cover image Heaven's Spite

Heaven's Spite

Lilith Saintcrow, Orbit, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-07417-9

Jill Kismet's fifth go-round with the big bad demons (after 2009's Flesh Circus) is identical in all essentials with the first four. The story rides on snappy, noirish narration, melancholy musings, and gory hand-to-hand combat. Jill's scar throbs. Jill's clothing shreds. Jill's silver crackles. Jill's soul is in peril. It's difficult to see why this series is sometimes classified as urban fantasy or paranormal romance: a more appropriate categorization would be Christian horror. Jill's Were lover, Saul, is a tacked-on excuse for angst. The focus is on the demon hellbreed, and both Jill and the plot put everything else aside to wallow in the bloody imminence of damnation. Like a blockbuster movie franchise, the formula is a cheap thrill—once. A warning, too: while it generally doesn't matter which book in the series one reads first, this one has a major cliffhanger. (Nov.)