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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 July 2015
I REALLY don't like fantasy books. In fact, I pretty much hated Lord of the Rings and so it is a great surprise to find a series of books that I actually like...that are fantasy books. Every fantastical myth is here: Avalon, sorcerers, necromancers, werewolves, vampires - everything but the Loch Ness Monster and the Abominable Snowman. I won't summarize the story, but it effortlessly switches between a back story set in early 19th century United States and contemporary England. The reason I say effortlessly is that each story is good to read, one is not a plot pinata for the good of the other. They complement each other and create greater depth.

What's good: What makes these books strong is the characterisation which has gotten stronger. Nathan feels like a more rounded character with a few more foibles and some of the side characters have been written very strongly - especially the wolf pack leader, Mathew. McHugh hussles the plot along at a brisk pace, from one well described location to the next using exposition well to fill out the back story and introduce new characters. The large set pieces are well described and feel like proper, full-on battles.

What's not so good: I sometimes don't find the sex scenes a little gratuitous and sometimes incongruous to the plot - sometimes Nathan Garrett reads like a modern day Michael Knight, solving people's problems with his powers and sleeping with the girl every episode. I'm not sure I like it. Also, some of the descriptions are a little awkward and I found myself reading a few sentences that read along the lines of: '...I entered the room, that was painted white with a plasma screen on the wall, and put the red book on the oak table that had four legs.'

These minor niggles aside, I loved it and have already bought the third. They seem to be getting better so I am looking forward to it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 September 2013
Hellequin Chronicles 2. Thank you to the author and publisher for the updated review copy.

So a little while ago, I was browsing some Kindle titles and having just finished a great Urban Fantasy story I came across "Crimes against Magic", the first of the Hellequin Chronicles. I decided to give it a go and I loved it. You can find my review for that one in my profile also.

I was very pleased therefore to receive the updated copy of Born of Hatred...and I dived in pretty much immediately and didnt really stop reading (well I DID pop out and get chips!) until I was done. Once again I was immersed into the world of Nathan Garrett and co and what a world it is.

This instalment finds Nathan investigating a string of crimes as a favour for a friend, that leads him to a killer like no other...Born of Hatred indeed. Nathan may not be as feared as he once was but you don't mess with him and his without consequences...As you learn more about Nathan through the intriguing use of flashback (as in Book 1) one wonders if it is really sensible to challenge him at all...

The reason I enjoy these so much I think is that they really are for adults...Steve Mchugh does not pull any punches and Nathan has a side to him that is less than pure - terrific fun to read and enthralling to imagine, the world he occupies bears a strong resemblance to our own but with a supernatural and magical underbelly. As with book 1 the supporting characters all add ambience to the tale, and there are plenty of new people to meet. More backstory means more grounding in the mythology of the series and as a sequel it works particularly well.

The plot is complex enough to keep your interest throughout - some twists and turns and once again Mr McHugh has used legends we are all aware of to flesh out the tale. Very enjoyable and I am looking forward to the next.

A quick comment - Comparisons to novels such as the Dresden Files and other Urban Fantasy tales are unavoidable for the author I imagine, but I would say that, as usual, I don't like to compare and contrast too much. However I think this bears saying: Dresden is terrific. As are Felix Castor and Alex Verus - Nathan Garrett is his own man with his own mythology. I can't put him in a box any more than I could the previously mentioned. I have enjoyed all on their own merits....and I will continue to do so. There is no "best" only what you enjoy. And you will enjoy this if you like Urban Fantasy, don't mind adult content and simply love a book adventure.

Happy Reading Folks!
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on 20 March 2013
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned - I have fallen madly in love with Hellequin.

Well, what's not to like? He's a massive hit with the ladies, he kicks serious bottom, annoy him and his arms light up, and he rides a Hayabusa. Yeah, okay, maybe the Hayabusa is a little annoying... ;)

I bought Born of Hatred while I was still halfway through book one, and I'd have bought book three (and be reading that instead of writing this) if only I could. Oh how I wish I could.

I'm utterly addicted. I love the whole set up - the LOA, the urban fantasy mix, the flashbacks, the magic, the mystery. It's fantastic.

Oh yes - I do have one quibble. Editing. 'Whom' is constantly misused, throughout both books. It would be annoying if the story wasn't so damned good. Other words seem to be homophones that will pass through a spell-checker, but any human eye should pick up on them straight away. As it is, it lets it down, because the writing otherwise is excellent. Little grammatical errors aside, the pace is excellent, the characters utterly convincing, and the story is brilliant. These silly mistakes take what is an otherwise first-class book and make it look rather amateurish.

I really really NEED book 3. And cut out the 'whom' so much, unless they're in the right place!
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on 8 January 2016
I really wasn't sure about this - Percy Jackson for adults comes to mind but, that is really unfair (there are only 6ish stories after all). I find that I can't help liking this series, in fact I find it very difficult to actually stop reading - it is quite simply great fun, enthralling, gritty and tongue in cheek.

I can't think of many better ways to spend some relaxing time than reading the Hellequin Chronicles.
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on 4 April 2016
This series is getting better and better, thoroughly enjoyed this read, you will read the synopsis in other reviews, enough to say that this is a book you won't regret buying. I am looking forward to many happy hours reading the next one.
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on 20 March 2015
Love this series of books. Well written easy reads that you just can't put down.
In this book you again flip between present day and learning more about Nate's past. Thomas (or Tommy as he's now known) is back, and the two of them, with a few new (to the reader) friends must fight more evil beings in a race to save those closest to them. His innate sense of doing the right thing makes Nate the Jack Reacher of the non-human world. Bring on the next installment.
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on 20 January 2013
Kelly Armstrong, Kim Harrison, or Faith Hunter buy this book.
It flows, it is fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable.
Make a plan to read it in one go though . The second book in the series read book one first (equally good) as there is a little cross referral.
Thank you McHugh a good read more please..
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on 19 August 2015
Absolutely loving this series. Yes it is Book 2 of a series but they are also standalone so you do not have to read each one but I highly recommend you do.
Some people have likened these books to The Dresden Files but I think these are in a league of their own, a good league and don't get me wrong I love the Dresden Files too.
The characters are easy to get on with and described really well as are locations etc.
I love the fact that you get two well written stories for the price of one and that the two stories entwine together so well.
Enjoyable and action packed.
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on 6 January 2016
I have found the whole series of books great fun. If you are looking for high brow meaningful writing then I expect that you will be disappointed. However if you like a good old entertaining yarn with magic mythology with a modern twist then read on.
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on 4 August 2014
Loved Crimes Against Magic, and this follow on did not disappoint.
I'm a bit in love with Nate as he is portrayed as a believable tough guy with standards, even though
he's ace at magic! His pal Tommy is a good guy too, and the pair go way way back. (No spoilers)
The story is fast paced with a background story running beside it.
Give it a go.
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