Hell For Hire (Tear Down Heaven #1), by Rachel Aaron

27 May 2024

The Book

Hell For Hire
Series: Tear Down Heaven
Pages: 350
Age Group: Adult
Published on 4 Jun 2024
Publisher: Self-published
Urban Fantasy
Available on:


The Crew
A hulked-out wrath demon who eats gamer rage and loves cats, a shapeshifting lust demon who enjoys their food a bit too much, and avoid demon who doesn’t see the point of any of this. They’re not the sort of mercenaries you hire on purpose, but Bex wouldn’t trust her life to anyone else.
Ever since the ancient Mesopotamian king Gilgamesh decided death wasn’t for him, killed the gods, and conquered the afterlife, times have been rough for a free demon. But the denizens of the Nine Hells aren’t the quitting sort,and Bex and her team have been choking a living out of the Eternal King’slackeys for years. It’s not honest work, but when Heaven itself declares you anon-person, you smash-and-grab what you can get.
This next gig looks like more of the same…until Bex meets the client.

The Job 
Adrian Blackwood is a witch with a problem. His family has skirted the edges of King Gilgamesh’s ire for centuries, but thanks to a decision he made as a child, Adrian is personally responsible for putting his entire coven in Heaven’s crosshairs.
Determined to set things right, Adrian drags his broom, caldron, and talking cat thousands of miles across the country to Seattle where he can fight the Eternal King’s warlocks without bringing the rest of his family into the fray. But witchcraft — like all crafts — takes time, and if the warlocks catch him before his spells are ready, he’s dead. So Adrian does what any professional witch would do and hires a team of mercenaries to keep the warlocks off his back. He didn’t expect to get demons, but when you’re already on the killing-edge of Heaven’s bad side, what’s a bit more fuel on the fire?

Sometimes, you get more than you paid for.
Neither Adrian nor Bex knew what to expect when they signed their contract, but witch-plus-demon turns out to be a match made in the Hells. With this much chaos at their fingertips, even impossible dreams start to come back into reach, because Bex wasn’t always a mercenary. She used to be the Eternal king of Heaven’s biggest nightmare, and now that she’s got a witch in her corner, it’s time to put the old magics back on the field and show Adrian Blackwood just how much hell he’s hired. 

My Review

Hell For Hire is the first book in the Tear Down Heaven series, a new urban fantasy proposal set in an alternate Earth, written by Rachel Aaron. Adrian Blackwood fled to Seattle to establish his forest in the company of his familiar animal and his broom; to get protection while his forest grows, he hires private security. But he didn't expect the kind of protection he hired: a demonic motley crew that is quite particular.

A difficult task for Bex's crew, but if we get to know something early on, is that Bex's crew is not the usual one. A wrath demon that loves cats (Boston is not particularly fond of it) and eats gamer rage, a lust demon who enjoys much her food and a void demon whose ideas scratch the nihilism; all lead by Bex, whose own secrets put her in a difficult situation (more than the usual for a demon in this world). Adrian didn't imagine that he would end being in the focus of Gilgamesh's five thousand year war against demons.

Despite being a relatively short novel, Aaron manages to create well-fleshed characters, and more importantly, characters that we end loving. Not only Bex herself, as you can see her taking the real role of a leader, taking care of her subordinates and trying to protect those she cares for, but Adrian is compassionate and empathizes with Bex's cause; it is related to him, but he is putting himself in a risk supporting Bex.
The dynamics between the crew are delightful, as they are more a family that works together than four randoms tied together by circumstance.

Outside of the characters, the setting also picked my attention. An Earth lead by the ancient Mesopotamian king Gilgamesh, who won the war against demons and established his own hierarchy with a Heaven; warlocks keeping a tight control over demons (slavery to be fair), and where demons are persecuted. A setting that leads us towards the other strength of Aaron.

The writing is magnificent, showing Aaron's skill at action scenes, making of the final battle an incredible experience; it's spectacular but at the same time you can keep a close eye on all the details in between the chaos. An example of how to write this kind of scenes.

If you are in the look for an excellent urban fantasy story, with a found family theme that overarches the whole story, Hell For Hire won't disappoint you. A fast paced story that you will devour and that will leave you craving for more of Aaron's books, and especially, for the second book of Tear Down Heaven.

The Author/s

Rachel Aaron

Rachel Aaron

Hello, my name is Rachel Aaron, author of Nice Dragons Finish Last, the best-selling writing productivity book 2k to 10k, and The Legend of Eli Monpress, published by Orbit Books. I'm also the author of Fortune's Pawn, the first book in the rollicking fun Paradox Science Fiction trilogy (now complete) under the name Rachel Bach. Confused yet? I know I am!

I was born and raised in Atlanta, but I currently live a lovely, nerdy, bookish life in Athens, GA with my faster-than-the-speed-of-light son, perpetually understanding husband, and fat wiener dog. I write full time, all the time, but when my family can drag me away from my own books, I love reading fantasy (urban and traditional), Romance (paranormal and Regency), and Science Fiction (all kinds). I also enjoy video games, Minecraft, anime, manga, hanging out at conventions, and overdone, epic things.

Other than my fiction, the internet knows me best for writing very fast. The best way to get to know me is to read my booksmy blog, or follow me on Twitter.