This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I feel like I have been wanting to read this book forever. I bought the ebook more than eight years ago and added the audiobook to my collection nearly six years ago. I am not really sure why it took me so long to finally get started with the series but I am happy to report that this book is really as good as I had hoped it would be. I am so glad that I finally took the time to give this one a listen.
James Stark was only 19 years old when he went to Hell. It is now 11 years later and he is back and ready to deal with the friends who sent him away. The past 11 years have been hard on Stark but he survived and picked up a few skills along the way. Things have changed in the world while he was away and he has a few adjustments to make as he works to settle the score.
I really liked Stark. He is tough and able to think on his feet. We learn pretty early on that he can be rather brutal when necessary but he will also go out of his way to help others who are truly innocent. We really learn a lot about Stark in this book and I think that his past and time in Hell have helped to shape him. Stark does have a sense of humor and there were times that I found myself chuckling. I also really enjoyed the supporting cast of characters and I think that the whole ensemble really helped to make the story entertaining.
This story is really exciting. It is really interesting right out of the gate and everything builds as the story progresses. I like that there is no big information dump as you sometimes find in the first installment in a series. Instead, the world-building happens slowly as the story is told. There is plenty of action to keep things moving and a few scenes where we really get to see how much Stark has lost. I think that the pacing of the story was very well done and I liked that I was always eager to get back to the story.
MacLeod Andrews did a phenomenal job with the narration of this book. He really brought James Stark to life and I couldn't imagine this character having a different voice. He handled all of the character voices extremely well and added a lot of excitement to the story. I know that I enjoyed this story a bit more because of his narration.
I would not hesitate to recommend this book to others. This is a very strong start to a series that I can't wait to continue. The characters were very well done and I found myself completely engaged in the story from beginning to end. I cannot wait to read more of this series!
I ended up really enjoying this one. The narrator of the audiobook does an amazing job with this story and the story itself is really exciting. Stark is a great character. The more that we learned about him, the more I found that I liked him. There is a lot going on in this story and I found that I had to start the audiobook over at the midpoint since I was pretty sure I missed some key points. It was worth putting in that extra time. I like that there was a bit of humor that was worked into this story along with some pretty intense action. I cannot wait to read more of Stark and the rest of the gang.
Book source: purchase