Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Hell Hath No Fury

Hell Hath No Fury
Hell Hath No Fury by Bill Blais

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received this ebook from a friend as a gift; I’m under no obligation, but am happy to provide an honest review

Synopsis: After the horrific events under the streets of New York City, Kelly McGinnis quit the team of demon hunters who had recruited her and did everything she could to put the experience behind her. Six months later, life is nearly normal, complete with bills, school for her children and hospital visits for her husband.

Dreams of Umber — the handsome and intriguing incubus she saved — continue to tease Kelly’s sleep, but it is only when far darker dreams — and worse — begin to infect her children, that Kelly discovers what happens if you stop hunting demons.

They start hunting you

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Kelly & Umber series begun in No Good Deed, which I recently read and reviewed in conjunction with a blog tour, and enjoyed thoroughly.

The first five chapters have a bit of problem with the tense – while the book is mostly present tense, it periodically slips into past tense during those first chapters. Also, the scene in the call center doesn’t jibe with any experiences in call centers I’ve ever had – you never could just put yourself as “away” to sit back, chit-chat and eat a doughnut. In fact, eating at your stations was generally verboten, and if you were to put yourself into “away” without really good cause, especially during the day when the phones were busy, you were asking for a visit to the supervisor. I don’t know – maybe the call centers I worked in were extraordinarily strict, but it just didn’t ring true for me. Finally, while used correctly a couple times, most of the time “taut” is incorrectly replaced with “taught.”

Kelly is all over the place emotionally in this book, and it doesn’t have that light-hearted feel the first one did, or maybe my mood is just darker. Kelly seems to spend most of the book in close to a blind panic, but I suppose that is a realistic response for a mother whose children seem to be threatened. Her actions are scattered and frantic, and as a result I felt scattered and frantic whilst trying to read it. I always develop this sort of feeling when I read books about mothers with children in danger who go all flabbergasted and panicky; I imagine it’s because, since I don’t have children, I just cannot comprehend that sort of emotion.

What I really liked about this book was its representation of Hell. I enjoyed the fact that there is no fire and brimstone, no levels – just an overweening miasma of despair, a sense of misery that is created through the dry dustiness of the scene and the constant sense of never being in control, no hope, no thing. It’s wonderfully done.

Overall, despite any concerns I had, this is an enjoyable series, with interesting and well-developed characters, and at the end of the day, I quite enjoyed reading it. If you enjoy Urban Fantasies, you should enjoy the Kelly & Umber series. I will definitely be watching for the next book in the series, and grabbing it as soon after it comes out as I can. Blais is an excellent storyteller and I highly recommend these books.

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  1. I feel like a fool for not seeing this before my other comment, but (my own idiocy aside) I'm very glad you were able to get to HHNF (and so quickly!) and that the characters and story still largely held up, albeit with issues. I'll admit the darker storyline caught me by surprise as well (would it be too cheeky to say 'the devil made me do it'?). In any case, thanks again!

    1. Don't feel bad - I read a LOT of books and keeping up with my blog is probably a busy thing to try to do :-)

      I know what you mean about the story taking over; back when I was still occasionally trying to write, I would frequently have characters show up and I'd be like, "Umm, who are you and why are you here??" Heh.

      I'll definitely be watching for the next book - next year, you think?

    2. Thanks for understanding, Katy; much appreciated. And yes, good characters and stories definitely take on lives of their own. As for K&U #3, it should be out this winter. Which means I need to get cracking!


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