The craziest fantasy adventure you could possibly end up on. Highly satirical, highly funny adventure!”

 

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

I won this book in the 100k Reading Addicts prize give away and I must confess had I not, I’d probably never have picked it up.. My books come in 1,000 page plus tomes, with dark brooding covers and darker storylines…

So…

Imagine my delight when I opened this slim little volume and fell in.. You don’t read this book, you tumble through it… Caroming from witty repartee to humorous prose to outright hysterical insanity.. Yes there is a very definite nod to Pratchett’s writing style but that can only be a plus can’t it?

Meet Reg Hallsworth, a true Red Reg, a trade unionist and lover of the phrase “Everybody out”.. He’s having a bad day, a very bad day, the kind of day that ends up with you being dead.. Killed by a rather innocuous salesman, Norris who’s also about to have a bit of a bad day, not as bad as Reg but pretty close, after all when you end up killing someone, then covered in green, or maybe blue paint and up a tree in your garden, it’s not really a day you want immortalised now is it?

Cue Death and Jenny, two completely inept immortals charged with sorting Reg and Norris out, a fairly simple job but of course one that is beyond the capabilities of either of them…

Reg can’t get into Heaven cos Death’s lost his paperwork, not a problem, just pop in Hell for the weekend and sort it all out on Monday.. Except Reg is a Trade Unionist, and working conditions in Hell are, well Hellish.. EVERYBODY OUT…

Hell is on strike thanks to Reg, Death is in trouble, Norris’ sanity has taken a little holiday and Jenny has fallen in love…

What follows is the strangest tale of an almost Enid Blytonesque foursome’s attempt to find somewhere to relocate Hell to somewhere on Earth, and somewhere quickly, there’s a queue forming outside proper Hell and nowhere to put all those sinners! The trouble is someone else has a vested interest, someone who’s really rather unpleasant, you just know it’s not going to go well…

I found myself laughing out loud at so many points throughout this book, it goes off on so many tangents you never quite know what on Earth is going on but it’s bloody funny and supremely entertaining.. It holds you in its grasp and doesn’t let go, it’s fast paced, witty, well written and thoroughly enjoyable. A really easy read, no effort required and a definite tea and bikkie book…

I understand there’s a sequel coming.. I won’t be waiting for a competition, I’ll go and buy this one with real money…

 

Reviewed by:

Shan Williams

Added 2nd July 2015

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Shan Williams

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Well! Have you ever wondered what ‘Hell on Earth’ would resemble? A good friend of mine suggested this as a good read. This genre is a new for me but I was not disappointed by my step into the fantasy world of Death and friends as they search for a new underworld!

Light-hearted and extremely funny. This book will have you laughing out loud. This certainly happened to me and I am not prone to sudden belly laughs….well maybe sometimes. The idea of death WITHOUT a Scythe and Cloak (Potential Spoiler) and a bit of a milksop is an hilarious concept. A thoroughly enjoyable book that surreptitiously commands that you continue to read until the end.

On a personal note.This reviewer has just moved to foreign climes from Wales UK and is taking a somewhat forced sabbatical due to all things red-taped here in sunny California, so I was seriously in need of a slice of home.

The author is Welsh like myself and references to certain places and behaviours pertaining to the Welsh ( with poetic licence) was a welcome respite from all things rootlessness! Everyone who reads this book will find similarities of such from their quarters of the world also. A funny, witty book and an angelically devilish delight!

 

Reviewed by:

Georgina Turpin

Added 2nd July 2015

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

David Bowen’s first novel Hell on Earth is a rick-rolling read of comedy and fantasy adventure as Reg Hallsworth, Union Leader finds himself in a pickle due to some mislaid paperwork! Reg is involved in a terrible accident and dies, but due to a clerical error he somehow ends up in Hell!

He’s fairly sure this shouldn’t have happened and pretty soon Death 221 turns up to explain what has actually happened and that in fact, Death has mislaid the paperwork and Reg will have to stay in Hell for at least the weekend.

Well, send a Union Leader to hell (Sorry I picture Bob Crowe all the way through) and there’s always going to be trouble and there’s plenty of that. Thanks to Reg’s actions a new location for Hell is needed somewhere on Earth and Reg, Death 221, Norris and Jenny trot off to find exactly that.

Think Terry Pratchett meets the Famous Five and you’ll be somewhere in the novel’s pages. Random interjections and in jokes kept me giggling all the way through as the foursome’s journey from the ridiculous to the sublime continues. The narrative is clever, the prose witty and fast paced, and I was enjoying it so much I didn’t bear much thought to where it was going.

As the novel continues you realise where it’s all going to crash land as the novel finishes in a final smash of typically human greed, insanity and commercialism on a truly satirical and believable scale, done with such wit and repartee I found myself disappointed to turn the last page.

Thankfully The Eleventh Plague, book two in the series is now released and it’s on my to read pile!

 

Reviewed by:

Kath Cross

Added 22nd March 2015

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Kath Cross