I am going to keep it short and sweet for you all today.
I just woke up to find a new review in my email inbox. It is quite frankly one of the best reviews I have ever received and the best I could ever really want. It is honest and quite frankly awesome. So naturally, I just had to share it with you.
In popular culture, hell, as a concept, has become a diluted and cartoonish idea that is oftentimes thrown around in a light-hearted manner, usually suggestive of a wild partying vibe (as in the AC/DC song “Highway to Hell” that Alex Laybourne likely had as inspiration for his book’s title). However, Laybourne’s hell is not of this novel variety, but rather a nightmare inspired by the fire and brimstone imagery perpetuated by most Christian faiths, only ratcheted up to ten. The result is a crushingly brutal horror novel set mostly in a vile and awful place that is downright cringe worthy.
In a sort of updating of Dante’s imagining of the underworld, Highway to Hell features a group of characters that we meet as they are each about to die. Slowly, Laybourne reveals them to us in the moments just before their demise. Then, after getting us acquainted with them and bumping each off, we enter a judgment zone of hell with them as they each face a vicious reckoning for their lives’ biggest sins. This stop in hell, though, is not their souls’ final stop. After the first ordeal following their deaths, they soon learn that they are now players in a struggle between Lucifer and God for the fate of the worlds.