Floors that suddenly drop and settings that shift and change drive the action of a fast-paced story that examines, to some extent, what it means to have a soul—and lose it. Various descriptions in Kings of Hell—from a deceptively perfect and vast stretch of ocean waters to the sumptuous halls of Hades and the terrifying walls of hell, thick with flesh, limbs, and screaming heads—stand out. Additionally, the careful attention to the separation that eighteen-year-old Nick and his mother experience is one that I find particularly poignant as transitions, in my own home, are on the horizon: My only child (a son) plans on going away to college. Fortunately, I haven’t sold his soul to the devil, as Nick’s mom (Jude) has done, but the sadness she endures certainly resonates.
Memorable characters abound. Melina is dark, brooding, and clever—and Lucifer and Anton are absolutely mesmerizing and quick-witted. I just wish that Melina had been brought back into the story a bit more, and I was hoping the ending scene would mirror the action-packed momentum set up in the beginning and sustained throughout the novel. Overall though, I enjoyed the twists and turns and reflecting on what a precious, frightening, and wonderful thing it is to be in possession of a soul—to be human.
(Note: I received a free PDF in exchange for a review.)
Link to Kings of Hell, click here.