Book Review: Hellwatch: Mephistopheles by Larime Taylor

Ester Vasquez, 25, was born with arthrogryposis. As a child she showed a natural aptitude with computers that eventually led to the online underworld of hacking, where she became a star. Though she was never caught, she decided to turn her skills to more legal endeavors, attending Arizona State University and offering her services as an online security specialist. A successful early career followed. Roughly four years ago, however, something happened within her family that shook her to the core and brought on some drastic changes over time. She still refuses to talk about it.

After several years as the ‘It Girl’ of online security, she all but gave up the profession and took up a more peculiar one: hunting demons and monsters. She continues to live on the money that her company makes, though she has very little to do with its day-to-day functions and dealings, leaving that to a business manager and several other young hackers hired on to take her place after she walked away just over two years ago. A former Catholic priest-turned-demon hunter in Boston named Jacob Bridges took her on as a student and became her long-distance mentor.

Ester met Samuel ‘Sammy’ Lutui, a registered nurse, soon after when his grandmother hired her because she was convinced that he was possessed by a demon. Grandma was old and old fashioned, and being gay was something she just couldn’t come to accept. Funny enough, it turned out that there was a demon in Sammy, but it had nothing to do with his being gay, and Ester easily got rid of it. In his gratitude, Sammy became Ester’s live-in care provider as well as her demon-hunting assistant, and in the two years that followed they’ve become best friends. Together they protect the unaware masses from the monsters and demons that lurk in the shadows and prey upon them.

The enigmatic Demon in Black, an independent agent and Ester’s occasional contact, surfaces with some important information. As he looks to be playing both sides of the fence, whose side is he really on? Can he make Ester an offer she can’t refuse?


Mephistopheles is the second episode of Larime Taylor’s Hellwatch series, and I highly recommend it to anyone that loved the movie Constantine. You can read the pilot episode on Larime’s site, along with each new episode, which will be appearing on a monthly basis until Halloween 2012.

In the second episode we get to see Ester and Samuel at their best. They are recuperating after capturing a nasty demon in Mexico, but Ester tries to hide some emotional wounds that run deeper than her healing laceration.

There are things about Ester’s past that Samuel doesn’t know. Ester struggles with her own inner demons. Ester had seen things that caused her to pursue a life as a demon hunter, but what Samuel doesn’t realize, is that what she saw came from her home.

In steps Mephistopheles. He’s not too fond of making deals with the devil’s spawn, but he is concerned about one person – himself. Mephistopheles is a fallen angel that not only turned his back on god, but the devil too. He has no desire to help in the war between good and evil, he only wants to be left alone. If that means making a deal with the one of the princes of hell – so be it.

The devil’s children are looking for a way to gain Mephistopheles cooperation, because he knows one thing that they can’t figure out. Mephistopheles has possessed the body of a human without there being a physical conflict between human and the demon’s soul. This is valuable information that all the demons would like to know, but Mephistopheles only wants one thing – to be omitted from the war.

Pacts are signed in blood and deals are made. You can break a deal with a demon, but there will be hell to pay afterward.

I read Mephistopheles before it was completely through the editing process, and have to admit that Larime Taylor has a great talent for story building. The author has created a complex world of greed; with an unfolding deeper plot that I’m sure will take us on a ride through the series. His characters well thought out and dimensional. Larime tells a story from the view most of never see, and has a great lure to keep you captivated. 

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