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Lies Ripped Open (Steve McHugh)

Lies Ripped Open (The Hellequin Chronicles) - Steve McHugh

The recap is put under spoiler tag for MY sake -- so I could remember what happened. It would also reveal down the major plot so best not to click except if you have read the book or don't mind being spoiled.


The past brought readers to Nate and his friends to London in 1888, at the time during Whitechapel murders. Nate was helping Shields of Avalon (SOA) to transfer a thief prisoner when he discovered that the agents who were supposed to keep eyes on Alan ere attacked and murdered. The murderer also attacked Nate and wrote the word "From Hell" on Nate's forehead. In the present time, it started with Nate being called into a hostage situation because the hostage taker wanted to talk to Nate. When Nate got there, he was attacked not only by an elemental but also a void and a griffin.

That was how the story rolled, as always, combining the past and present time. Nate discovered that a group of Reavers were back and planning to take over Avalon and kicked out Elaine (Morgan's and Morgause's younger sister) from the Director's chair. A lot of SOA agents were involved as well and it was even up to the highest level, when Nate found out that Kay was part of the whole thing. It was also revealed that Merlin was the one telling Reavers to start collecting human souls in the first place to feed those souls to Arthur (in order to keep him alive though in unconscious state) and Merlin didn't care if the souls were innocent human souls).

And apparently, Mordred (whom Nate was supposedly killed in the first book) was still alive!

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"Lies Ripped Open" is another thrilling installment from McHugh's Hellequin series, which has been one of my favorite new urban fantasy with male protagonist series that I found last year. While McHugh's storytelling might be a little repetitive in style -- meaning, Nate and co. gets attacked and they kill the attackers, rinse and repeat, in almost every chapter -- but it doesn't mean it is less fun.

The entertaining thing about this series is that Nate almost always have a bunch of 'friends' with him in every quest -- my friend, Tina, calls Nate 'the misfit gatherer -- from werewolf and vampire in book 1 to Hades and Persephone in book 4 so it's not all just about him when they are dealing with bad things.

Now Nate is teaming up with a thief sorcerer as well as fox creature (which is probably my favorite secondary characters here) as they work out clues (and killing Reavers) to find out who is responsible towards everything. Nate even lets out his nightmare Erebus to come out and play (I actually loved that guy). McHugh's keep the story moves forward (even during the 'past' portion, it never slacks) as revelations come out one at a time.

I also thought that this series have great ass-kicking female characters that can hold their own fights and sometimes even help Nate from being killed. It is pretty awesome for an urban fantasy with male protagonist.

Lastly, after five books, we finally have the full story on how (and why) Nate Garrett, Merlin's right-hand man Hellequin, decides to leave Merlin and Avalon in the first place.

I love BBC's Merlin and let's just say that I was having a bit of a hard of dealing with a fact that Merlin here was a douche *lol*

(show spoiler)