Life on Hell is Truly Hellish

Mysterious hole 230 feet across among many discovered in Arctic region

Book Review of Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge, by Donald Firesmith

A Slave’s Revenge is the fourth installment in Donald Firesmith’s excellent alien invasion series, Hell Holes. It’s a stand-alone prequel to the Hell Holes series, but I read the others first and had an enriched appreciation. Though the book is nearly 500 pages, it feels like a quick read. With maps, a glossary, and illustrations of the various aliens depicted within it, you get a lot of bang for your book bucks!

The author features the mysterious deep holes that began appearing in the Arctic regions in this series. In book one, shortly after their discovery, terrifying demons and their minions erupted from them. Locals, tourists, scientists, anyone unlucky enough to be nearby were quickly overwhelmed in their desperate fight-or-flight for survival. Our weaponry and defense capabilities were largely impotent against a terrifying horde of virtually unkillable beings and their blood-thirsty hell-beasts.

A Slave’s Revenge takes the reader to Hell itself and focuses on a single character, Paul Chapman. The plot gives a nod to the story of Spartacus, that enslaved enemy of ancient Rome who became an unwilling champion gladiator. His captivity began when he was a grown man and an experienced warrior, however. Paul was only fifteen when he was abducted from Earth, and his opponents in the arena aren’t ordinary four-limbed humans.

There are moments of extreme horror with gruesome bloodshed and other mature themes, but nothing was overdone or gratuitous within the context. After all, the story is of a decade of torturous abuse and forced labor of the worst kinds on Hell. But, it’s also a tale of bravery, love, cross-cultural awareness, and physical and spiritual endurance.

The demons’ world and the characters, human and alien, are vividly portrayed and unforgettable. I hope there’ll be a sequel featuring Paul and Ť-loo-shss. I’d love to see them meeting members of the Tutores Contra Infernum, the ancient order that joins humanity’s defense in the earlier books.

Although gifted with an advanced reader’s copy of A Slave’s Revenge, there are no obligations influencing my review. The whole series is a must-read for alien invasion/dystopian science fiction fans. I really love it! Thank you to Donald Firesmith, StoryOrigin, and Magical Wand Press for the opportunity to read it.


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