Review – Hell Bound – Andrew Weston
There is conspiracy afoot in Hell and Lucifer isn’t happy about it. He is, after all, the master of deceit and this particular intrigue is not of his doing. So who does he sent to fix the thorn in the satanic side? Daemon Grim, Satan’s own Reaper.
Hell Bound is set in Perseid Press’ shared world of Hell –which is dark, twisted and witty – and Weston’s novel weaves in spectacularly to the series, although the reader need not have read the anthologies. This is a great introduction to a complex, delicious, and devilish world, and a way to meet some of the regular character such as the Undertaker. Locations include the Hell equivalent of Paris (Perish) and London – which is a den of iniquity comprised of Victorian, modern and medieval, and those wicked denizens who once stalked the world above do so in the underverse.
As you’d expect from this writer and this world the book is an intelligent read – with layers of wit and plots which wend and weave like the layers of Hell itself. Treachery, politics, murder, errant demons, lost and forbidden artefacts, and to compound it all Erra and his Sibitti trying to undermine the very foundations of hell itself. Satan is not having a great day.
Daemon Grim is not a good guy – but then again he is Satan’s servant and fiercely loyal. He’s also something far more than human; something hinted at all the way through, and not-quite-revealed, with teasers which, I’m really hoping mean another novel from Weston and Daemon. Daemon is wicked, he is unrelenting and he’s dark-hearted. This is NOT a book filled with happy endings, or heroes defeating the bad-guys. These ARE the bad guys – although for all that they are compelling and heroic in their own way. Dark anti-heroes and fallen idols battle to survive, to serve and to sever in a deeply complex, wonderfully created afterlife – one in which the citizens get what they deserve, even when they don’t realise they deserve it. Sin incarnate.
Dr Neill Cream – one of British histories particularly nasty serial killers; arrogant, evil and unrepentant he seeks to bring down the dark prince and further his own terrible agenda. In league with a troubled Chopin, a man seeking love in a place where love cannot exist, and Tesla – brilliant and misunderstood scientist – who once again wants the world to adore his work – and produces wild and dangerous genius. These three together (sort of) with a whole host of pirates, low lives, parodies and infernal inmates bring a heady mix of characters, some who invoke pity and some who certainly do not.
In conclusion this a clever read, with well-crafted characters, and a complex plot which is full of surprises which will keep the reader guessing and wanting more.