Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge by Donald Firesmith follows Paul Chapman as he navigates his life on the planet Hell as a slave to the demons.
Table of Contents
Donald Firesmith’s Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge revolves around Paul Chapman. At fifteen, Paul, along with his twin sister, Sarah, and mother, Mary, is kidnapped by demons from his home in Alaska. His father, Robert, is killed. Teleported to the planet called Hell, Paul and Sarah are separated from their mother on their second day there. They start their enslaved lives as field slaves on Farm 36. Over the course of twenty hellish years, Paul has to go through many trials and tribulations to finally attain a semblance of power in a world where humans are either slaves or food. Along the way, he loses everything he cares about.
Will Paul get his revenge from the demons? Will he be able to escape hell and return to Earth? If so, will Paul be able to leave his past behind and live amidst the humans after such a long time as a slave to the demons?
Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge is an innovative novel penned by Donald Firesmith. The extensive book is a testament to Firesmith’s immense talent as an author. He reimagines hell as a planet inhabited by vicious demons of all kinds. From devils, fiends, imps, goblins, and ogres to hellhounds and gargoyles, there are demons of all kinds. The demon empire is vast. Naturally, they have access to myriad species of plant and animal life forms. Hell is full of all these. Apart from the demons, Firesmith introduces us to varied species of aliens. We meet mrkyl, blurks, kextuxixes, norgs, and tahkus, among others. We also get to know beasts like krugahs and gorgokons. Firesmith masterfully presents all this to us. In addition to his vivid descriptions, the life-like illustrations make all the strange creatures real to us.
Firesmith presents the demons to live in a fully-functional society. They are depicted to be a highly evolved warrior species. They have their own rules and customs. Considering themselves to be demigods, they are vicious and treat all other species to be nothing but food or a means to an end. The fact that Hell is nothing but a planet in the far reaches of the demon empire amused me for some inexplicable reason. I love how Firesmith drew from human history and his personal life to form some tenets of the demon world. The demons’ practices of slavery, concentration camps, and gladiator matches, among others, remind us of the horrific practices performed by humans of yore.
Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge boasts an excellent cast of characters. I love how Firesmith showcases the evolution of Paul from a fifteen-year-old teenager to a hardened gladiator fighting aliens and beasts of all kinds. His relationships with his father, mother, sister, partner, friends, and masters make us relate to him. I especially like how delicately Firesmith depicts Paul’s mental state as he experiences one loss after another. Paul’s friendship with Ť-loo-shss is a treat. I never thought that Ť-loo-shss will become my favorite character when I was first introduced to her. She is intelligent, pragmatic, and compassionate. The Tahku administrator is indeed a friend everyone should have. One more character I would like to mention is Åṣh Ķåh-ṭõķ. The Lord Commander of the demonic army was the one responsible for the invasion of Earth. He deserves all our loathing. Yet, the way he treated his slaves, which was legions better than the other devils, had me torn at times. His treatment of Paul was indeed nice. Moreover, he has a family which makes him the most relatable among the demons. However, we are reminded time and again of his inherent cruelty. Despite all his apparent niceties, he devours intelligent species. Upon further reflection, he considers all his slaves, including Paul, to be nothing more than pets and properties.
Donald Firesmith’s Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge has quite a number of new terms. We are not only introduced to a myriad of alien species but also to the novel demon language. There are a plethora of characters, demons, humans, and aliens included. Hence, I am thankful for the maps, list of species and characters, glossary of terms, and the international standard spelling of relevant demonic sounds provided at the end of the book.
Overall, Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge is an amazing read. Though it is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. I found only a few easily-overlooked errors in this book of around 493 pages, which is a great feat. recommend Donald Firesmith’s highly engrossing Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge to fans of science-fiction, dystopian, fantasy, and survival novels.
- Title: Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge
- Author: Donald Firesmith
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Theme: Survival, Dystopia, Science Fiction, Fantasy
- Publication Date: August 1, 2021
- ISBN or ASIN: B09416M34X
- Number of Pages: 493
- Minimum Audience Age: 14
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 1
- Religious themes: 0
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 2
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 2
- Other adult themes: 0
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 5 stars
- Other factors: 5 stars
- Overall: 5 out of 5
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