Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Review - Happy Hour in Hell (JS)

Happy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams


Review by Jacqui Slaney

It had been a while since I had read book one, The Dirty Streets of Heaven but I recently remembered how much I enjoyed it, gave in and bumped this book up my to read pile.

I have always liked this author, with the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books being very much one of my favourite series of all time and though I had only read the first book, I was optimistic that this series would be as good.

This is the description: 

Bobby Dollar has a problem or four of epic proportions.
Problem one: his best friend Sam has given him an angel's feather that also happens to be evidence of an unholy pact between Bobby's employers and those who dwell in the infernal depths.
Problem two: Eligor, Grand Duke of Hell, wants to get his claws on the feather at all costs, but particularly at all cost to Bobby.
Problem three: Bobby has fallen in love with Casimira, Countess of Cold Hands, who just happens to be Eligor's girlfriend.
Problem four: Eligor, aware of Problem three, has whisked Casimira off to the Bottomless Pit itself, telling Bobby he will never see her again unless he hands over the feather.
But Bobby, long-time veteran of the endless war between above and below, is not the type of guy who finds Hell intimidating. All he has to do is toss on a demon's body, sneak through the infernal gates, solve the mystery of the angel's feather, and rescue the girl. Saving the day should just be a matter of an eon or two of anguish, mutilation and horror. If only it were that easy.

As soon as I started reading, I knew I was in for a good time. The hero as in the first is Bobby Dollar an angel, whose day job is to argue for souls to enter Heaven before a sort of afterlife judge.

Here though he is much more concerned with saving his love Caz from the clutches of her ex boyfriend who just happens to be a grand Duke of Hell.
To do this he has to go through Hell itself disguised as a Demon in this he is helped by his supervisor who has a mission of his own it turns out and so uses Bobby to help in this.

The pace and humour of the story is what you have come to expect from this series. I started it one night saying I will just read a couple of chapters, a couple of hours later I realised I was still reading!  

There are some great characters as well apart from Bobby; you have Riprash Gop, and Marmora- the drowned girl, whose description will make you feel for her to name a few.
There are loads of brilliant baddies not least Eligor who are all out to get Bobby, the description of the hell hounds are excellent, and you would definitely not want them anywhere near you.

There are complaints that the violence and horror that is described in Bobby’s journey through Hell is not handled well with some saying that it is over the top.
But I would say, This is supposed to be ‘Hell ‘people, not a walk in a park, and Bobby’s occasional comments where he says things like, ‘ be grateful that I don’t describe this’ I do not find annoying if anything they add to description and feeling of the place.

Without giving away too much of the plot, Bobby is captured at one point, and yes there are descriptions of torture and suffering, but again these are written well and are what you would expect, he also runs into a woman who has a rather nasty trick if she decides that she doesn’t like you.

People complain about the ending, saying it is a let down, this surprises me, as the ending if I anything I predicted to myself, well before it happened. So do not see why it was a let down, as if anything it just leads you on to the book three which you that is coming.

People seem to have been expecting a different style of book, something that led straight on from Book one, with no silly romance stuff.
But the way Bobby’s feelings for Caz are described and having made him lose her, the writer was always going to make Bobby make this trip, and to be honest this book throws up loads of different clues about events, and starts to point Bobby to the answers he has been looking.

I really liked this book, ok I found the ending a little predictable, but that is no complaint really, I would encourage anyone to read this series and would definitely recommend reading the books in order as that is the best way to enjoy them.

8 out of 10