Review: Commencement (Hellsbane prequel) by Paige Cuccaro

November 7, 2012 Review 1


(Hellsbane, #0.5)
by Paige Cuccaro

Genre: urban Fantasy|
Excerpt: YesBook Trailer: No
Reviewed by:  Abigail| Source: Publisher

  • File Size: 166 KB
  • Print Length: 50 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Flirt) (September 27, 2012)


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

Kissing, references to sex


Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn for frat guys…

Emma Jane Hellsbane knows something evil is worming its way through her college campus—she can feel it. Literally. Her freakish ability to feel other people’s emotions as though they were her own has always been monumentally awkward, and it’s easier for her to just pretend it doesn’t exist. But this time her paranormal ability just might help her save lives.

Emma Jane’s fairly certain that whatever the hateful, egomaniacal, Godlike thing is, it’s set up shop inside her boyfriend, the frat boy/soccer star Justin. And if she doesn’t figure a way to get it out of him soon, Justin’s soul will be the appetizer to the main course—the whole student body. Problem is, the big baddy is granting sinister wishes, and with each one the risks grow higher and the phrase Be careful what you wish for becomes a real-life dire warning. Of course for Emma, what feels like it could be the end is in fact just the beginning…


Like many fans of this genre, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my gateway drug to the world of urban fantasy.  So whenever I come across a book that is reminiscent of Buffy, or pays homage to the series, I get happy, happy, happy. Paige Cucarro’s Hellsbane series does both, and it does them well.

In this prequel novella, set five years before HELLSBANE, the first full length novel in the series, empath Emma Jane is a young college student with a genius best friend Mihir (think Buffy’s Giles combined with Willow–he’s in love with her so add Zander into the mix too).  Emma has had to learn to block her empathic abilities, but strong emotions still leak through like when her soccer star boyfriend starts feeling homicidal towards her.  A when bodies start pilling up on campus, Emma has to embrace the gift she’s spent her life blocking.

In just 50 pages, Cucarro packed more character development and plot into this novella than many other authors do will full novels.  COMMENCEMENT read like a lost episode of Buffy with clever dialog, metaphorical mythology, big bad villains and even bigger heroines. This looks like a series to watch.  The first full novel in the Hellsbane series is called HELLSBANE and was just released.  It’s already on my kindle.

Titles in Series

0.5 Commencement
1. Hellsbane
2. Heaven and Hellsbane

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One Response to “Review: Commencement (Hellsbane prequel) by Paige Cuccaro”

  1. Breana M.

    Ah, the good old Buffy the Vampire Slayer days. I might like this book. Thanks for the review. 😉