Thursday, November 15, 2007

Towering Infernal

I have not posted any reviews or anything in a bit, so I figured it was high time I did so.

I recently finished Hell's Belles by Face the Fiction special guest panelist Jackie Kessler, and I have to say that I have had my eyes opened. Although a bit raunchy (hey look sales just went up) the book is pretty interesting, and I really liked the author's style in telling the tale from two converging timelines.

The book starts with Jezebel the Succubus on the run from the agents of Hell. She knows why, so she doesn't mention it, the story just slowly unfolds for us and we learn the reasons only near the very end. Basically there are two tracks of timeline that the author is using to explain the events. The first takes place after she has made the decision to leave the employment of the agents of Hell and follows her as she attempts to masquerade as a mortal human through use of a potion brewed by the witch Caitlin in exchange for a favor. The second track takes place some days before the decision to leave is made and follows Jezebel in her daily grind in Hell. At the end of the book we finally learn what led Jezebel to Caitlin's door in the first place, as well as finding out what the culmination of the journey among the mortals is.

While this is by no means one of the greatest books I have ever read, it was immensely entertaining and enjoyable. My only real bone of contention was the over emphasis on sex in the story. OK, so the main character is a former succubus who is masquerading as a human stripper, I get it, but I do not need to be reminded every few minutes about how Paul (the human love interest) makes her panties moist (hey look, sales just went up again). Frankly, I find the mental image a bit disturbing and would really prefer not to dwell on her biological processes, but I understand why it might be mentioned (again, Succubus) but the constant repetition of this means that it looses its impact and just becomes a skippable paragraph or two. Also, the sex scenes were a bit graphic for my general taste (wow, the book looks like it is selling even better now).

Seriously, though, the story was great, the characters were fun and enjoyable, and the concept was a lot of fun. I wonder what Ms Kessler has up her sleeve for The Road to Hell?

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