|4.5 Stars||54 Reviews|
Note: Amazon has a well-known habit of deleting reviews without explanation. Sadly, several of the following Amazon reviews were deleted.
5 Star Reviews
34) A thriller involving demons, ghouls, gargoyles and hellfire in Alaska ★★★★★
Amazon: When I read the first Hell Holes novel (What Lurks Below), I was uncertain as to whether or not I would post a review. The story was certainly interesting and fast-paced. Lots of authentic-sounding scientific terminology when appropriate, and not used to “impress” the lay reader. The question on my mind was,”This sounds great, but will the follow-up be satisfying and revealing of plot details hinted at in the first one, or will it fizzle?”
I decided to purchase and read Hell Holes #2 (Demons on the Dalton), and it took the established plot details, picked up the pace, and was quite addictive as reading material. The ‘Magic versus Science” elements were very well done.
So, a book well worth the cost, and the bonus of a follow-up even better than this one.
Goodreads: A team of scientists check out mysterious holes in Alaska and find themselves battling hellhounds, imps, and even more deadly supernatural creatures.
When I read Hell Holes #1 (What Lurks Below) I had mixed feeling about posting a review. I figured, “So far, so good”, but questioned whether the next one in the series would continue just as good (or even raise the bar), or fizzle.
So I purchased Hell Holes #2 (Demons on the Dalton), was fully engaged in it from the first sentence and read it all in one day. Thus a five-star review for this one.
Read the books in order. This one was free on Amazon. The second one is $1.24 Canadian on Amazon. A third one is on the way. Win – Win any way you look at it.
33) A fast paced thrill ride, careful, demons are tricky ★★★★★
After learning that the holes that have mysteriously appeared are gates to hell, what is left of Jack’s investigation group decides to live to fight another day and heads to Fairbanks on the Dalton. But they seem to keep finding trouble in one way or another with flat tires, demons, and bathroom breaks. Thankfully, they find the military, and they have a plan.
Thank goodness, Aileen is there to help save the group. They have faced so much loss so far, but it is going to get worse before it gets better. I really enjoyed reading the narrative through Angela’s eyes. It gave this story a fresh spin. I really liked learning more about the Tutores Contra Infernum.
This story is a rush at break neck speeds as the group tries to keep ahead of the demons and is searching for a way to stop them. You have action, violence, and a great paranormal twist. I love this series and can’t wait for book three to get published.
I received Demons on the Dalton from Silver Dagger Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
32) I would recommend this book to all readers ★★★★★
Demons on the Dalton by Donald G. Firesmith is the second book in the Hell Holes Series. The first book, What Lurks Below, is narrated by Dr. Jack Oswald, however this book is narrated by his wife Angela. The book begins with a quick recap of what happened in the first book before continuing where that one left off. The three remaining survivors are continuing their journey south. Along the way they pick up a couple survivors.
This book has a fast paced story line and lots of action. I couldn’t read it fast enough. While the entire book takes place over the course of only one day, it is quite eventful. I found myself at the end hoping to see news of a third book. There is no mention of a third book, but the ending gives the reader hope for a sequel. I would recommend this book to all readers. There is a bit of gore in the book, which is expected given the subject of the story. However, I didn’t not feel that this detracted from the story.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
31) Over taken by the demons of hell with vehicles and bodies of humans, gargoyles, imps and demons scattered all over the road… ★★★★★
The remaining members of the crew, Dr. Oswald a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks along with his wife Dr. Menendez and Aileen O’Shannon, that were hired by ExxonMobil to check out these gigantic holes that are appearing on the North Slope near the Trans-Alaska Pipeline are speeding down the Dalton highway as if the demons of hell are hot on their heels. Wait they are.
They are speeding down the longest and most dangerous roads ever faster than is reasonably safe trying to outrun the demons, when Aileen shouts they have brought fire and brimstone. They are racing down the Dalton highway with imps, demons, hellhounds, gargoyles with fire and brimstone raining down upon them.
They are racing down the road hoping to run into the military and make it into Fairbanks and hopefully safety. Along the way, they run into a convoy that was overtaken by the demons of hell with vehicles and bodies of humans, gargoyles, imps and demons scattered all over the road, civilian vehicles and military as well. They pick up themselves a couple of bigger guns, assault rifles and load up their pockets with magazines. They find a couple of kids, a little boy and his sister, nine year old Adam and six year old Amy who they take under the wing and promise to get them to safety.
Dr. Oswald is racing down the highway with imps and demons flying in all directions after being hit by their car when Dr. Oswald takes a 90 degree turn at thirty miles faster than is relatively safe. I can just see Dr. Oswald ducking as he makes this turn going way faster than he should be not only ducking because of fire and brimstone or even the demons chasing them, but expecting his wife to start yelling at him and knocking him upside the head for taking the turn so fast.
It was just as intense with Demons on the Dalton book #2 of Hell Holes as it was with What Lurks Below book #1 feeling as if I was in the car with them racing down Dalton highway with the demons of hell hot on our heels. It was so intense that I could feel the heat from the fire as it went sailing by the vehicle, and I think I was jumping with the windows exploding from the heat, and I was always worried about Adam and Amy wondering where they were at times during the battles and how they were dealing with it all. They were braver little campers. Adam took such great and loving care of his little sister.
This has been a long ride down one of the longest roads ever during a very short period of time packed with lots of heart pounding adrenaline pumping action that will leave you hanging on for more and wanting to know what is around the next turn.
I would recommend Demons on the Dalton to anyone who loves a fast driven, heart pounding, bodies flying everywhere kind of action novel.
30) Book 2 even better ★★★★★
Book 2 is the thoughts and actions of the 2nd main character Dr. Angela Menendez. The first book is Dr. Jack Oswald’s words. Being thrown into her own hell on earth, the 3 survivors of the first book must find a way to fight their way to a safe place from demons imps and hellhounds. The Dr.’s are married and are not in the belief that they will make it to a safe place alive but determined to fight to get there. They pick up one problem then trade it for 2 more. The book is a quick interesting read, and the end is a small cliffhanger can’t wait to see what will happen and who wins.
29) Outstanding second book in this series ★★★★★
By Clinton Sites on January 14, 2018 (Original Goodreads Review)
Having read the first novel in this series – which caught my eye due to the title and the description, which I thought was excellent also I just had to get this one.
The first novel is written in third person (a narrator is telling the story) – which works very well when introducing/explaining new apocalyptic scenario – this novel is written in first person which really gets the blood flowing and the brain turning over. The descriptions of the teams travels, fights and battles in the first person really puts you there!
An excellent read that I couldn’t put down!
28) Great book ★★★★★
By Clair Gregory on January 13, 2018 (Original Amazon UK Review)
This book is a great read with lots of action. Can’t wait for the next episode. I found the subject matter particularly interesting.
27) Excellent book ★★★★★
By Garry K on January 7, 2018 (Original Amazon Canada Review)
Good storyline, well written. Keeps you wanting to read more. Can’t wait for follow up. Only complaint is that you are getting a part book with each release, then have to wait. Also a little too much detail, but some writers are like that ([Peter] Straub, for example).
26) This is really a great story ★★★★★
By Zippy Inger on January 1, 2018 (Original Amazon Review)
Wow!! Fantastic! This is a really great story. Constant action and very well written. I felt like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book. This one is told by the main female character, Dr. Angela Menendez. Whereas the first book is being narrated by the husband, Dr. Jack Oswald. They are both very smart and likeable characters. It’s very fast paced and has tons of demons and monsters. Though there is a lot of violence it’s not to graphic and it doesn’t have any graphic sex either. I recommend it and am looking forward to the next one of the series. “I received a complimentary ARC copy for an honest review.” Which I gave.
25) Better than book 1 ★★★★★
By Raymond on December 31, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
Even better than book 1. Can’t wait to buy number 3. Never mind, author forgot to write number 3. 😭
24) 🔥 HELL-LUV-A BOOK!! 🔥 ★★★★★
When you open this book you better NOT expect a slow lull, stereotype, slow read, because in that case your in the wrong book. This book has a delightful freshness, inventiveness, and holds high pace with characters that are vivid and appealing. It has a very intriguing story-line that captures the readers imagination and doesn’t let it slip away even for a second. It’s absolutely out of the question to even consider putting it down, regardless of what else might need attention; its far too thrilling for that. It is definitely a MUST read for paranormal addicts who want a fresh, very clever, fast paced read with quantum sized treasures of the hellishly unsuspected. I must say I love the way the author has noted the anomaly of the holes, and that that triggered this very inspired series.
23) No Title ★★★★★
By Nadine Chucri on December 20, 2017 (Original Am Kinda Busy Reading!! Review)
I read both books quite quickly back to back! I think each came to around a couple of hundred pages on my kindle and for me that is a short quickie read!
My question is when do we get book 3?
Back to the books at hand and I have to say that I really liked them, I loved the story line quite a lot and we have also some fantastic characters. My favorite is Aileen, nothing wrong with Jack and Angela but Aileen really stood out for me from the get go!
As I said, I loved the plot and I found it really original, it is not every day that big black holes appear in the earth especially around the north part of the planet, plus you make demons come out of them and you have me being a very happy girl!
But as I was reading and thinking about it, I was wondering why Alaska, Siberia and other parts that are far north? Let me explain so in the story those holes appear there and we even have a logical convo as to why they did not show in Antarctica.
But why not around the Equator? central Europe? South East Asia? I don’t get it.. the demons created those holes to attack us, wouldn’t they then go for more densely packed populated areas? Maybe I missed something, it is possible….
But other than that, in the books we had everything! Fights, magic, smart quips, battles gruesome deaths… pretty much what I enjoy best!
Honestly, I finished them too quickly and I felt like I wanted much more, or maybe there could have been room for more in each book.
So if I recall correctly, both books cover a handful of days since page 1 and considering the fact that now humans are at war with demons, it makes me wonder how big this series is going to be. I am not saying that in any negative way, but know some series are planned from the get go to be a certain number of books so it would put my mind at ease if I knew as well so that I can understand the pace and the timeline better. I am nosy like that I like to plan these things out!
So if you are like me and you love action packed battle with demons, then these 2 books (with more to come) are certainly for you! Plus Aileen is so so so awesome, it well worth the read for her alone! Those book are really easy and quick to read and really enjoyable!
I am going to highly recommend them and hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
22) Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton ★★★★★
By Terri Lewis on December 5, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
Great book. I was up all night reading it. I can’t wait for book 3.
21) Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton ★★★★★
By Sharon N on December 3, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
Second book in the series read. Another excellent tale of demons and creatures that want to take over our planet. The three main folks in this book are caught up in fighting to save their own lives as well as the rest of the world. Another tale that leaves you on the edge of their seat. Definitely recommend this book. Hope there is a third book continuing this saga.
20) Can’t wait to see it on the big screen ★★★★★
We all just might get to see Hell Holes on the big screen. Right now scriptwriters are working on it, you can read the [initial outline of the script] on Donald Firesmith’s website.
Demons on the Dalton picks right up where “What Lurks Below” left off. There is a difference this time as the book is told through the eyes of Angela Jack’s wife, instead of Jack himself. At first I wasn’t sure but once I started to read, the story took over and Angela in a sense was as good as her husband.
Book Two is faster than book one, and we get to see more demons and the exact scale of things. Most of the book is staged on the Dalton, but it doesn’t take away from the story at all. The danger element is always there, and one scene that I found to be written exceptionally well was when they were driving through a wall of fire. I could almost feel the heat while reading it.
Mr. Firesmith has a way of not just telling a story but educating us also, which is something I loved. Aileen as always is amazing and we get to learn more about her own secret society and the demons.
The ending isn’t the cliffhanger that book one was, but I wanted book three even more than I had wanted book two because of the way it ends, and I really can’t wait to get to read it.
Overall a fast and exciting read that I would recommend to all fantasy and sci-fi readers.
19) Don Firesmith has done it again ★★★★★
This awesome creation is an exciting read – quite an adventure!!! Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton continues the terrifying tale begun in book one, and I recommend it to everyone that enjoys a fantastic and well-written adventure. Can’t wait to read the next one in the series. Well done, Mr. Firesmith!!!
18) Five Stars ★★★★★
By Amazon Customer on October 4, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
Because I could not put it down, I read half the book in one night.
17) A fun read. Highly recommended. ★★★★★
By Jeri J & Rich Walker on October 4, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
Even better than the first one! A great mix of science and fantasy. I also liked the way that the characters were filled out. This made the story more personal, which made me feel like I was there with them.
16) Gest ★★★★★
By Kindle Customer on August 2, 2017 (Original Amazon UK Review)
What a clever new type of book. Really enjoyed both one and two of the series. Can’t wait to see what happens in the third book.
15) The first in the series made me sit up and take note ★★★★★
By Avid book(devouring)worm on July 14, 2017 (Original Amazon Canada Review)
This, the second installment does not disappoint. Definitely a new author to follow closely! Already on my follow list. Broke my own (self imposed) rule about buying ANY more books to grab this one. I’m sure I’ll still happily break it again. THESE BOOKS ARE ADDICTIVE.
14) Great read!!! ★★★★★
By Joshua S. Bishop on June 26, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
This book and the first book in the series were great reads. It was hard to put them down for a minute. Good characters and plot. An alternate look at a first contact situation. Can’t wait till the next in the series.
13) Hot, hot, hot! ★★★★★
By Amy Hubbard on April 26, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
I love that the author used a different point of view in story! Join the remaining group from Pump Station 2…the 1700 year old Demon Hunter, the Climatologist, and the Geologist as they continue to battle their way through the occupants of hell! Now they are joined up with the army. Will they be successful in their mission! Can’t wait to read the next book!
12) More dangerous ★★★★★
By Brandy Mulder on April 25, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
I thought this was interesting as it picks up right where the first book stopped but it’s from his wife’s [point of view]. You don’t have to read the first book as there is a small recap at the beginning but I recommend reading it first as there are a lot of details. This book covers their trip down a dangerous highway trying to escape the demons. Lots of danger, blood, and horror surround them as they also have to decide if people are actually devils hiding as people. There is violence and no adult content. I recommend 13+ age.
11) Hell comes to town, yes it did. And you will like it ★★★★★
By ReallyBigSwede on April 20, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
Love the series. I really like the twist and a new kind of sy-fy. I so far read 2 of them going to get the other really fast.
10) Official Review: Hell Holes 2 by Donald Firesmith (4 out of 4 Stars – Excellent*) ★★★★★
By Lane Vespertine on October 27, 2016 (Original Online Book Club Review)
* Because the Online Book Club rating system only goes up to 4 stars (described as either “Excellent” or “Amazing!”), I have lumped this review in with the standard 5 star reviews.
Hell Holes 2 is the action horror sequel to Hell Holes, written by Donald Firesmith. It is the continuation of an event first described in Hell Holes, namely that holes have opened in Northern Alaska and demons are coming out of them. In the first book, the perspective is of Dr. Jack Oswald. But in Hell Holes 2, we now follow the words and reactions of his wife and fellow scientist, Dr. Angela Menendez. The format with which these narratives are presented is via the “I Remember Project,” which details the first-hand experiences of those involved with the demon invasion through their own words long after the events have concluded.
If you are interested in going back to the first Hell Holes and starting from the beginning, please skip ahead past the next two paragraphs because they will give a general summary of the plot of the second in the series and include spoilers of the first. Still here? Good. Dr. Menendez begins by giving an account of how she, her husband, a photojournalist named Aileen O’Shannon, and four others made a trek to a mysterious hole that opened on the North Slope. She continues to say that demons came out of the hole and killed four of her party, leaving just her, her husband, and O’Shannon.
After many close calls, the story now picks up with the three of them driving south to keep ahead of the demon invasion. O’Shannon, far from being a photojournalist, is actually a “guardian,” part of a secretive group called the Tutores Contra Infernum who have tasked themselves with fighting demons throughout history whenever they appear. These demons are classed into two groups, lower and higher. The lower demons are venomous animals and include hellhounds (much bigger than a wolf) and gargoyles. The higher demons are more anthropomorphic and intelligent and include imps (small and moderately intelligent) and devils (adult human sized and devilishly clever.) The two academics and the guardian, who can use what many would call magic, encounter problems and roadblocks because of these demons along their way south on the Dalton Highway.
I did not read the first book, Hell Holes, before reading its sequel. Although I had no problems figuring out who the characters were and what had happened before, I would still recommend that any reader interested should begin at the beginning. If I had known how much fun I was going to have reading Hell Holes 2, I would have started with the first one. Unfortunately, since I know what happened in the second, and I doubt it would be as thrilling as it should be.
The only detail of the book that simply didn’t work for me was the structure of the “I Remember Project.” It is very reminiscent of the book World War Z, where it did work. Here, however, since the whole of the novel is the perspective of one woman, it seems superfluous. I do not feel there is a need to explain why the perspective from the first book changed, let alone attaching that shift to a larger “Project.” In short, it is unnecessary and unmemorable. I had forgotten its existence entirely until reviewing my notes for this review.
I was genuinely surprised how engaged I was with this story. I expected it to be a bit of fun and maybe an easy way to kill and afternoon. It was both, but also had a professionalism and maturity that, for me, took it to the next level.
A small detail in Hell Holes 2 endeared me to it. Two of the main characters are married academic doctors (as in, Ph.D.) There is no point in this novel where the male character is referred to as “Dr.” and the female character is called anything other than “Dr.” It is pet peeve of mine in books and television (and life) that women who have earned a title are usually called by their first name when their title is relevant. This detail should not, on its own, be reason for applause. But by avoiding an example of common and subtle gender related discrimination, Hell Holes 2 gives full professional respect to the women in the story, and that is awesome.
Hell Holes 2 has a lot of silly elements; magic and demons mostly. But that fact doesn’t stop Firesmith from both having a great name and writing this story very well. The characters are relatable, the pace is driving, and the editing is almost perfect. Crazy events happen non-stop throughout Hell Holes 2, but I never felt confused or unclear about exactly where everyone was or what they were doing. For this feat, I congratulate the author and rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
9) Another Great Book in the Series ★★★★★
By Amazon Customer on October 9, 2016 (Original Amazon Review – Amazon review deleted 22 February 2018)
Another great book in the series. Extremely action packed but still feels very real. I enjoyed getting to know a little more about the characters. I also very much enjoyed the military aspect of the book; it added a realness to the book I quite enjoyed. Can’t wait for book three.
8) Can’t Wait for the Next Volume!! ★★★★★
By Amazon Customer on August 11, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
I really enjoyed reading this book on the heals of the first volume. This one takes the story further and develops characters more fully as they move through even greater challenges. Both were great fun and this volume improves upon the first. One thing I really enjoy is how easy it is to imagine the scenes the book describes. One can almost watch the movie in their heads as they read. Really super job!
7) Great 2nd Book of Hell Holes ★★★★★
By Gina and Patrick Costin on July 22, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
Dr. Jack Oswald tells of the first four days of their expedition to The North Slope, Alaska. Sent there to research the strange sink holes cropping up all over Alaska Dr. Jack Oswald tells of the events leading up to the expedition and once there the things that he and his team witnessed and endured at the location and continues until the team barely escapes from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline’s Pump Station 2. You will find this horrifyingly emotional tale in Book 1, Hell Holes: What Lurks Below.
This is book 2 of Hell Holes and is given the title Demons on the Dalton, by Dr. Jack Oswald’s wife, Dr. Angela Menendez. She continues from where Jack left off. The moment they escaped Pump Station 2 and started out on their harrowing 350 mile trek along the Dalton Highway heading to Fairbanks.
This book is full of fast-paced action, as well as emotional turmoil and a few times I found myself clutching my computer desk, unable to stop reading because I was so anxious about what would happen next. There were definitely some surprises I didn’t expect, that the book would have been fine without, but added another layer of amped up adrenaline, which made it even more realistic.
I myself have never been a fan of sci-fi, but after reading these two books by Donald Firesmith I am looking forward to checking out some more sci-fi books, and hopefully he will continue on with a third book of this series.
6) Hell Holes – Demons on the Dalton ★★★★★
By R. P. Smith on April 29, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
This novel follows on from the first novel, Hell Holes – What Lurks Below and is, again, written in journal form but this time by Dr. Angela Menendez, the wife of the author of the first journal. She follows on more-or-less where the last account ended, and it’s amazing that a book written by the same author (Donald Firesmith) can fool one into thinking that it’s written by a completely different person. Such is the strength of the writing that the new “author” (Dr. Menendez) shines through and her personality & writing style is quite different to that of the other journal’s surrogate author, her fictional husband.
Again, the novel is rapid-fire action, all the way and I really can’t wait for the next installment.
5) Demons on the Dalton: A Fast-Paced, Will-They-Make-It Thriller ★★★★★
By Heidi A. Price on May 7, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
I have to admit that this isn’t my usual genre, but I was captivated from pretty much the first page. Demons on the Dalton is a fast-paced, will-they-make-it thriller that also takes small detours into details that give you an even stronger relationship with the characters that Firesmith introduced us to in Hell Holes: What Lurks Below. Firesmith knows his Alaskan terrain, and that reflects in his writing, which leaves his readers with a sense of the majesty and desolation of northern Alaska.
This book is about demons and fantastical creatures to be sure, but it is also explores themes of beauty, kindness, protecting our ecosystem, and the strength of long-time love.
4) More Excitement in Alaska ★★★★★
By firstname.lastname@example.org on May 24, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
The second book of Donald Firesmith’s Hell Hole series, Demons on the Dalton, is just as riveting if not more so than the first one.
The continuing saga of the plight and flight of the scientists and their Curatrix will keep you totally enthralled. The mix of fantasy and science is perfect to make the story believable. If you like fantasy, science, and a good thriller, this is the book for you.
I can’t wait to see the continuation of the story.
3) Great Pace ★★★★★
By MerriSki on May 31, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
Great follow on to the first book. The story moves at a fast pace and definitely holds your interest. It is suspenseful, and I find myself caring more and more about the characters and rooting for them to win. I can’t wait for the third book to find out what is inside a hell hole!
2) Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire ★★★★★
Join the team after they have survived the attacks that the “hell holes” have brought upon the oil fields of Alaska. Follow along as they try to escape with their lives, but they will soon find out that they are out of the frying pan and into the fire.
First things first, take a look at that awesome cover. Really gives the reader a feeling that they are going to be going for a ride when they pick this book out.
In “crossover” books like this (it’s fantasy and real-world), it’s easy to get caught up in the details. Trying to explain why someone has magical powers or where a character came from can really bog down a good story. Firesmith is able to skip these mundane details but still write a story that feels full and detail oriented. I love the fact that I don’t normally like books with fantasy elements in them, but the Hell Holes series has allowed me to enjoy a sprinkle of fantasy with my thrillers.
The fantasy elements (in case you’re curious) involve different demons: gargoyles, imps, and hell hounds. Along with a witch or curatrix as she is called in these books. There is also a secret society of people who have been keeping these demons at bay for centuries. Now, sprinkle these elements in with an extremely well thought out thriller and I’m intrigued.
Overall, Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton was a wonderfully written book that had my heart pounding from beginning to end. A thriller through and through.
The length was really nice for me too. Sometimes I enjoy reading a novella or a shorter novel. Especially when you pack as much into them as Firesmith has with Demons on the Dalton.
I was given an early copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
1) Hell Day Plus One ★★★★★
By Pavel H. on May 4, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
The book describes Hell Day Plus One, an escape from the Alaska North Slope and continuing south on the Dalton Highway. You will probably read this book in one breath, once you started the previous Hell Holes: What Lurks Below. Especially, if you like books with solid scientific underpinnings in Michael Crichton’s style with a touch of J.K. Rowling’s magic.
4 Star Reviews
16) The Battle Continues ★★★★☆
By KStateKev on February 19, 2018 (Original Amazon Review)
Book Two of the Hell Holes series builds on the events of the first book and tells the story from Dr Menendez’s point of view, whereas Book One was narrated by Jack, her husband. We pick up where we left off, with our desperate survivors fleeing the demon invasion, heading south on the Dalton Highway.
Book Two covers much more ground than the first one, both literally and figuratively. By the end of this book, I felt like I had traveled with the characters. Mr Firesmith packs a lot into this short novel, and I really enjoyed it. He has a good sense of place and time, and clearly loves his characters.
There are far fewer typos in this book compared to Book One. The action flows smoothly, although some of the dialogue is still kind of stiff. This may be due to all the military people in the book.
I give this book four stars for a job well done. I am waiting eagerly for the next installment.
15) Dashing to Armageddon ★★★★☆
By Manie Killian on January 24, 2018 (Original Amazon Review)
Three people survived the slaughter at pump station 2. What remains is a mad dash for Fairbanks, a distance of close on 350 miles on a road that is at best not really suited for ease of travel in a small vehicle what with pot holes and imps on gargoyles intend on bombing any moving vehicle with corrosive Brimstone bombs.
Dashing for Fairbanks may prove to be a pipe dream and if successful, might prove to have been a dash to Armageddon.
Once again Dr. Jack Oswald, his wife, Angela and the curatrix Aileen O’Shannon are assailed on all sides in an effort simply to survive the almost casual and relentless onslaught of the hellish creatures invading earth. The action is nonstop and the chance for survival slim indeed. Yet, to give up is to die.
I am a surprise if belated fan of this series. However, I did not expect humour to crack me up as much as it did when this group of valiant survivors reached an army post planning a retaliatory strike against hell. The codename for this counter offensive? Wait for it… Righteous Exorcism!
Really? But it certainly left me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Enjoy!
14) If you liked the first one, then you’re going to want this one. ★★★★☆
This is the second book in a series. I read and enjoyed the first book, Hell Holes: What Lurks Below. Like Hell Holes 1 this is a fast, exciting read and if you like books in which our world is not as it seems then you will probably like this.
The writer made the bold choice to use a different character as the first person narrator in this book. I think the choice worked to both extend the cliffhanger at the end of the first book and to give a slightly different perspective on the events of the first book. [Goodreads: While I don’t like to hand out virtual cookies to male authors for being able to write convincing women I think he’s done an excellent job of writing from a female point of view.] This narrator has a different narrative voice than the narrator of the first book but the feel of the world of the story remains consistent which is not necessarily an easy feat to pull off.
My only real criticism is that there’s a lot of exposition. I think it’s a mostly unavoidable side effect of being the second book of a series that has a lot of world building going on. At least this exposition is well written and fits naturally into the dialogue scenes. The reader is learning stuff at the same time as the characters are.
All in all, an excellent sequel that sets things up well for the third book.
13) Enjoying his stories ★★★★☆
By Book Addict’s Reviews on December 22, 2017 (Original Amazon Review – Deleted by Amazon)
Book two is very action packed compared to the first! I enjoyed the furthering along of the story with seeing demons introduced from the first book and somehow the US military getting involved. It’s a very imaginative world with fun characters and plot! I am enjoying Firesmith’s stories greatly.
12) though I would have liked it to be a bit longer ★★★★☆
By lladnar on December 18, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
Very well written with engaging characters. Fast paced and enjoyable, though I would have liked it to be a bit longer. I will definitely read the sequel!
11) Fun follow up in a wicked series ★★★★☆
It started with mysterious holes appearing overnight in the tundra of the North Slope in Alaska. A team of seven, including Jack, a geologist, his wife, Angela, a climatologist, Aileen, a reporter with a secret power, and four others are hired by Exxon Mobil to investigate. When the very hounds of Hell crawl out of one of the holes and start killing, the team races south on Dalton Highway, one of the ten most dangerous roads, trying to reach Fairbanks and safety. Soon, imps and gargoyles join the hellhounds in pursuit. Only three of the team members make it to the SUV and begin their escape. The Demon War has begun.
Jack told his story of how it all began in the first book. Now, Angela tells what happens next.
As the three survivors race down the highway, they encounter more and more demons. And the demons have some surprising tricks up their sleeve that don’t bode well. It’s attack after attack. Every time it seems like they’ve found safety, it goes to hell in a hand basket. Even the military, with all of their technology and weapons, don’t stand a chance.
After what I’ve just read, I have now decided that if there’s ever an apocalypse, I’ll take zombies over demons any time. Some of these of creatures are dumber than a box of rocks, but they are guided by higher demons, smart ones, and can inflict major damage.
The author sure doesn’t give his characters a break. And he keeps the action and suspense at full throttle. How many demons are there? Do they have a weakness? And most important, how do we stop them? The answer is one you can’t begin to imagine.
I take from the ending that there’s more to come. I have an idea where it will go and sure excited to see how that works out.
10) Four Stars ★★★★☆
By Harry on October 25, 2017 (Original Amazon India Review)
9) Review of Hell Holes Demons on the Dalton ★★★★☆
By Sonya Loraine Beadle on September 23, 2017 (Original Amazon UK Review)
Ridiculously far-fetched but nevertheless enjoyable, the pace of the action and the well rounded characters kept me enthralled throughout.
8) Great Adventure ★★★★☆
Amazon Australia: The author continues the drama with book 2. Demons, imps and gargoyles invade Alaska via hell holes with geologists, good magic – and the US Army – keeping the action going. Looking forward to Book 3.
Smashwords: Book 2 continues straight on without a gap. As the demon invasion gathers momentum, our geologists flee towards the possible safety of ťhe US Army, but the hoards are equally determined to stop them. The race is on !! Can they hold out? Fast-paced with tense moments all along the Dalton Highway.
7) Action packed ★★★★☆
This book 2 maintains the same level of heart pumping action. As told by the wife’s perspective, it does a good job of recapping book one to transition to the action in book two. There is a lot of blood and tragedy so be forewarned. The relationship between husband and wife seems so very clinical but when you factor in that they are scientists, these two may not be the lovey covey type. There are great new elements in book two that fits in perfectly to the continuing storyline. A great fast paced read!
6) Great! ★★★★☆
This is a great second installment of this series! I really liked that a different character’s perspective was given in this book. The story is fast paced and full of action and adventure. I was pleased to see more information and background given on one of the characters. While this book can be read as a stand-alone – the author does a great job of summarizing the first book – I highly recommend reading the books in order to get the full impact of the story. I’m looking forward to reading what comes next.
5) I recommend this series to any adult fan of: Fast paced and action packed Sci-fi’s and Paranormal stories ★★★★☆
By Stories To Live By (Courtney) on April 2, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
After losing so many members, Jack Oswald’s research team turns into a three person survival group consisting of: a geologist (Jack), a climatologist (Angie) and a 1,400 year old curatrix / demon hunter (Aileen). Faced with only two real options: A) Stay, fight and (most likely) die or B) Venture down the treacherous Dalton highway towards the relative safety of Fairbanks.
Deciding they would rather take their chances on the Dalton, the three survivors take off and begin their 350 mile race to safety. However, the dangers of traveling the severely worn and unpredictable terrain of one of the world’s most dangerous roads is the least of their problems. The hellish army of devils, imps, hellhounds and gargoyles are advancing, ruthlessly destroying everything and everyone in their path.
Along the way, the group is faced with all kinds of life threatening situations. Between picking up tricky, hitchhiking devils, flat tires, demonic attacks and much needed bathroom breaks, and all in such a short manner of time, they just can’t seem to catch a break. Two additions to the team are eventually made when they come across two young siblings, Adam and Amy Anderson, alone and in desperate need of help. Together they narrowly escape an enclosing forest fire, only to exit right into the middle of a battle field between the U.S. army and the demons.
Helping the army win the battle, they team up to formulate a plan that they hope will destroy the demons once and for all, or at the very least prevent them from returning to Earth indefinitely. They’re going to go back to the the Hell Holes, find the demons’ portal and move the battle to their world.
“If we are truly going to stop them, we will have to go into hell to do it.”
Demons on the Dalton by Donald G. Firesmith is written in Dr. Angela Menendez’s POV, starting where What Lurks Below ends. I like that in this series (so far), each book is written in a different perspective. While I still recommend reading book 1, Dr. Angela Menendez gives a great recap of her husbands account of the teams first four days, since Jack received that phone call from Kowalski until right before starting their trip down the Dalton highway.
I did notice a bit more spelling and grammar mistakes in this book and a couple of repeating lines, but not so many that they take away from the story.
I was glad to see that Aileen O’Shannon’s character and the secret society she’s apart of was explained more in depth. We even get to meet a few more members of the Tutores Contra Infernum . Very interesting.
I enjoyed the second installment of the Hell Holes series and look forward to seeing where book 3 will take us. I recommend this series to any adult fan of: Fast paced and action packed Sci-fi’s and Paranormal stories.
**** I received an eBook copy of this title in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to Booktasters for introducing me to this author and thank you to Donald G. Firesmith for giving me the chance to read and review his books. ****
4) A nice continuation ★★★★☆
By Amanda Kaye on January 20, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
First off let me say this is the second in a series and that you will want to read book one first. That being said don’t read any farther unless you want to see spoilers. In book one a team went to discover why hundreds of holes opened in the ground near an Alaskan pipeline. What they found was terrifying, demons from a version of “hell”. And we found out that Aileen, the photographer that was brought along, was not a normal person. Only 3 survived that encounter, 2 scientists (the married couple of Angela and Jack) and Aileen. Aileen is from an ancient order that is protecting humans. In this book the 3 are trying to run from the demon army and Aileen is doing her best to keep them alive, but how long will she be successful? Not to give too much away but in this book we see the US military flex its muscles as well as some other things happening.
This was an interesting continuation to the series and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. Although in my opinion there could have been some fighting between Angela and Jack because they seem too nice to each other. Adding in the children seems to add in a newer sense of urgency than before. You can actually picture the demons in your head from the descriptions.
3) There was enough nail biting and plenty of surprises to keep me wholly satisfied as I read ★★★★☆
By Angela Kay on January 18, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton is volume two of What Lurks Below. It’s another action/adventure written by Donald Firesmith. This time, we’re in Dr. Angela Menendez’s (Dr. Jack Oswald’s wife) point of view. She picks up where we left off in volume one. Oswald and his team are desperately trying to escape the demons that are set on pursuing them.
The character development was a bit lacking. There were not a whole lot of conflict as I’d imagined there would be. After all, stress and fear make even the nicest person a tiny bit snippy, and I saw none of that in the story. However, I was eager enough to see what would happen next to not worry about the lack of character conflicts. There was enough nail biting and plenty of surprises to keep me wholly satisfied as I read. The ending was left as though a continuation could come into play. Or possibly it’s left for our imagination to work out. We’ll see what Firesmith has in store for us next.
2) Another Winner in the Hell Holes Series ★★★★☆
By Dave Robertson on August 31, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton is another action-packed battle/race with demons that were introduced in the first book. Like the first book, the story moves pretty steadily with liberal amounts of action and suspense. In this second installment, the US military gets involved and we’re put right into the middle of a war. There are some other new elements in book 2, but I won’t spoil it for those who have yet to read it. If you like action/adventure, this book will not disappoint you. I’m looking forward to book 3.
Dave Robertson, Author of Strange Hunting, Strange Hunting II, and The Brave and The Dead
1) I Certainly Enjoyed the Ride ★★★★☆
By Caitlin Halvorson on May 15, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
I am a coworker at Coldfoot Camp and we received copies of both Hell Holes books for our review. Many thanks to the author for this considerate gesture. Though I can’t speak for the rest of camp (I’m not sure who else here has had time to read it) I will say that, after reading both books today, I certainly enjoyed the ride. The pace was fast, the action near constant, and the descriptions of the demons and their invasion appropriately grotesque. Despite occasional inaccuracies, the setting was researched well and the descriptions of the far north do well to convey the vast, beautiful, and bleak nature of the area. There are some aspects of the characters I would have enjoyed seeing developed more, and some more editing work would have been useful; still, this was an fun read and I am looking forward to the next installment.
[Author’s note: The book has gone through a second round of editing since this review was written.]
3 Star Reviews
4) No title ★★★☆☆
This second installment perfectly picks up where the initial story left off but told now through the eyes of the original group leader’s spouse. There is now a heavy military influence as well as the demons stepping up their killing spree with new horrific tactics and devilish implements. The much anticipated explanation of how the curatrix heroine came to be is finally revealed. Lots of close calls, kicking butt and action packed moments to be had still. Look forward to the third suspenseful tale in this series.
3) Packed with action and written very lively so the reader can get involved in the story easily ★★★☆☆
By Kerstin Vollbrecht on March 17, 2017 (Original Amazon Review)
This is the second book of the series Hell Holes, but as it starts with a resume of the previous events, it could perfectly stand on it’s own.
In this story, the author describes the adventure of Dr. Oswald and his wife, Dr. Menéndez, a geologist and a climatologist, that were investigating the mysterious appearance of holes along the Alaskan Oil Pipeline, having to flee and to fight against devils and demons. They are joined by Aileen O’Shannon, a curatrix of an ancient order dedicated to that purpose, who occupies her magic against those demons and devils they encounter during their journey to the military headquarters where she is joined by the rest of the order.
The story is entertaining, packed with action and written very lively so the reader can get involved in the story easily. There are many repetitions of the geological facts and of the happenings since the demons emerged from the hell holes, that could be shorter. All in all, it’s an entertaining read that is hard to put away.
2) Sequel ★★★☆☆
By Richard Lang on November 5, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
In this sequel to Hell Holes, What Lurks Below, Firesmith writes about the continuing war against the demons. Oswald, Martinez and Aileen O’Shannon drive out on the Dalton Highway in an effort to escape the pursuing demons. Along the way, they pick up two small children whose father was killed. They narrowly escape a forest fire and are rescued by the Army and flown to Eielson Air Force Base. At a high-level meeting at the base, a plan to attack the demons is formulated. The plan is to go into the hell holes and find the demons portal and attack them in hell. The ending seems to indicate there may be a third book in this series.
1) Realistic Action, Unrealistic Relationships ★★★☆☆
By Gordon A. Long on June 12, 2016 (Original Amazon Review)
In Episode 2 of the “Hell Holes” serial, Angela Mendez and Jack Oswald continue their mad flight up the North Slope of Alaska, a horde of demonic creatures at their backs. As they trundle their increasingly beat-up 4 X 4 through a carefully researched and realistically portrayed landscape, they are subjected to a never-ending series of attacks. But physical danger is only a part of the conflict of a book.
The problem with serials is often character conflict, or the lack of it. One key element to good writing that keeps us connected is the development of relationships (and conflicts) between characters. It is difficult to keep this sort of thing going over long periods of time, such as over several excerpts in a serial.
This is the problem with the Dalton story. The husband-and-wife team of Dr. Angela Mendez and Jack Oswald are very together in all respects. Rarely even a cross word passes between them, no matter how tight the situation.
So in spite of the horrendous enemy and the non-stop action, this book has an action-comic feel to it. Stripped to basic characters, a terrible enemy, and a chase to safety, it roars through the tundra and over the Brooks Range, mace-carrying imps on the backs of flying gargoyles dogging every move our heroes make. The women can’t even stop for a bathroom break without risking a clawing. The description of their drive through the demon-laced forest fire is true genius.
So it’s all sorts of frightening fun, but it doesn’t go much farther than that. The only new sympathy we gain is due to the insertion of two small children who must be protected by our heroes. This works in a limited way because it raises the stakes. But the best suspense in the whole story is the teaser for the next issue, which promises an even more dangerous and horrifying task. Hopefully Mr. Firesmith will see fit to add some interpersonal conflict as well to his next offering.
Recommended for fans of paranormal action/adventure, with emphasis on the action.
[Author’s note: The ending has been updated with one such conflict. In addition, a surprise on the demon home world will lead to a major interpersonal conflict in Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back.]
2 Star Reviews
1 Star Reviews