Seriously, people, when reading, contemplate whether or not it gets a Dragon Award, because none of the reviews have changed my mind about how awesome it is. In fact, I probably underestimated it.
Over on Goodreads, for example, a Kickstarter patron turned in his review already.
a mystery that progressively morphs into a supernatural thriller and horror…. The action is both awesomely over the top like the pulp action thriller it is and it’s still quite plausible…. Another enjoyable part of the novel is how it presents Catholic horror which is quite distinct to the say Lovecraft Stephen King type horror. Mind you, though the authour pays homage to the first and dismantles the second…. I really enjoyed the novel and allowed me to be a part of Tommy’s adventures. The humour is great and I laughed at certain scenes and dialogue.It was worth funding this series with my beer money and I definitely look forward to the next batch of books. I highly recommend this book and the rest of the series even at the time of this review they’re not yet available. The readers won’t be disappointed.
Also at Goodreads.
It is hard to imagine a first-person central book about a saint, but the author pulls it off. The author knows hidden details that bring real verisimilitude to his descriptions of policing, living in New York, and being a Catholic. The book pulls you in from the first few pages and keeps holding you page after page (I read it in less than 36 hours). The story is satisfying even though there are hints of more to come (the Kickstarter promises a trilogy). The fight scenes are particularly excellent. Finn is able to make them exciting, detailed, and believable all at once. The book does drag when it gets too political, but that is a minor problem. When I see Catholicism portrayed on television, it now pales before the understanding in this book, and that is a rare, wonderful thing.
Meanwhile, over at Jim McCoy’s Blog… okay, you really should just read the entire review. He’s already advocating for Hell Spawn for his horror pick at the Dragon Awards next year.
Some of the better lines from the review, however (and they were all good)
I have to hand it to Declan Finn. I really didn’t think you could do much to make a homicide detective’s day worse.
….when a demon comes out to play, it gets ugly. Like, double plus ungood ugly. Like, this thing is eviller than evil ugly. Like, I’m cackling evilly remembering how evil this thing was ugle. It’s a good time.
I’d be careful with Hell Spawn though. It almost caused me to stay home from work because I couldn’t put it down….Seriously though, don’t start this one twenty minutes before you need to be somewhere. Hell Spawn starts off fast and accelerates continuously. Finn has redefined the term “page turner” here. It almost felt like the pages were turning themselves and I was just watching.
….Finn has a much better sense of how to write a plot than most Eighties slasher movie writers, but he’s got them beat for gore as well. A lot of what happens in the tome is sick, twisted, disturbing and awesome.
….Finn lives in New York. The book takes place in New York. I’ve never been to New York (I know, I’m working on it) but having read Hell Spawn I almost feel like I have been.
….Oh, and if you’re wondering: Hell Spawn is the current front runner for my Dragon Award nomination for Best Horror Novel next year. That is, unless Finn beats himself with the sequel to this master piece which is due out in Mid-December, just in time for my birthday.
I think he liked it.
And, a comment from someone on Facebook (name withheld because I didn’t ask his permission, and he’s probably going to do his own review on Amazon.)
It was very evocative. I felt like I understood what it was like to be a policeman living in New York, to be a Catholic, and even to be touched by God. When I watch Daredevil season 3, I feel like I am seeing a pale shadow of Catholicism by comparison. Consumed the whole book in 36 hours.
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