Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review: Breaking the Devil's Heart

Breaking the Devil's Heart
Breaking the Devil's Heart by H.A. Goodman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: those who question and seek, those with ideas rather than beliefs

Disclosure: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: When Stewart and Layla recruit a demon to spy on the Devil, their decision takes them on whirlwind ride through the afterlife. Journey alongside this young couple in H. A. Goodman’s new novel, Breaking the Devil’s Heart, and join forces with a teenage Angel outcast to bankrupt Satan's underground Company and save Heaven from civil war. H. A. Goodman's Breaking the Devil’s Heart is a rollercoaster afterlife experience that tests a young couple's love, their grasp on reality, and the essence of human nature. What happens when Stewart and Layla tour Hell’s Marketing Department and Stock Exchange? What happens when their relationship is tested by Satan? This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read, or ever thought the afterlife might be like. Breaking the Devil’s Heart is an enlightening look into an alternate world, a new afterlife, and a profound journey inside the human conscience

My Thoughts: This is actually the second book in the Logic of Demons series, after Logic of Demons, but the author recommends reading it first.

I have to admit that the idea of Hell being a bureaucracy appeals to me at a deep level. The low-level drudgery not only appeals to the absurdist in me, but actually makes more sense than hellfire and brimstone. I’m sure more office drones would agree that some hellfire and brimstone would be a relief compared to some of the long days at work. I also liked the idea of the Observers, or (as Stewart sometimes calls himself) naughty Angels.

The author really delves deeply into human behavior, often turning a quite unflattering spotlight upon our preconceptions. One demon says something that really sums up The Formula perfectly: “Think about it: it's easier to shoot up a McDonalds (sic) than it is to feed starving people in some remote part of the globe. With one pull of a trigger or one too many glasses of cognac behind the wheel, unspeakable damage can occur. But tremendous goodness and altruism takes a great deal more work and far more effort. The system is skewed in one direction – ours.” Yet Stewart and Layla just can’t seem to get past their somewhat naïve idealism that humans are essentially good.

There are some great twists toward the end, but I don’t want to spoil those for you. This is a fairly quirky story, but very deep and delving into the darkest corners of the human psyche. With this book it is hard to say who will like it – I think I can pretty safely say that most agnostics will like it, most people who have questions about the afterlife, those people who have ideas instead of beliefs. There are some parts that are quite funny, especially to someone like me who finds the whole idea sort of absurd and amusing, but the overall book is fairly serious. I enjoyed it, and I recommend it.

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