Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below


Animated Book Cover of Hell Holes: What Lurks BelowEmbark on a Chilling Expedition in Hell Holes: What Lurks Below – A Terrifying Tale of Survival Against Demonic Aliens

As summer wanes in the rugged wilderness of Alaska’s North Slope, geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the Fall semester. But then, hundreds of enormous holes suddenly appear in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle. Summoned by an oil company’s urgent call to investigate, Jack assembles a diverse team: his climatologist wife, two of their eager graduate students, and a stunningly beautiful photojournalist, Aileen O’Shannon, whose strangely persuasive skills land her a spot on their expedition.

Set against the backdrop of the remote oil fields south of Deadhorse, their mission is clear: evaluate the potential threat posed by these mysterious holes to the vital Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the oil fields that fuel it. Accompanied by an oil company executive and a wildlife expert tasked with safeguarding them from Arctic predators, the group begins researching one such monstrous pit in the rock-hard permafrost.

Yet, what starts as a straightforward scientific study turns into a nightmarish confrontation with an invading army of demonic aliens, intent on the total conquest of Earth as its new feeding grounds.

Hell Holes: What Lurks Below is not just a science fiction thriller; it’s a gripping saga of survival that blurs the line between science and superstition. Each masterfully crafted page thrusts readers into a relentless fight for survival, and the stakes are nothing less than the survival of humanity itself.

Perfect for fans of realistic, action-packed, alien invasion science fiction and tales of demonic horror, Hell Holes: What Lurks Below will transport you on a heart-thumping journey of survival in the face of overwhelming odds. Can Jack and his team stay ahead of the advancing army or will they fall victim to the ravenous invaders?

Discover the answer in Hell Holes: What Lurks Below – your ticket to an adventure where the chilling expanse of the Alaskan wilderness meets the infernal terror of an alien onslaught. Pick up your copy today!


  • Fiction > Science Fiction > Alien Invasion
  • Fiction > Science Fiction > Apocalyptic
  • Fiction > Science Fiction > First Contact
  • Fiction > Fantasy > Dark Fantasy
  • iction > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
  • Literature & Fiction > Horror
  • .

Science Fiction Tropes

Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below incorporates the following commonly used, genre-specific literary devices:

  • Advanced alien technology indistinguishable from magic
  • Alien invasion
  • Aliens as monsters (demons)
  • Armageddon
  • Evil aliens
  • Humans as food
  • Medical nanobots cure (alien) injuries
  • Secret society of protectors
  • Team of scientists
  • Teleportation between worlds


#Alaska #AlienInvasion #ArcticCircle #AwardWinning #Demon #Devil #Gargoyle #Geologist #Hell #HellHole #Horror #Imp #ScienceFiction #Survival

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2020 Author Shout Reader Ready Recommended Read Award

2020 Author Shout Reader Ready Recommended Read Award


Lori Beasley Bradley

“I couldn’t put this book down! I started it just after breakfast and finished it around eleven that same night! I loved the way Mr. Firesmith combined science and a bit of paranormal to tell his story. James Rollins watch out!”
Lori Beasley Bradley The Legend of the Swamp Witch The Red Queen

Aoife Marie Sheridan

“I really really loved it. It flowed so well, I was never bored. Overall a fast and exciting read that I would recommend to all fantasy and sci-fi readers.”
Aoife Marie Sheridan The Siskia Trilogy The Demon Series

Renee Scattergood

“Amazing story! I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I couldn’t put it down.”
Renee Scattergood Shadow Stalker The Dream Crypt Demon Hunt

Michelle E. Lowe

“This book was a fantastic read. I like any story that I can envision being a movie or TV show. Aileen O’Shannon is an interesting character who has a very intriguing past that I hope to learn more about in the next installment. I recommend this book to anyone.”
Michelle E. Lowe Legacy Legacy: The Reunion The Warning

G.M. Sherwin

“What a great read!!!”
G.M. Sherwin Immortalis The Lazarus Gene

MJ Kobernus

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MJ Kobernus The Guardian: Blood in the Sand The Guardian: Blood in the Snow

Barton Paul Levenson

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Dave Robertson

“a quick, enjoyable read. Full of action and fraught with danger”
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Olga Núñez Miret

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Olga Núñez Miret Escaping Psychiatry

Patty Beaty

“Your book is excellent. As for the ending, … it leaves the reader wanting/needing more. I’d absolutely love to read more…”
Patty Beaty Sunshine in the South

Samantha C. Fischer

“That was amazing! I greatly enjoyed reading this book and cannot wait to find out what happens next.”
Samantha C. Fischer Love and Self Discovery

Mark Nutter

“I enjoyed the mayhem… a rousing read that leads breathlessly into the next book”
Mark Nutter Sunset Cruise on the River Styx: Dark, Absurd Tales

Book Shelf Adventures

“Fast-paced and wild ride. The author did a wonderful job building the world and the monsters that appear within.” – Original Review

Book Reviews

Review Results
Read all 187 reviews. (4.2 Stars)

* Very occasionally and without notice or explanation, Amazon deletes a review that it has posted, even if the review was posted weeks or even months earlier. The rumor among authors is that Amazon checks social media (such as Facebook) to see whether the author and reviewer are friends and the review is therefore suspect. If true, the approach is fundamentally flawed because readers (including reviewers) often send friend requests to authors, and authors are naturally happy to accept friend requests from their readers.

Quotes from the Book

  • “I nearly said something but then thought better of it. It doesn’t pay to publicly point out the failings of the person providing your paycheck.”
  • “Woe to any climate denier who called climate change a hoax when she was nearby.”
  • “We spent a few hours struggling to come up with better explanations, but each suggestion was shot down almost as soon as it was made. The suggestions became wilder, eventually to the point of silliness.”
  • “Nothing prepared me for the unbelievably loud sound made by firing the shotgun inside that confined space. My ears were ringing, and my face was splattered by black blood and bits of things I shuddered to consider. I cried out in pain as the thick black ichor dripped into my eyes, where it burned like acid.”
  • “Low demons, like hellhounds and gargoyles, are merely the mindless beasts of Hell. Far deadlier are the high demons, such as imps, fiends, and devils. High demons are humanoids, thinking beings with the ability to use dark magic.”

Author’s Commentary

The idea for this book series came to me when I first heard of the discovery of several large mysterious holes in the permafrost of the Yamal Peninsula in Northern Siberia in mid-July of 2014. By the summer of 2015, some 20 to 30 such holes had been spotted. As in the book, scientists have measured high levels of methane gas in the holes. The holes are mysterious because of their large size, their existence in the frozen ground (permafrost), their steep cylindrical shapes, and the fact that the contents of the holes is nowhere to be found.

There is no scientific consensus as to their cause. Scientific explanations have ranged from the explosive release of methane from buried methane hydrate ice to the melting of pingos (i.e., large dirt-covered plugs of ice) due to rising temperatures from Global Climate Change. Other less-believable proposed explanations have included meteor strikes and alien excavations. The best current scientific explanation is that as warming temperatures melt the ice in pingos, the pressure on the underlying methane hydrate ice decreases, causing methane explosions that blow out the soil that once topped the pingos. The holes are essentially the voids left behind once the pingo’s ice has melted.

The Hell Holes series is based on the following scenario: (1) thousands of such holes begin to show up around the entire Arctic including Alaska, (2) these holes were even larger than the initial ones in Siberia, and (3) there really is an “alien” connection with the holes.

For more information on the real Siberian holes, see:

Publishing Information

Publisher: Magical Wand Press
Edition: Fourth edition
Publication Date: 5 August 2015
Language: English
Pages: 164
Words: 39,397
Size: 5×8


Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below is available in the following formats:

Format Source
eBook (.epub) Amazon.com Barnes & Noble Smashwords
eBook (.mobi) Amazon.com Smashwords
eBook (.pdf) Smashwords
Paperback Amazon.com Barnes & Noble Ingram
Hardback Not Available
Audiobook Amazon.com Audible.com

Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Data Block

Name: Firesmith, Donald.
Title: Hell Holes: What Lurks Below / by Donald Firesmith.
Description: Third edition. | Pittsburg: Magical Wand Press, 2015. | Series: Hell Holes, Volume 1. | Summary: Oil company sends a team of scientists to investigate huge holes that mysteriously appear in the tundra of the Alaskan North Slope. | Audience: Adult. | Language: English.
Identifiers: PCN 2016946862 | ISBN 978-1515068075 (Paperback – CreateSpace) | ISBN 978-1-68419-862-7 (Paperback – IngramSpark) | ISBN 9781310431210 (ebook – Smashwords) | ASIN B012IUE14U (Kindle ebook – Amazon).
Subjects: BISAC: FICTION / Action & Adventure. | FICTION / Fantasy / Paranormal. | Fiction / Science Fiction / General. | LCSH: American–Fantasy–Fiction. | American–Paranormal–Fiction. | American–Science Fiction–Fiction.
Classification: DDC 813.62 F57 2015

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