5 Jul 2012



When Stewart and Layla recruit a demon to spy on the Devil, their decision takes them on whirlwind ride through the afterlife. Journey alongside this young couple in H. A. Goodman's new novel, Breaking the Devil's Heart, and join forces with a teenage Angel outcast to bankrupt Satan's underground Company and save Heaven from civil war. H. A. Goodman's Breaking the Devil's Heart is a rollercoaster afterlife experience that tests a young couple's love, their grasp on reality, and the essence of human nature. What happens when Stewart and Layla tour Hell's Marketing Department and Stock Exchange? What happens when their relationship is tested by Satan? This book is unlike anything you've ever read, or ever thought the afterlife might be like. Breaking the Devil's Heart is an enlightening look into an alternate world, a new afterlife, and a profound journey inside the human conscience.
....... Amazon product description.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): "So you really expect me to spy on the devil?" asked Franklin, in an appallingly disingenuous tone

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 319): While I was unconscious in a ravine of murdered souls, I finally learned the true definition of man's inhumanity to man.

MY THOUGHTS: A uniquely imaginative read the likes of which I've never read before, Breaking The Devil's Heart is a thought provoking read for the individual reader and would make a great read for any readers group such is its potential for discussion.

The story of two Observers (Stewart and Layla) who, neither angels nor demons but something in between, join forces with both the demon Franklin in the hope of eradicating evil by infiltrating hell (or The Company as it is known) and the flamboyant tattooed angel Adrian whose goal is to find an antidote to evil. Our 'heroes' along the way coming to realise that neither good nor evil are necessarily as straight forward as they might at first seem. Yes, even Heaven is not without its problems in this story of the afterlife.

A difficult novel to review without giving too much away. On one level this is a humorous read in that I loved the idea of hell being the not traditionally depicted pit of fire and brimstone but ....... well, lets just say you'll never think of advertising, call centres or the stock market the same again. And yet on a totally different level the flashbacks to the atrocities carried out by mankind over the decades, many of them very topical, though a very necessary part of the story were very harrowing, the author obviously not afraid of exploring some of humanities most darkest moments. 

Peopled by a numerous cast of characters, it is the vulnerability shown by even the 'worst' of them that really appeals to me as much as anything.

Too many to name let alone discuss, funnily enough it was the demonic somewhat psychotic thoroughly English Franklin that I liked best whilst it was Stuart that I found most intriguing in that I found just how far he would go to justify the outcome of his actions interesting stuff.

My only real criticism. The fact that the narrative did not always flow as well as it perhaps could have done meant that at times the book felt like a chain of events as opposed to a story. 

An enjoyable enough read though it was marred for me by the fact that I just couldn't help but feel that there was some underlying agenda that I just wasn't getting.

DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of the author Hal Goodman, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given. 


Mary (Bookfan) said...

Doesn't really appeal to me but one does wonder about a possible underlying agenda. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Jeannie said...

Sounds like something I'd enjoy reading. Rather like a Neil Gaiman story perhaps?

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Never having read any of Neil Gaiman's books I couldn't comment on this but Husband dearest who is currently reading Breaking The Devil's Heart and has read some NG could.

DMS said...

This does sound like a fascinating book. I like that it is unique and funny. Great review- and one I will consider reading.

Gina said...

Huh. Well the cover is not something I would have picked up....the story sounds like someone's escape from "cold hands of the man". Don't know....undecided if I will investigate further and yet I do know a friend or two that would get a kick out of it. Thanks for sharing!

Suko said...

Hmm...I am wondering about that underlying agenda. Very nice review. The book sounds quite imaginative.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... don't like feeling left out, but I like the idea of the humor. Hm... might be worth a read.

brandileigh2003 said...

It does give new idea of hell stock market?
Thanks for review.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

The Bookworm said...

Great review Tracy, this sounds like a book that makes for good discussion.

Jinky said...

Sounds like a unique story. Hmm, it's 99 cents on Amazon ...I'll have to think about purchasing it.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Nice review! I'm glad you enjoyed it overall as well. I never really thought about it having an agenda...i suppose any book could be said to have one, so I don't let it bother me. :)