Sunday, October 28, 2012

Breaking the Devil's Heart (Logic of Demons #2) by H.A. Goodman

Quoted from GoodReads:  When Stewart and Layla recruit a demon to spy on the Devil, their decision takes them on whirlwind ride through the afterlife. Journey alongside this young couple in H. A. Goodman’s new novel, Breaking the Devil’s Heart, and join forces with a teenage Angel outcast to bankrupt Satan's underground Company and save Heaven from civil war. H. A. Goodman's Breaking the Devil’s Heart is a rollercoaster afterlife experience that tests a young couple's love, their grasp on reality, and the essence of human nature. What happens when Stewart and Layla tour Hell’s Marketing Department and Stock Exchange? What happens when their relationship is tested by Satan? This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read, or ever thought the afterlife might be like. Breaking the Devil’s Heart is an enlightening look into an alternate world, a new afterlife, and a profound journey inside the human conscience.
Breaking the Devil's Heart

Initially, I found this book to be a tiny bit reminiscent of A Christmas Carol, the author H.A.Goodman, takes the reader on a trip through heaven and hell, complete with demons and angels.  That is where the comparison ends.  It combines fantasy/paranormal with actual factual events.  The result is thought provoking, to say the least.  This is a different type of fiction, that you  definitely need to be in the mood for.  I really can't assign a genre to this one.   It makes the reader think and question.  This isn't a light, entertaining tale, although I found quite a bit of fun within the very serious message.   Warning:  Religious fundamentalist probably won't see the humor in this one and should give it a pass.

The world building was very well done.  In this case, the fantasy world is the afterlife, specifically heaven and hell.  The author presents a truly unique picture of his version of the afterlife.  He includes tremendous amounts of detail within his narration, giving the reader a vibrant picture of this world.

The feature of this novel that I liked the most was the time travel that the characters experience.  They travel back in time to some of the most horrific events in history and re-examine the events.  It made me ask-  How have we allowed the victors to "spin" these events?  What really happened and how did we/they justify these events?  Although, these were some of the darkest moments in the novel, they were also the most dramatic and interesting points of the novel.

My only criticism is that this book could use some good objective editing.  At time, I found some of the dialog tedious, bordering on corny.  It detracted from the overall message of the novel. An experienced editor would really help tighten up the writing and make the plot flow seamlessly.

This is not a fast read.  The plot is extensive and unexpected at times, and as I noted above can get somewhat slow.   I found that I needed to read it in small installments and give myself time to digest and ponder the meaning of each portion that I had read.  Trying to read this book too quickly, will result in missing out on some of the philosophical internal conversations that are really one of the best things about this book.

This is not a "feel good" type of story, but it is a refreshing change of pace from some of the plots I have read lately.  This is one that stays with you for a long time.

Special thanks to the author for providing a review copy  (and having the patience to wait) in exchange for my honest review.

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