Read 1/09/10 - 1/12/10
5 Stars - Highly recommended
It's 4 days before Halloween. The neighbors at #666 are bored and looking for a way to spend the evening. Donning black capes in their basement, they recite a spell from an old book they found. At the same time, CERN's LHC (Large Haloden Collider) surprises the scientists by firing off "a bit" of energy they cannot account for. 11 year old Samuel, and his little dog Boswell, just happen to be peeking in the neighbors basement window when a portal to Hell opens up and let's a lot of evil out... Are the Gates of Hell going to open? Are the Neighbors or CERN at fault? Can Samuel stop the end of the world as we know it?
John Connolly, known for his Charlie Parker series and Book of Lost Things, gives us a dark and humorous peek at what the world might look like should the Gates of Hell open and allow demons and evil spirits to enter earth through a portal - that may just be a blackhole with wormhole-like qualities.
Our 11 year old protagonist - accompanied by a few of his friends, his brave little dashund, and Nurd (the misplaced, not so evil, demon scourge of five deities) - tackle slimy blobs, flying skulls, and the very evil Mrs. Abernathy, who is paving the way for The Great Malevolence.
A cross between YA literature and your typical A.Lee Martinez/ Christopher Moore urban sci-fi fantasy, Connolly did a great job of grabbing hold and refusing to let go. Infusing a lighthearted look at Hell on Earth, while still managing to maintain that creepy, crawly undertone, he is sure to please anyone who picks this up! Not to mention the added fun of mixing it all up on Halloween of all nights! A definite must-read, do not let this pass you by.
Many thanks go out to John Connolly and Megan at Atria, who so selflessly shipped me a copy of this novel for review.