark, scenes that are violent. More so than her other work to date. Personally, I loved that she went there. It made those scenes incredibly emotional for me, made me intensely empathetic to Ace. One scene in particular had me bawling; something I rarely do when I read, but this author seems to get me to do it fairly often.

I loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next one. If you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy and are looking for a series with a continuing, compelling story line, look no further.

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Profile Image for  Simply Sam ツ.
605 reviews79 followers
May 25, 2017
This is probably more like 3.5 stars, almost 4 stars. Maybe I should just round up to 4 stars? Gah! I'm not sure.

This book was pretty down and dirty and to the point. You have Ace, a former soul addict (he literally consumes souls which act like a drug to his system) who, thanks to a curse, has turned slave/errand boy for Osiris, one of the big, bad Gods. Ace just so happens to also be the ex-husband of Bastet, the cat-goddess and protector of the "blessed", which in this case is pregnant girls. Bastet enlists Ace to help her figure out why her blessed keep turning up dead. Secrets are revealed and old habits rear their heads, but at the end of the day it may not be enough to save anyone. Because let me tell you, the Gods are assholes and assholes don't care about happy endings.

I loved Alysdair! There's just something about soul-eating swords that I dig. Or any sword that has to be fed or possesses some sentience. I just think they're cool.

I also like non-traditional heroes, like Ace. I guess he's sorta, kinda an anti-hero, though he is actively trying to redeem himself so maybe more like a dark hero? Either way, he struggles with himself and against his addiction to souls. Any other bad things he's responsible for now are at Osiris's behest. He literally can't tell Osiris no and is left to live with the consequences of his actions.

Osiris and Isis are two peas in an evil, narcissistic, all powerful pod. They ooze from the page and make you feel kinda squicky, like icked out and maybe a little turned on at the same time. The are bad, bad people/Gods and make very compelling antagonists.

I guess my biggest issue is that it just didn't feel like there was enough. I mean, I know it's the first in a series and I'm sure we're meant to discover more as the series progresses, but I still feel like there could have been more meat to the story. I suppose in the overall scope of things, that's not a super big complaint. It was pretty entertaining and I think she did a good job keeping it interesting. I guess I will go ahead and round up to 4 stars after all.
Profile Image for Cheryl La Pa.
394 reviews62 followers
July 24, 2016
4.5 Stars! Ms DaCosta has perfectly balanced all the elements to create an outstanding paranormal urban fantasy series. It is an adrenaline-pumping, non-stop action thrill ride set in New York where ancient gods roam.

I was drawn into the story from the first page and it kept my rapt attention until the end. I don’t read many books with male leads, but Ms DaCosta nailed it perfectly. I loved Ace even though he is a soul eater and demon hunter who is bound to a god.

The plot is smooth flowing with strong, memorable characters and plenty of action, humour, suspense and mystery. Can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book! I have loved every book that I have read by Ms DaCosta – she is definitely an auto-buy author for me!
Profile Image for BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme.
6,708 reviews1,307 followers
February 7, 2017
Buy this book now. A shocking and stunning new series, Hidden Blade will cut deep. Queen of torment, Ms. DeCosta creates another world where the lead character is totally screwed over. Starting with page one, I am hooked and can't stop until I get to the end. This story moved fast and kept my adrenaline pumping.

I loved Ace Dante. He is the antihero who is really a hero but given a raw deal. What happens when the good guy is the loser and the evil guy is the winner? Enter in Ace Dante who is betrayed by his mother and cursed by an evil god. Specifically, two psychotic dysfunctional incestual Egyptian gods who need to be wiped off the face of this Earth and every realm above and below, continue to mess with Ace. I loathe them.

This story engaged me, infuriated me and made me cry. I rail at Ms. DeCosta for moving me so much I cried at the end of this story. If you need a happily ever after ending, this book is not for you. If you want to feel intense sorrow, grief, fury and helplessness, this is the book for you. If Ms. DeCosta were to ever to delve into BDSM, look out, she would blow a kinky reader's mind.

The world building is fantastic. Ms. DeCosta takes the Egyptian mythos and mixes it into something new and refreshing. Her character building is amazing. She creates individual characters who are unique and pull a reader in. A reader becomes invested in the character and with Ace, it isn't that I feel pity. It is that I feel outraged and I root for him to overcome. He does not. He is beaten down even more in this story. Ms. DeCosta is one of those authors who will kill characters off. I gasped in horror with what she did. I couldn't believe my eyes and had to re-read several passages over again to ensure what happened really did happen.

The tale is vivid with imagery and almost a sensory overload. This type of gritty world with dark themes and antiheroes is hard to write well. Ms. DeCosta does it so well without making it heartless. Instead, she tears the reader's heart out and stomps all over it whilst chortling maniacally. This story is smooth, suspenseful, slightly dirty erotic and powerful. At the end of this story, I hit rock bottom hard and ended up with a major book hang over. I loved reading this book and I'm a bit afraid to re-read it because of the intensity of emotions pulled out of me. This mesmerizing urban fantasy is highly recommended to readers who enjoy a tortured hero used as a proverbial whipping boy.

*provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for jenn.
694 reviews315 followers
July 5, 2017

Just to get this off my chest ... I LOVE EGYPTIAN GODS! Hell, if I could I would ship my ass to freaking Egypt.

It would be kind of pointless to do a full review on this since it's under 200 pages. WHY ?! But needless to say, I wish there was more god ass kicking and less ... meh.

Like, give me some of this -
instead of this -

Jennymort OUT.
Profile Image for Kira.
1,243 reviews130 followers
May 26, 2017
Ace, the nameless one, is stuck in a rather unfortunate situation. He's a powerful being but his life isn't his own. By nature he's a bad guy. It can't be helped. Eating souls is what he does. He's also forced to do bad things because of his situation with Osiris. At heart he wants to be good, but it doesn't come easily. I love characters that are as conflicted as Ace is.

All of the other characters were interesting, but it was hard to get attached to them. The world building was good. The use of Egyptian gods was cool. I definitely want to know more about Ace's past and about what was going on with his mother. There is a lot more to explore in this world, and I definitely want to read the rest of the series.

So this was probably worth somewhat less than 4 stars, but it was too good to give it less than 4. Something was missing for me, but I'm not sure what. Nothing was wrong with this, but for some reason I just didn't love it.
Profile Image for Sharon L.
595 reviews88 followers
July 20, 2016
Pippa Dacosta had done it again. I can't trust my heart around that woman, she tears it out mercilessly.

I'm not growing used to seeing it outside my body. But that's the thing about Pippa, multilayered characters, great actions scenes and an emotional rollercoaster can be expected EVERYTIME you pick up one of her books.

Pippa Dacosta is one damn awfully good author. And I just.... well, it's hard to review each and every one of her books considering I'm really trying to avoid being repetitive. Since I had some time to lick my wounds, here I shall attempt another try.

Pippa had created a New York were the ancients gods roam free, there are demons of course and soul devouring monster but mostly Egyptician myth.

In the regard it kind of reminded me of Gods Misbehaving or was it Gods Behaving Badly? you know that book with the greek gods...?

anyway, Ace and Shu and Bas and Ozzy were all great characters. though Bas was my favorite.

I really do feel bad for Ace for all he has been through. suddenly living forever feels more like an awful punishment than anything else.

shit, I'm bad at this. in format it's a bit more like The Girl From Above series, but really this is a different beast... with all the trademarks and the right choices and the heart out of your body ending.

an ARC was kindly provided by Pippa Dacosta in exchanged for an honest review. On behalf of full disclosure I'll admit that didn't stop me from purchasing my own copy
3,780 reviews11 followers
September 9, 2023
Entertaining fantasy listening 🎶🔰

This is book one in a six book series. Like many series this book is free. Oh how I love 💘 those free books 📚!.

Ace Dante has been kicked out of the underworld. He is helping people avoid the wrath of the gods. He is hired by his ex-wife Baster who want to have stopped the killing of her blessed women. A very good fantasy world 🌎 novel with interesting well developed characters lots of action, misdirection, and violence leading to the unexpected conclusions. 2023 😀👒😡😮

I have listened and read a number of books by Poppa DaCosta and never been disappointed. Happy reading 📚 and have fun 🌙😀.

Profile Image for Jeanny.
1,898 reviews153 followers
July 9, 2016
No spoilers=not much detail on plot. I'll let the premise tell you what the book is about. This review is about my experience with Hidden Blade (Soul Eater, #1)

No one likes getting excited about a book only to be disappointed in its story later. As a result every avid reader has developed (some consciously some not) a criteria they've determined usually makes for an enjoyable read. After all, at its most basic it's a game of probability & we all want to stack the deck in our favor. Well, this book was a departure from my usual reading material but I reasoned I've enjoyed many of Pippa DaCosta's previous books & if i'm going to try something new (male MC/male POV/shorter read) i'd have a higher probability of a successful read with a familiar author.

Although the page count for Hidden Blade (Soul Eater, #1) was short, no short cuts were made. The story was well written, the plot was tight, the editing was well done, the characters fully developed, & *brings out bullhorn* IT WAS ONE HELL OF AN EMOTIONAL RIDE. (Yes I feel yelling that last bit is appropriate lol)
The MC Ace Dante aka The nameless one was unapologetically foul, miserable, gritty, had a heart of gold filled with pure vengeance. He was a masterpiece lol Good job Pippa!
In the end I'm happy I read Hidden Blade (Soul Eater, #1). This book was a fantastic UF, with an excellent plot & an unlucky antihero. This was surprisingly a character driven book for me. I felt for Ace & his plight in life. I wanted him to come out on top. I suspect this series will easily become a favorite of mine. I look forward to Witches' Bane (Soul Eater #2) in August 2016.

I'd recommend this book to any UF readers who aren't in the mood for romance & instead are in the mood for a gritty antihero fighting the god fight... no that's not a typo. This book has a plethora of Egyptian gods & goddesses.

Fav quote: "Goddesses held grudges longer than empires reigned."-Ace

The eARC for Hidden Blade: Soul Eater #1 was kindly provided to me by the Author Pippa DaCosta in exchange for an honest review.

October 7, 2016
Complex, 3 dimensional characters: CHECK
Fresh look at urban fantasy: CHECK
Well rounded and engaging plot: CHECK
Believable interpersonal dialogue: CHECK

Frankly, I thought this book was fantastic! Oddly I found this book because I was reading Jim Butcher's Dresiden Files, which I was not entirely fond of (but did promise to read a certain number.)

My lack of drooling fandom for that series is one of the reasons I found Hidden Blade so refreshing.

Five hundred years was a long time to walk this earth.

Let us start with our hero, Ace...or perhaps he is leaning more towards antihero...He is a believable tortured soul trying to live his eternity out in a prison while being controlled by a psychopathic god with his soul chained to an enemy of old. See, he did something so heinous that even the down and dirty gods in a powerful pantheon that see humans as playthings could not let it go. That is right, he is a criminal sentenced to a life on Earth. Poor schmuck.

I wasn't hungover-hangovers were for lightweights. What I was feeling was more like halfway dead. Any further and I'd be back in the underworld.

He is not exactly a detective so much as a garbage man. His clients come to him when ancient evils find their way to the streets of NY; or when they screw up horribly and need someone to fix/hide their blunder from the still powerful gods.

His fellow prisoner, old enemy, and business partner, Shu, is a black soul that Osirus tied to his soul as a cruel joke to them both- afterall it was Ace who had Shu sent to the underworld when he weighed her soul and found it...well disgusting. She is one evil, sarcastic lady who was bound to her enemy and is making the most of it by truly hating the god who did it.

A minor god once got the wrong idea about Shu and me and figured he could get to me by hurting her...as soon as Shu got free, she ripped his insides out via his throat. Happy days.

With this dynamic duo of power and sarcasm, what could possibly be bad enough to confront them? Oh, yes. Ace' ex-wife and goddess of warfare and cats, Bastet. Somone is using NY as a killing ground and she wants her old flame to figure out who. Not only that, but Osirus and Isis are pulling their evil games and are yanking on Ace's chain at the worst possible time and in the worst possible way. Add to that- Ace suspects that they are somehow involved in the murder spree.

This is not your benevolent gods of old, believe me. In fact, it probably would have been better for everyone if Osirus had been ripped apart by Seth. The devil is never who we thought it would be.

So how does one go up against the gods that own him to stop this madness? Plunging in with both feet, of course!

Seth ek em sra dasoerk. The devil is in the details.

This book was an easy to read, unputdownable fun time. The scenery was realistic and the world well built. The relationships were believable and not nauseating. The characters were complex. And the plot was not a recycled Days-of-Our-Lives-meets-Supernatural. It leaves a person pleasantly satisfied and hungering for the next installment all at once.

I loved it!

I cannot wait to read the next installment.

I would recommend this for anyone who likes old myths, kick butt characters, and a hankering for a bit a fiesty fun and evil machinations.

Profile Image for Bambi Unbridled.
1,284 reviews139 followers
October 19, 2016
I am a huge urban fantasy fan, and have run through the majority of urban fantasy authors on my TBR. So I have been trying to branch out and find a new one. Pippa DaCosta writes several different urban fantasies so I have tried a couple of hers... but so far none have grabbed me.

This story had good potential as I don't feel the mythology aspect with the Egyptian deities has been overdone as a trope/subject. Unfortunately, this story didn't work for me either. I didn't feel like there was any world building. Everyone is just somewhat plopped down into New York with occasional trips to the Underworld. Why are the Egyptian deities in NYC? I wanted an explanation of the world, how they came to be in New York, descriptions of the setting (particularly the Underworld), an explanation of the relationship dynamics between characters, etc. Instead, there was a lot of telling and not enough showing.

Ace Dante is the nameless one, kicked out of the Underworld for some reason. I don't think we were ever told why he was ousted... if we were, I must have been zoned out. Ace is a cursed souleater with mommy issues, and now drama with the ex-wife. I usually dig the broody alpha male characters, but I didn't care much for Ace. He did have a little depth and some conflicted emotions, but I didn't connect to his character at all. He was kind of an acehole to most people around him... but hey, he had a cool sword. I did like Ace's ex-wife, Bastet, Queen of Cats, and Goddess of Warfare. Her followers are being killed all over Manhattan, and she has asked for Ace's help. This has really divided Ace's attention between Osiris' machinations and Bastet's demands for assistance. I would have liked to see more cohesion between these two plotlines as I don't feel like either one was developed fully.

Osiris and Isis are definitely interesting characters with lots of mythological meat to dig into. However their mythological history didn't seem to be tied into the story. They were portrayed as callous megalomaniac depraved gods without any contribution to society or the world in general. I would have liked to see more of the deities' legendary characteristics woven into the story. With the shallow caricatures they played, you could have changed the names to Hades and Menthe and I don't feel like the story would be that different.

The story does end abruptly, I suppose with an eye toward developing further as the series progresses. I don't think I will be continuing with this one. My enthusiasm for the story never rose to the level of "meh" and the story of under 5 hours seemed to drag on forever. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this audiobook that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio.
Profile Image for Coco.V.
50k reviews4 followers
Want to read
January 2, 2018
💝 FREE on Amazon today (1/2/2018)! 💝

"They call me devil, liar, thief. In whispers, they call me Soul Eater. They’re right. I’m all those things—and more."

Kicked out of the underworld and cursed to walk this earth for all eternity, the soul eater known as "Ace Dante" finds solace in helping others avoid the wrath of the gods.

But when warrior-bitch, Queen of Cats, and Ace's ex-wife, Bastet, hires him to stop whoever is slaughtering her blessed women, Ace is caught between two of the most powerful deities to have ever existed: Isis and Osiris.

The once-revered gods aren’t dead.

They’re back.

And Ace is in their way.

Welcome to a New York where the ancient gods roam.
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