Hunting The Five

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Welcome to "straight out of Hell".

Stripped of her memories, her name, and her power, De La Roca has spent the last three hundred years as a mercenary to pay for her release from the inferno.

When the Angel returns to offer her a bargain, five final kills in exchange for true freedom, will she be able to rise to the challenge, or will she die trying? More
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Price: Free!

Published: Sep. 28, 2011
Words: 32,000
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465986207
About Maria Violante

Maria Violante currently resides in Kalamazoo with a series of off-color roommates. She's not sure if she's a hippie, a hipster, or just a redneck that happens to read a little too often. Sources report she may also be the priestess from Diablo II, but those are largely unverified.

Also in The De La Roca Chronicles

Also by This Author


Review by: Aaron Dennis on Aug. 07, 2012 : star star star star
Full of action, Hunting the Five took off like a galloping horse barely pausing for breath. While I felt a little lost at times and normally look for a little more description, I did thoroughly enjoy this novella.
(review of free book)

Review by: Michael Offutt on Dec. 28, 2011 : star star star star
I won this book from Maria and thoroughly enjoyed it. The author uses beautiful prose. I would almost say it borders on purple...but it is in just the right amounts that I was hooked from the start.

One of the things that I really like about this book is the Spanish flavor. Coming from Hell, I would expect the protagonist to be somewhat "exotic". For me, a regular American who has watched Antonio Banderas films for years, De La Roca seemed perfect as a demon hunter wandering the New Mexico desert looking for her prey. This is exactly the kind of flavor that the book possesses from the magical pistol Bluot to the wild mustang/hellsteed that she rides.

I think fans of Laurel K. Hamilton's "Obsidian Butterfly" would really like this book. I look forward to reading more from Maria as she is definitely at home in the arduous task of building worlds. Her imagination from fiery phoenix-like demons to horrific and terrifying lampreys is so luminous, I can only think that she paints pictures in her head as she writes.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: M. Pax on Dec. 07, 2011 : star star star star star
Gritty, imaginative and entertaining, Hunting the Five is a great read. Action-packed and reminiscent of King's Gunslinger. I loved that the demon's weren't human. The author came up with really creative scenarios, places so foreign, alien and fantastic.

Leaves me wondering about De La Roca's past and what lies in her future. Look forward to the next installment.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Terra Harmony on Dec. 02, 2011 : star star star star
De La Roca is not exactly a demon, but she’s not exactly human either. She needs five kills before she is released from Hell, but her boss, her victims and sometimes her friends all have different agendas.

This short story is full of action, with just the right pacing as to not be too overbearing but definitely keeps you interested. The way this author, Violante, describes new worlds and planes is brilliant. This is not an easy thing to do but she did it well, using just enough descriptors to give us an idea but leaving some things open to the imagination. My only complaint might be that there were many questions left unanswered - but that leaves all the more to look forward to the next story in the series!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: David Morrese on Nov. 28, 2011 : (no rating)
I should first point out that this is not the type of story I normally read. It starts with action and it barely takes a breath before there is more. It is about a gun-toting, formerly human demon who serves as a mercenary and assassin at the pleasure of a group that are called, logically enough, angels. This would normally put it on my “not my kind of thing” list because I tend to not like tales in which the protagonists use violence as their primary means of resolving conflicts. I don’t find anything admirable about such characters or anything interesting in that kind of conflict. It is normally simplistic and, quite frankly, uninteresting.
Hunting for the Five may be a rare exception because of how well written it is. The prose is succinct and fresh, almost poetic in places. The descriptions are vivid but not graphic. I saw only two or three typos in this self published novella, which are fewer than I would normally expect to see in a professionally edited and traditionally published book.
From the beginning I got the impression that the lead character, De la Roca, is a reluctant token in someone else’s game. I read on wondering who the players were and what the object of that game was. That question is not answered in this short novella. It seems to mainly serve to introduce us to the protagonist.
I can’t say I admire or identify with De la Roca. She is interesting though and I can sympathize with her. She has lost her memory and she finds herself in the middle of a conflict she does not fully understand, manipulated and blackmailed by one side of some grand conflict to seek out and kill agents from the other side. Her motivation is selfish though. She is hunting down and killing demons not to save the world or free mankind; she is doing it so that she can be released from Hell.
Her direct contact with whomever or whatever uses her in its game is simply called the Angel. It seems to be almost like her parole officer. It is an enigmatic but obviously magically powerful creature that shows up after each kill she makes to emotionlessly inform her of her next target. It never shows any personality and one wonders what this thing really is that has such power over her and is it really all that much different than the demons she is contracted to kill?
Of course a novella is far too short a work to do the kind of world building necessary to fully develop the obviously complex mythos behind this story. It is rich with magic and mythical creatures. Most are fairly interesting but we don’t get the chance to understand any of them well. One of the most interesting is De la Roca’s trusted companion throughout the tale, her horse, which is also presumably some kind of demon and can change between various equine forms at will.
I can see this story developing further. There are many questions implied in our introduction to this fantasy world. Will De la Roca free herself? Will she regain her memory? What is this cosmic conflict and who are the opposing forces? Will De la Roca ultimately rebel against those who have been using her or will she continue to serve them willingly? There is a lot of potential here.
If you like an action packed fantasy adventure with a strong female antihero, then I think you will really like this first episode of the De la Roca Chronicles. It is a real bargain as well for only 99¢ from Smashwords or Amazon.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Yllektra V. on Nov. 03, 2011 : star star star star star
I loved loved loved this book.
It had a certain Lilith Saintcrow meets Dakota Banks kind of feel to it!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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