Damn Him to Hell by Jamie Quaid
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release date: June 25, 2013
Series: Saturn’s Daughter #2
Reviewed by: Tynga
Justice is blind. Justine isn’t. Book two in the Saturn’s Daughter series, in which Tina Clancy is gifted with the power to dispense justice…for good or evil.
Tina Clancy is adapting to her new life as one of Saturn’s Daughters while living in the toxic part of Baltimore known as The Zone, and occasionally acting as a champion of the downtrodden, the weird, the innocent…and the sometimes not-so-innocent.
Just when she finally lands a real law job, the Zone is blasted by poisonous gas and her sometimes-boyfriend starts receiving visitors from Hell. He’s none too pleased about that, or in Tina having sent his granny to Hell in his place. For that matter, neither is granny…
Clancy finally managed to bring back her late boyfriend from hell but it didn’t quite go as planned. His soul his now in his evil cousin’s body and to say it complicates things is an understatement. Unfortunately, there are bigger problems to deal with. Acme, the chemical plant, released a green with pink sparkles gas onto the zone. Driving people to great violence followed by a coma, the gas, and its victims, is Clancy’s main concern. But how can one little lawyer shutdown a big company such as Acme?
I really liked Boyfriend from Hell, but I have to confess I have mixed feelings about this second instalment. Maybe it suffers from the ‘second-book-curse’? I’ll start with the elements I liked. First, I still like the world, and the ghetto that is the zone. It’s originality still commands attention and I enjoyed it. Also, the characters I came to love are still very much present and their sense of humour is as ironic as ever, kudos Jaime. And last, I love Clancy’s dedication to everyone from the zone and I command her for it!
Now onto the aspects I liked less. First, I feel like everything is at a standstill. The novel is action filled and Justina is focused on stopping acme and curing the ‘zombies’, as she call ‘em. While this is all good and well, it prevented overall story progress. What I mean is, by the end of the novel, we still don’t know much more about Justina’s powers, the rules surrounding them or their origins. Also, while we now know how Andre gets impressions from the future, he is still very mysterious. And lastly, their is no progress what so over in the romantic aspect of the story. Clancy is no closer to choosing between Leo or Andre, and the standstill is frustrating. In summary, the plot arc of the novel progressed smoothly, but the arc of the series feels stationary.
Another aspect that bothered me was the constant repetition. In this novel, Justina is resolute to control her emotions and think through before she damns anyone to hell. While this maturity is welcome, she mentions it every chapters or so. I felt like, ‘ok we got it, no need to keep repeating over and over again’. It really annoyed me and I hope this issue won’t be redundant in the next novel.
All in all, Damn Him to Hell is a good but flawed sequel to a series that started great. It’s an interesting and highly original urban fantasy and I still suggest you give it try.