Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review of Devils' Den by Leonard D Hilley II

Publisher: Deimosweb Publishing
Release Date: October 9, 2011
Series: Adventures of Justin McKnight #1

Buying Links: Amazon  

Book Blurb:

Evil has resurrected in the quaint, rural community of Cider Knoll, Kentucky. The day after a country pastor is ritualistically murdered, a teenage boy vanishes inside an enchanted cave—Devils' Den—that has long been rumored to be haunted. The local sheriff is baffled on how to continue the search and rescue when the only clues end at a mysterious wall inside the cave. Then an unexpected man shows up with an age-worn book that has disturbing revelations about identical phenomena that have occurred every twenty years for the past one hundred forty years. And according to the predictions set inside the book, they have little time to find the boy before he becomes the next victim.
Reviewed By: Bea
 
My Thoughts: 

Devils' Den is an odd mish mash of horror, dark fantasy and high fantasy. The parts didn't mesh well overall, veering rapidly from one genre to the next, though the horror and dark fantasy elements worked better together than the high fantasy elements. To be honest, I liked the high fantasy elements the best. That realm, the Underwood, has potential, but I'd like it best separated from the dark fantasy and horror elements.

Despite being set in Kentucky, it never had a local feel to it. It could have been any rural small town in the US. The author lives in Kentucky so that was particularly disappointing to me. Though there was one expression used repeatedly that may be a local one  - "mashing the gas pedal". 
 
Hopkins mashed the accelerator. 
John mashed the gas
Every time a character's driving was described, there was mashing. It was odd and kind of funny, I had images of mashed potatoes under the gas pedal.

Anyway, the story as a whole was disappointing. The characterization was superficial, the pacing was slow, the genres an odd mash-up, and the copy editing lacking. While I enjoyed reading about the Underworld and it's people, especially the butterfly faeries, I didn't enjoy it enough to read more in this series. If the story had been straight horror and better edited, both for content and mechanics, I might have liked it, but as it is, it didn't work for me.

I own this ebook. 

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