Thursday, 17 September 2009

YOUNG ADULT REVIEW: (Hells Underground 1 and 2) Scared in Death, The Demon Assassin - Alan Gibbons


The father of the twins, Jack and Eve, dies when he and Jack are investigating a cave near their home - but was it really a rock fall as the family are told, or something altogether more sinister? Ever since industrial diggers moved in and started delving into the tunnels beneath the town of Bistombe, Jack's been having nightmares - and it seems that the diggers may have disturbed more than just the earth. Then Jack meets the historian, Eddie Doogan, and hears stories about the 'Beast of Bistombe'. When strange events start to happen in the town, and as more and more people fall victim to paranoid delusions, Jack and Eve set out to find out what really lay behind their father's death - and how it's connected to a mysterious virus in Africa . . .


If you’re after a tale for the young adult reader that not only delivers on morals but also on twists and horror then this is perhaps the series for you. What Alan brings to the table is a tale full of curve balls and transports the reader back to the time of Jack the Ripper. Whilst certain elements may well be a tad too predictable, the story moves long at its own pace and will thrill and entertain to the last page despite the novels slow start. An interesting opener to a series and one that bears watching.


Having once risked everything precious to him to kill halt King Lud's progress from the ancient bowels of London to the city's modern streets, teenage Paul Rector knows his task is far from over. Paul also knows that, like his brother John and his great uncle Harry, he is both demon and man. Will it be fate that decides which side wins out? To find out, Paul takes Hell's Underground back to London of the Blitz in World War II and becomes involved in defeating Harry Rector's plot to assassinate Prime Minister Churchill. His main weapons are fire and fear. Along the way, he learns more about the Rector curse and once again endangers not only his own life, but that of the people he comes to regard as a second family.


If you read the original tale by Alan then you pretty much have a handle on the principle protagonist who is fighting to stop his ancestors bringing about the return of Lud, the founder of London who wishes to rule his city. As you probably have come to expect from him the tale is pretty action orientated with hard hitting as well as a fast moving pace that really doesn’t give the readers chance to stop for air.

Finally add to the mix that Alan plays for keeps and you pretty much know that the body count on both sides of the battle will be high. An excellent second novel and one that will have many impatiently waiting for the third part of the saga.

1 comment:

Michelle Muto said...

The Demon book looks pretty interesting. Thanks for another one that I'll have to add to my list - if it's available stateside.