Reviewed by Donna & Dan
This book may contain content that is disagreeable or distressing to some readers.
TITLE: Of Gods And Monsters: Hades
SERIES: Of Gods And Monsters #2
AUTHOR: Wulf Francu Godgluck
LENGTH: 347 Pages
RELEASE DATE: January 22, 2016
This is not a story about a hero, or some bad boy-badass-antihero.
This is a love story between two monstrous villains and one valiant kid, held together by their entwined heartstrings.
It won’t be pretty.
It won’t be pleasant.
There’s no fluffy good feelings about it.
It will rip out your heart and never give it back.
Breno Hades el Oscuro took no bullshit from anyone. He ruled the crime world of the United States. When the King fell, what was left in the ashes was not the small boy that grew up without his father, not the same kid that chose a life of crime at seventeen, nor was it the King who had killed and clawed through a river of blood to stand at the top.
The King was dragged from his throne of bones into a deep dark pit, leaving only the raw flesh of a savage monster to crawl out of Hell.
One that knew love, but didn’t want it again.
Kemono Orochi was destined to inherit the legacy of his father, known as The Dragon’s Tongue. It was an inheritance he never wanted it, never desiring the power that came with the title of Dragon. Kemono ended it all by tearing off the Dragon’s head, watching the serpent’s remains be consumed in hellfire. Now tormented by the scars of his past inflicted by his father, he is struggling to come to terms with the Akuma he has become.
One that wants to devour everyone in his path to protect the only one that matters to him.
The only person that had ever made his icy heart beat.
His heart. His love. His beautiful pride.
Rex Hunter dreams of becoming a principal ballerino…all fierce, like a Phoenix. But this Phoenix has lost his wings and fallen prey, straight into the clutched claws and callus hands of two vicious beasts. Each bore the blackest of hearts, each desiring to keep him safe, cherished and loved unconditionally. Or was Rex just destined to be the goo that would stick two shattered souls together and prevent them from forever falling to pieces?
There will be blood, gore and nasty shit.
There will be watersports, crude, angry, sometimes sensual and other times just downright dirty and dysfunctional sex.
There will always be LOVE…
Honestly I’m a little stunned by this book. It was very, very dark. It had references to things that I think a lot of our readers won’t be comfortable with. I love really dark books, and there were even some things that pushed my envelope a little bit.
First and foremost, I want to say that this isn’t really a romance. It is the story of two really evil men, both of whom are in love with the same young man. This book, which is really the first half of the story, deals primarily with Breno Hades el Oscuro (Hades), the current President of the Cerberus Motorcycle Club.
We meet Hades while he is imprisoned and being forced to do cage fighting. We jump right into things that might make some squeamish. One example would be when Hades digs out/pops the eyeballs of the guy who he is fighting. In typical Wulf fashion, we get lots of gory details.
Very shortly thereafter, Hades is released from prison and returns to his condo in New York City. Only problem? There is someone living there…a cute little red headed young man that it turns out might be just Hades type!
Rex Hunter is a male ballet dancer, but one with a dark past. The son of the former President of the Cerberus Motorcycle Club, Rex was spirited away to Japan to be raised under a shadowy crime figure known as The Dragon shortly after his father was killed. There Rex was protected and taught the things he wanted to learn, like ballet. The Dragon’s son, Kemono Orochi, was Rex’s first love, but when he was caught kissing Kemono, Rex was never allowed to talk to Kemono again. Now Rex has been brought back to NYC and dumped. Luckily the Cerberus Motorcycle Club takes care of their own, and they put him up in their Prez’s place, since the Prez is in jail.
Little do the two know that they are on a collision course that will take them to the edges of hell and back. Along the way there will be blood, mayhem, murders, castrations, decomposing corpses, and other dark things. There is also lots of sex, most of it not even slightly vanilla!
I liked this book a lot. To be really honest, I loved it up until about 75%. But then it started to feel it was getting a bit long. Wulf, as usual, writes very detailed storylines, with a lot of background information. Not that this is a bad thing, it just makes for a very long book. I also can’t say that I love a book that finishes with a total cliffhanger and a “to be continued” message. The author assures me the second half of the story will be out sometime in the first half of 2016, and it better be….otherwise I will have to get on a plane to South Africa and go kick some butt!
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a really, really dark story. If you’re looking for a sweet romance, go elsewhere. If you haven’t read book one in the series Of Gods And Men: Menoetius, it isn’t a prerequisite, but that one is also very worth your read!
Okay, so now for my take on Hades, in which I both agree and disagree with Dan’s review. And you may have to excuse my language, but some books call for more profanity than others.
I can’t argue that this book is drowning in darkness. As Dan mentioned there’s popped eyeballs, sliced out tongues, rotting corpses, people being set on fire, and just general murder left right and center. If you like bad men…and you know what that’s a total understatement – these men take bad and piss on it, put a bullet in its head and blow that shit up – yeah, so if you like that, then this is totally the book for you.
But strangely enough, I didn’t find it heavy with angst. I guess it will depend on what gets your anxiety levels going but for me, it’s the emotional bullshit that I hate. These characters don’t deal in that crap. If they feel it then they’re going to show it, and since most of what they feel is anger, they don’t tend show it with hugs and smiles.
The story is told from different view points – Hades, Rex and, to a lesser degree, Kemono. Even a few random side characters get to have their thoughts known, but there is never any confusion about whose eyes we’re watching through. While the blurb mentions all three main characters this first half of their story concentrates on Rex and Hades. By the end of the book Kemono still hasn’t had contact with the other two men, although he knows exactly where they are. He isn’t one to lose track of what he wants. All three men are amazingly well written, the author obviously pouring all his considerable talent into creating them. The levels of passion and charisma that is pulled from these characters makes them seem so real; for all that I’ve definitely never met anybody like them.
Again, as Dan pointed out, this is only the first part of this story and it ends with a worrying cliffhanger. But…I didn’t care at all. You know how you love the hell out of a book and when it ends with a cliffhanger you bitch and moan and cyber stalk the author until you find out where they live so you can nail a dead cat to their door…no? Huh, just me then? Well anyways, I actually loved this story so damn much that I was happy for it to end like that. And I can assure you that I have never ever said that before. But now I can spend the next few months (please no longer than that!) anticipating what is going to come next, and knowing that my mind just isn’t up to getting it right. As for the length, and this is the only part of Dan’s review that I disagree with, the story didn’t drag for me at all. It didn’t matter if I was reading sex, murder or Hades sitting down to eat a bowl of cereal, I loved every sentence in this book. I was pretty much bouncing on my chair yelling – Yes! Fucking kill something! – but the contrast with the calmer moments made those flashes of violence and sex so much more explosive.
Dan’s right, this isn’t a romance. Romance is too soft and sweet a word for any character to grace the pages of this story. There’s love, but its no sappy, poetic emotion. When these men say – I’d die for you or I’d kill for you– they fucking mean it. Their love and devotion and commitment is like an inferno that would greedily consume everything in its path to reach its goal.
I recommend reading Of Gods And Men: Menoetius, the first book in this series. But you don’t necessarily need to read it first. The characters from that story pop up here, and you’re going to want to know their story too.
This story won’t be for everyone, but if you enjoy having your boundaries pushed – this is the author to do it.
Without cruelty one cannot see the kindness, with no brutality no one will witness and appreciate the gentle monsters, that without the ugly no one would try to seek the beauty.