|4.7 Stars||32 Review||100%|
5 Star Reviews
25) Greg Phelps’s review ★★★★★
By Greg Phelps on 20 July 2023 (Goodreads Review)
A brief respite for our heroes before the battle to save the world… They go thru hell… literally.
Read this series its totally worth your time… No spoilers… This series of books will keep you page turning into the night and leave you wanting more. Its very well written, and the characters are fleshed out so you feel like you know them.
24) sportslady0312’s review ★★★★★
By sportslady0312 on 23 March 2023 (Amazon Review)
After book 1 written from Jack’s perspective, and the second book from Angie’s perspective, it’s not a surprise that book 3 is written from the last of the main characters, Aileen. It is more interesting than the second book, as a lot of the background of Aileen and the Order, is new to the reader. Readers who loved the idea behind the first two books will be equally as enthralled with this book.
The series is a horror sci-fi, so it is not the sort of thing I’d usually read or enjoy – but I did. Overall, 5 stars.
I didn’t purchase this book from Amazon.
23) The Book Dragon’s Review ★★★★★
By The Book Dragon on 13 February 2023 (Goodreads Review)
After book 1 written from Jack’s perspective, and the second book from Angie’s perspective, it’s not a surprise that book 3 is written from the last of the main characters, Aileen. It is more interesting than the second book, as a lot of the background of Aileen and the Order, is new to the reader. Readers who loved the idea behind the first two books will be equally as enthralled with this book. The characters are very real and the dialogue is credible. The plot was well-researched and presented and the pace adjusts nicely with the tension of the story. There were some editing issues that may distract a reader.
The series is a horror sci-fi, so it is not the sort of thing I’d usually read or enjoy – but I did.
We award 5 stars.
22) “To bell the cat.” ★★★★★
The third book in the Hell Holes series, To Hell And Back, reminds me of the flow of the first book and the action of the second book.
I feel the content of the book was fair and balanced, from the perspective of Aileen O’Shannon. Introduced in the first book, she has been with the protagonists of the first and second books in her attempt to ensure everyone’s survival of the events introduced and continued throughout the trilogy of books.
A large portion of the book sizes up the action to come, exchanging the emotions and politics along with the thoughts of all involved. Once the action starts, it hits hard and fast but doesn’t feel overdone in the least.
I greatly enjoyed the flow of this book in particular. I don’t feel like the previous two books had anything wrong with them, I myself am just not entirely a fan of only action in a novel. The psychological aspect of the characters is what I enjoy the most, a narrative that is led not just with physical aspects but also by the mental and emotional attachments between characters.
I feel like this book would be capable of standing well on its own, but still would recommend reading the first and second prior to this third installment to know the full story and plot of what’s going on. Thank you for the opportunity to experience this one.
21) Another Great Installment! ★★★★★
By Michelle Lowe on 21 September 2021 (Amazon US Review)
Hell Holes 3 is another rad adventure from the mind of Donald Firesmith. Right after I had listened to the second book on Audible, I jumped to the third story and wasn’t disappointed!
20) Aliens… Hordes of Demons… ★★★★★
There are these huge holes appearing out of nowhere, holes that lead straight to h311 itself. These holes are portals to h311, demons are pouring out of the holes by the thousands, attacking anyone and everyone who just happens to be standing in their way. These demons want to take over the world and everyone in it. Armies of men have been fighting the demons giving them everything they’ve got without coming close to stopping them.
Aileen O’Shannon has been hunting and fighting demons for centuries. She is a demon hunter and a sorceress. Dr. Jack Oswald is asked to join Aileen’s team when he comes up with a plan to destroy the demons. Their plan involves crossing over to the demons’ homeworld. Will Jack’s plan work? Will they be able to save the world and the people from the demons?
To Hell and Back is action-packed from beginning to end. The demons never stop coming which adds up to more and more fighting, keeping the adrenaline flowing non-stop. The action ramps up even more when their plan is implemented. I loved all the fighting scenes, but the ones close to the end just did it for me. “To Hell and Back” exploded with action and excitement once the big guns so to speak were brought on the scene.
When I was reading To Hell and Back, I could see each and every scene in my head as if I was watching a movie. I could just see the hordes of demons as they came running through the portal with the speed of light, dust flying, people running about trying not to get run over while trying to stand their ground and fight all at the same time, it would be chaos.
I have read the first two books, What Lurks Below book one and Demons on the Dalton book two in the Hell Holes series and loved both books tremendously. I just had to read the third book To Hell and Back for more from this wondrous world of demons. Now I can’t wait to dive into the fourth book, A Slave’s Revenge.
If you have read the first two books in the Hell Holes series, then I highly recommend that you read To Hell and Back and if not, what are you waiting for grab a copy of all three books as well as the fourth for your next great horror read today! Trust me you won’t regret it.
19) Aileen is back!!! ★★★★★
Firesmith pens a magnificent story in Holes 3: To Hell and Back. I’ve read the first two stories in this series, and I really liked them. I recommend, as I always do, read the entire series, and in order. It just makes you enjoy each one, the better. [Audiobook review: Then, after the grand reads, listen to each one. It’s just something that the words being spoken, the story being told, brings a new dimension to the story.] If you’ve read the other stories, you know Aileen O’Shannon, and she is back for another demon hunting journey. The demons are emerging from the holes in the Arctic, and it’s nothing but more and more holes emerging. It’s another action-packed, demon fighting, wondrous story. The story brings in the believable, even if almost impossible. This book deserves a second read! (and maybe more). This story was intriguing and kept the reader guessing. The author’s technique of raw, magnetic characters and great plotlines is a gift. It’s a great story to follow and try to figure out what will happen next. Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back [on audiobook] is a definite [listening] recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. I look forward to reading [listening to] many more stories by this author.
18) Kristine’s Review ★★★★★
Book 3 is packed with details; takes a bit more time to read because the setting is so precise that I could envision every room. At first I wasn’t thrilled with having Aileen’s POV for a whole book, but it grew on me. Every event in this book makes sense; very little suspension of disbelief. I love sci-fi/fantasy, so I don’t mind having to fill in some blanks. But having non-stop action where the characters don’t sleep or eat is exhausting. I literally could see the scenes in my head; never had any discontinuity. The last time I enjoyed an alien invasion story this much was Harry Turtledoves’ Worldwar series. Describing the plot line would deprive the reader of some really cool moments… so I’m not doing it! I really wonder if the author enjoys RPG gaming; backstories for most of the characters & pictures is a hallmark of a great campaign. I received an advance review copy from the author; I’m happy to volunteer a 5-star review!
17) Yet another brilliant installment to this series ★★★★★
Oh wow. As always, Donald has yet again brought this series to life with a brilliantly written story of what happened next in this series. It’s fast moving and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through from start to finish. Sadly we lost some friends along the way, but we also get to meet some great new friends who I hope to learn more about in future books. I’m looking forward to the next book to see what happens next.
16) Volunteering to Go to Hell ★★★★★
Volume III of the Hell Holes series continues the attack on Earth by creatures who have appeared in humans’ religious writings and myths for centuries. In this modern age, humanity has become openly skeptical of religion in general and is totally unprepared for the sudden appearance of actual devils and their minions when they invade in massive numbers.
This book is written from the perspective of Curatrix Maxima Eileen O’Shannon. Self-sacrificing and brave, she continues her service to protect mankind from the demons despite her advanced age. In less skillful hands, the character of a magical female badass could have been two-dimensional, but this author has made her both believable and likable.
Jack Oswald, the petroleum geologist who narrated the prequel, has reluctantly stepped into heroism, a role well beyond his intellectual comfort zone. He’s smart, but he’s lucky to have stayed in reasonable shape, enabling him to step up despite unfamiliarity with combat. He and his wife are innately good people, but he’s well aware that being decent won’t help them survive against denizens of Hell. Fortunately, teamwork is part of the couple’s regular routine.
Jack’s wife, climatologist Angela Menendez, is handling the present situation better than she would have expected, with her usual activities spent in the classroom or in the field, doing research. She went to the gun range and became a good shot for her own satisfaction, never anticipating that she’d be using those skills while fleeing demonic creatures and forest fires. She narrated book two of the series but has to do something harder this time: stay behind.
The sustained tension could have made To Hell and Back an unenjoyable read. There’s not much to laugh about to lighten the mood, but the author has done a stellar job of tempering the impact of page upon page of grim death with a light touch, revealing the flawed but ennobling characteristics that make us human. Despite the number of new characters, the gut-clenching uncertainty of the outcome of humanity’s battle kept me turning the pages because the author made me care about what happened to the individuals.
I was honored with a free advance reader’s copy of this book, courtesy of the author and publisher via BookSirens. Today I learned that book four should be released by the end of the summer, and I can’t wait!
15) Best series about hell since Doom ★★★★★
By Jon on 16 March 2021 (Amazon US Review)
Read all three books in the series and thoroughly enjoyed them. This series is definitely worth a look.
14) When the only choice is to go to hell… ★★★★★
By Margaret Bentley on December 26, 2020 (Amazon US Review)
To Hell and Back (Hell Holes Book 3) by Donald Firesmith is the continuation of the exciting original series about the sudden appearance of hundreds of huge holes in Alaska and other northern counties. Pouring out of the holes, Demons of many types have launched an invasion to methodically wipe out humanity and take over the world. The book details plans, training and execution to stop the vicious attack and destroy the portal complex connecting the planet Hell to our world.
Members of the attack force consist of military, a few scientists and members of The Order, a secret organization which historically has hunted and killed demons who have come to earth. While the Order has destroyed hundreds of Demons over centuries, they have never faced the hundreds of thousands who are now invading. In order to stop the invasion, it is determined that the only way is to destroy the portal complex and destroy enough Demons to cause the collapse of their planet. To do this, the attack force must go to planet Hell themselves.
A very exciting and suspenseful adventure!
13) Excellent finale (?) to cap the series with ★★★★★
By Clinton Sites on November 28, 2020 (Amazon US Review)
This novel ties up a lot of the questions that were brought up in the previous two books.
I personally cannot attest to the veracity of the battle conditions the author describes – but the additional section the author provides describing the people and other entities with some research notes added a depth to the novel not often run into.
It started slow to my eyes (at least comparing to the previous novels end) but picks up velocity pretty quickly. Once into the narrative the pace picks up steam and starts running full-out!
12) The best one in the series ★★★★★
** spoiler alert ** I enjoyed this book a lot. It was a fascinating read. The scenes taking place in Hell are probably the best scenes in the book, and then the action that immediately happens after they leave is well written as well. And the perspective from the Curatrix Maxima Aileen O’Shannon is the best in the series. Just a fun book, and I recommend reading the first books in the series and Hawthorne House as well, as he is a good writer when it comes to science fiction and fantasy.
11) A 5 star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 series! ★★★★★
By Margaret on November 21, 2020 (Goodreads Review)
Wow! The adventure continues. Be still my heart!
Once again Donald Firesmith unleashes his all engulfing, heart pounding, action packed paranormal thriller.
This fast, exciting, suspenseful, and clever, imagination grabber, peppered with a little unneeded profanity had me glued to my seat until I turned the last page, read the last paragraph, and closed the book. Oh, I was a little sad. I guess I still wanted more!
Find a copy and find out for yourself. Wow!!
I received a free ARC of this book from BookSirens and this is my voluntary honest review.
10) Very entertaining ★★★★★
I really enjoyed this book and series. I’ve read the first 2 a couple of years ago and really enjoyed them. I was very happy to get the chance to read the 3rd in this series. It has a lot of interesting characters. Fantastic plot and is well told. Constant action that keeps you waiting to see what happens next. It has no graphic sexual content but does of course have a great deal of violence, fighting the invading demons. I recommend it for teens and up. I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
9) Mark Nutter’s Review ★★★★★
Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back concludes Donald Firesmith’s epic fantasy adventure trilogy. The story centers on the final battle between U.S. armed forces and the host of horrible entities emerging from below to feast on mankind. Aiding the military is an ancient order of demon fighters armed with amulets and spells. We experience the battle through the eyes of Aileen, a 1700-year-old curatrix of the mystical order who maintains her youth with a daily glamour spell. The attention to detail is extensive, in descriptions of everything from nuclear warheads to demon autopsies to Hell itself. The book even includes an extensive appendix with bios and photos of the major players. Hell Holes 3 is immersive and thoroughly engaging.
8) Great book ★★★★★
By Terri on November 5, 2020 (Amazon US Review)
I was given this book to review. What can I say? I loved it! It is the third book in the series, and I enjoyed it as much as the first two books.
7) Satisfying end to the trilogy ★★★★★
By Jerry L. Shannon on November 1, 2020 (Amazon US Review)
To Hell and Back is the 3rd book in the Hell Holes series. Since I’m giving this a 5-star review, and it’s the 3rd book of the series, I’d say that if you haven’t read the first two . . . yeah, you need to buy them and get busy reading. With that said, it’s been a long time (at least in my mind) since the 2nd book (“Demons on the Dalton”) was written, so I had been anxiously waiting on this book for a long time. In the meantime, I checked out another of the author’s novels – “Secrets of Hawthorne House”. Another great read, but I digress. “To Hell and Back” was a very satisfying ending to the Hell Hole series. With the 3rd installment, we’re familiar with the main characters and what’s at stake. It’s not until the 2nd half of the novel where that the action picks up, but the 1st half was very interesting with all the training exercises involving the main characters and the strategy for taking the war to Hell itself, literally. Although the idea itself is not exactly original, I really liked this author’s treatment of devils/demons, imps, gargoyles, trolls and all sorts of other hellish monsters from lore of old being explained as off-world aliens rather than of religious origin. Aliens or otherwise, the author does a good job at portraying their evil natures and intentions. One unique thing the author did that intrigued me was in providing a photo gallery of the characters along with short biographies at the end of the book. These weren’t computer models or drawings, but real photographs of the characters. I don’t know if the actual people in the photographs were friends or fans of the author’s who contributed their likeness to his work, but it was definitely something unique and out of the ordinary for a work of fiction. As I mentioned, this is the 3rd and final installment of the Hell Holes series, but it did leave it open-ended enough that additional post-war conflicts could be explored in the universe created by the author. I don’t know if it’s going to happen or how long it would take before we see another novel, but I’ll be the first in line for it.
6) Another great book. ★★★★★
I enjoyed the first two books and hoped he would write another. He didn’t disappoint me. Both in writing another book and one I enjoyed reading. Now I want another book in the series, wrote and told him so. And again he is not disappointing me. He said there is more to come. Just like the Harry Potter series I loved, I will have to learn to wait patiently as the magic flows from his keyboard.
5) A Trip To Hell ★★★★★
Super exciting thriller that will take your breath away! The heroes of the story literally travel to Hell and fight evil on its own turf. Book 3 in the series is filled with intrigue and suspense. Don’t miss out on To Hell and Back.
4) My wish fulfilled! A great, suspenseful ending!!! ★★★★★
I’ve been waiting patiently (yeah, I know, writers have to write first!) for the 3rd book, AND IT’S FINALLY HERE! I loved the first two so much because of the action, imagination, suspense, and twists. While I thought they were good, THIS ONE runs right over them! What a fabulous book. I couldn’t put it down and read it in 2 days! My wife wasn’t happy because I put off stuff around the house, but a man has gotta be a man sometimes. Just don’t tell her I said that.
3) Super Imaginative Book in an incredible series! ★★★★★
By Amazon Customer on October 31, 2020 (Amazon US Review)
I really enjoyed reading this third book in the series. What a pleasure. Don Firesmith brings every character to life, and his ability to describe the environment is superb. His prose brings everything to life in the reader’s mind. The book arrived two days ago, and my daughter grabbed it from me and read it first because she had read the others in the series and wanted to know the rest of the story. She burned through it in a day. I recommend this book and this author to anyone with an imagination. Well done, Don! Super job!
2) Absolutely loved this book ★★★★★
By Crystal Fenerty on October 30, 2020 (Goodreads Review)
Absolutely loved this book. Well worth the wait in my mind. I truly like how each book in this series is written from a different person’s point of view, yet are a consistent story throughout. To avoid any spoilers I will just say that I look forward to further books on some of the newer characters. To gain insight into the story from before the three books written. Happy reading to you all. Definitely recommend this book to others.
1) Great Characters ★★★★★
By Melanie Adkins (Kissablysweet1) on October 23, 2020 (Goodreads Review)
Aileen O’Shannon, Jack and Angela made it to the military base. They figured they were home free now. Then they learn just how bad things are. When the President decides to send troops into one of the hell holes, Aileen and her secret order volunteer to be part of the mission. The group will train with some of the men to learn a new way of fighting.
WoW! This book is well written and has some of the most colorful characters you’ve ever met. Mr. Firesmith is a master at weaving a story around you. The book will pull you right into the action. I’m in love with this series. We need more, Mr. Firesmith. I’m well and truly hooked on this book. I’d love to see this book as a TV series. Maybe even blockbuster movies. If you haven’t read this series, you’re missing out.
I found no issues.
4 Star Reviews
4) Renee’s Review ★★★★☆
By Renee on March 11, 2021 (Goodreads Review)
While it was still great, and I enjoyed things when they got going, it got off to a very slow start and didn’t really get going until about halfway through the book. The characters are the same as always, fun and interesting to watch, but something felt off and tired until it started ramping up. Don’t get my wrong, this was still fantastic, and the actual research behind the series is always welcome, but there’s something here that felt missing to me. One that I’m going to have to keep an eye on still if the series continues, though I wouldn’t be disappointed with the ending if this is where things finish off, most of the major plotlines were closed off perfectly!
3) Amazing!! ★★★★☆
By Linda Vieira on Nov 20, 2021 (Amazon Canada Review)
Rec’d complimentary copy via Voracious Readers Only from the author!
Had me from the start!
Grab yourself a copy and enjoy 🙂
2) Secret Society of Watchers ★★★★☆
By Robski on Nov 20, 2020 (Amazon Australia Review)
Great read though my interest waned a little as the writing bogged down in the final chapter. It needs to be trimmed of the tedium of the honour roll, but otherwise a great book to share with others. It tells the story of a society of watchers with advanced abilities that have secretly held back the onslaught of hell’s myriads of evil beings. Only now that they are coming in vastly greater numbers, the hidden join with world government’s to fight the common enemy.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
1) Amazing!! ★★★★☆
By Linda Vieira on November 20, 2020 (Amazon Canada Review)
3 Star Reviews
3) It’s not a bad book ★★★☆☆
he war against hellhounds, imps, gargoyles, and demons is heating up. Can Dr. Jack help save the earth from another world?
For me, I found this third book kind of a let down compared to the two before this one. Because it started to sound like just another Earth being attacked by aliens. Predictable, in other words.
Still not a bad book, but not the greatest either. Would I read it again? Yes, I would!
I received an advanced review copy free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
2) Not bad for trilogy with demons ★★★☆☆
I am really usually much more of a sci-fi reader, but these 3 books were pretty good. I read Hell Holes 1 , 2, and 3 for this review. I did like the authors style of building his story. I would say that after the first and second I HAD to read the third to see where it was going. The second left me with questions that were answered well in the third. Lots of demons, gargoyles, imps… to have altercations with. It had a good well rounded feel to the trilogy. When you are fighting evil in their house it is a bit different than on your ground. So I liked that difference. I was happy at the end that I WAS ABLE TO PUT ALL MY DEMONS TO REST. But who knows, there may be more lurking out there.
Hell Holes 3 was by far the best from this series. Now that the team as ordered a team of military, scientists and that secret society that we all know somewhere exists of demon hunters, made me think of the “Buffy” and “Angel” series. only this was on a larger scale of demons of all types. The team finds they must destroy the portal to save humanity and the planet. Kinda makes me think what happens the next time we drill to much in Alaska and open another portal….
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
1) Meh! ★★★☆☆
By Stable Village Idiot on 16 November 2020 (Amazon US Review)
The first two books in this trilogy were actually but this book seemed to be a throw-away. I don’t know if it is because this came after he wrote a screenplay for the first book or if he just lost interest but To Hell and Back is just plain boring.
The book can be broken into 3 section. The first section was the preparation to attack the demon homeworld. Why give me a detailed breakdown of their visit to a base exchange and let me know the individual item they bought. Sorry, but shopping in person bores me let alone reading about someone shopping. The third section is about the aftermath and all the awards and accolades the survivors get. Blah! Blah! Blah! The attack on the demon homeworld was interesting but not enough to save this book. I purchased this book, read it, and immediately deleted it. In all honesty, I would only recommend this book if you just have to see what happens at the end of the trilogy.
2 Star Reviews
1 Star Reviews