Hell Holes 4 – Reviews

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Summary

Stars Reviews Percent
5 Star Reviews 25 83%
4 Star Reviews 5 17%
3 Star Reviews 0 0%
2 Star Reviews 0 0%
1 Star Reviews 0 0%
4.8 Stars 30 Reviews 100%

Because Amazon occasionally deletes reviews without explanation, some Amazon reviews below might have links that no longer work. Because they don’t tell me which reviews they delete, I don’t know which reviews were deleted.

5 Star Reviews

25) Awsome Sci-Fi/Horror Blend! ★★★★★

By Thrifty LoCo (Emily) on 16 May 2022 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

I was a little hesitant to come into this series with book 4 but figured it would be fine since it was billed as a prequel. I’m so glad I did! I read a fair amount of both sci-fi and horror books, but this one was a fabulous and unique combination of the two genres!

Paul, the main character, was very interesting. He’s trying to survive as a slave on a planet called Hell and is doing the best he can. He goes through a lot, and I liked seeing everything that happened to him and how he responded to the challenges. While reading, I learned a lot about Paul and felt like I understood his actions and motivations.

The plot is full of action and some gory/violent scenes, which are necessary in a book about being a slave in Hell. I mean, it’s not like you’d expect fun picnic scenes, would you? I felt like I could visualize the place and aliens that inhabit it. There was never a dull moment, and I had trouble putting the book down before seeing what happened next.

To my surprise, there was also a bit of humor, mainly through some of the dialog. This helped lighten up a fairly dark story.

Now I need to go back to book 1 and read more of the story!

24) Revenge! A Long Time Coming for So Many! ★★★★★

By Margaret Bentley on 1 February 2022 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge (Book 4) by Donald Firesmith is a stunning epic of the life of an Alaskan held as a slave captive on a planet called Hell by a variety of ruthless Demons, Devils, etc. Slaves from all planets attacked and those conquered. Slaves are either made productive in some way or are food for the consumption of the owners and their pets. Everything written about in this book is liberally described and explained. Pronunciation of nonhuman names is given immediately upon their introduction. The most surprising thing is the illustration of each alien described. This is an overall fantastic book!

23) Awesome imagination! ★★★★★

By Stan Schup on 19 December 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

My wife loaned me her copy of this book saying she thought I would enjoy it. Understatement. This author, whom I have never read before, laid out a fantastic adventure that proved his imagination is up there with the greats of science fiction. I loved the entire story, the characters, the descriptions, the world-building, the action, the resolution, and the limitless potential for more stories in this universe. If you like sci-fi/fantasy this will be a great choice for you.

22) Bookshelves & Teacups Review ★★★★★

By Bookshelves & Teacups on 3 December 2021 (Goodreads Review and Bookshelves & Teacups Review)

Cover: It reminds me of those high fantasy covers of Edizioni Nord. Very fitting.

I used to devour fantasy and sci-fi novels when I was young. My drug of choice, if you will, that kept me going through the nineties—age-appropriate books has never been my strongest suit, yes. Anyway, I stopped reading them in the following decade, after realizing that I was filling my shelves with the same story. Different titles, different names and different locations, same plot.

The thing is, it takes a lot of talent to write a sci-fi novel with something new to say. A fresh take. A Slave’s Revenge, the fourth installment of the Hell Holes series, does have that fresh take, and it comes under the form of demonic aliens. They hail from Hell, which is a physical place, and kidnap people in order to enslave them. Our MC, Paul, gets captured when he’s a teenager, and works his way to the top, sort of, before he manages to get his revenge. Saving the world while he’s at it may or may not be a plus.

First thing first, A Slave’s Revenge works fine as a standalone, which is an immense relief. I’m aware of the point of writing a series, but I’m also aware that finding 1) all the books and 2) in the correct order might be tricky sometimes, even more so for people who rely on libraries.

…I mean, I’m still hearing Kill Bill sirens whenever I look at the Belgariad series.

The first-person POV is done well, even if it feels a little impersonal sometimes. It’s a feature I enjoy a lot because first POVs tend to smother readers with feelings and I’d rather not, thanks, but from an objective standpoint, it’s an unusual choice. Great pacing overall too, neither too slow nor too fast.

The cast of characters is rather big, and it’s handled in a smooth, competent way. Everyone reads realistic yet book-appropriate—depending on the genre, I expect different levels of realism—and the same goes with dialogues. A special mention goes to the world-building: Firesmith avoids the trap of infodumping, doling out details and descriptions when they become relevant to the story. Well done!

Drawings of the demons/aliens and a glossary at the end complete the package, giving it a refined feel.

Criticisms? Three, albeit they’re minor and on the technical side: a few typos the proofreader missed, the overuse of first name/last name after a human character has been introduced, and a plot-related detail I could not figure out. Still, A Slave’s Revenge proves to be an engrossing novel, and I’m glad I’ve been able to read it.

Speaking of, if Firesmith wants to send me the other books, by all means…

21) Best in the series ★★★★★

By Jerry L. Shannon on 28 November 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

To be honest, I really didn’t expect much from this novel, even though I had purchased and thoroughly enjoyed all three of the previous “Hell Holes” novels. I just purchased this prequel novel mostly because it was part of the series and also because I wanted to support the author’s work given that I really enjoyed his previous novels. I usually don’t like prequels, but this was an incredible book. Even though the main character ties directly to the last novel in the Hell Holes series, it truly was more of a novel that stood on its own, building a fascinating world and culture for the planet known to us as “Hell.” Good character development and the story is paced well, bringing us to the point where the last novel ended, and then satisfyingly taking the story a bit further. Well done, Mr. Firesmith.

20) Humans trying to survive a life in ‘Hell’ ★★★★★

By Katrina (Katsum) on 17 November 2021 (Amazon UK Review and Goodreads Review)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Voracious Readers. Not the normal genre I would read, but I was drawn into the story right from the beginning. I especially loved the description of the different types of gods, demons, and the world ‘Hell’ they were on. I actually pictured myself as a human alive there …..scary feelings!! I would definitely read more books by this author. An amazing read from beginning to the end!

19) Gripping story ★★★★★

By Donald Liddell on 6 October 2021 (Amazon Canada Review)

I received this [as] a complimentary copy for review from the author via Voracious Readers Only.

The characters are well developed, and the environment [that] the story is set in well described. The story is rapid with great plot twists, and an easy reading style. The story gripped me from the start, and I could not put it down. It is certainly a different take on Hell. It is a very good read.

18) Wow ★★★★★

By Tanya Wheeler on 24 September 2021 (Amazon UK Review and Goodeads Review)

He was taken with his mother and sister as slaves in hell. He intends to get his revenge and get his freedom back for them and him. How can he do it? Will he be able to do it? Will they finally get away? See if he can do it.

17) Jade O’Hara’s review ★★★★★

By Jade O’Hara’s on 19 September 2021 (Goodeads Review)

A great addition to the Hell Holes series! A Slave’s Revenge is an adventure – in fact, the whole series is. I fell in love with the first of the series and read all the others in one breath. This book answered so many questions I had; it is a prequel to the series. It was exciting and I’m glad the author did it. An absolute must-read for the fans of Hell Holes and all the readers who enjoy quality, compelling books.

16) A great read ★★★★★

By Dani Bashline on 3 September 2021 (Amazon US Review)

I couldn’t put this one down. Donald weaves a very compelling prequel to the first 3 books, and I recommend you read those too! Although this is not a favorite genre of mine, the writing enabled me to thoroughly enjoy all of the books in this series.

15) BooksShelf.com’s Review ★★★★★

By BooksShelf on 2 September 2021 (Goodreads Review and BooksShelf Review)

BooksShelf: A great addition to the Hell Holes series! A Slave’s Revenge is an adventure – in fact, the whole series is. I fell in love with the first of the series and read all the others in one breath. This book answered so many questions I had, it is a prequel to the series. It was exciting, and I’m glad the author did it. An absolute must-read for the fans of Hell Holes and all the readers who enjoy quality, compelling books.

Goodreads: Hell Holes 4: A Slave’s Revenge is a unique and extremely thrilling book. I haven’t read the series and this is the first book I’m reading from this author. It turned out this is the prequel so in a way I started where I should. The plot is fascinating! I will read the whole series for sure.

14) Linda Abbott’s Review ★★★★★

By Linda Abbott on 21 August 2021 (Goodreads Review)

Normally I don’t like Prequels, but this book is an exception!

I did read Hell Holes books 1-3, that is why I chose to read this book.

The main character Paul Chapman, his twin sister and his parents, are attacked and kidnapped by Devil’s. To be taken to their planet to be slaves, either for labor or food.

To survive Hell, you do what you are told to do, when to do something, or you become food. Only the most strongest, most loyal slaves survive for very long.

I love this book because not only do you get to learn what happened leading up to book 1, but can read as a stand-alone book. It is a story in and of itself.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

13) Demons and Aliens…Epic… ★★★★★

By Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader) on 12 August 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

A Slave’s Revenge is about life on a planet called H3!! as a slave. 15-year-old Paul Chapman, his mother, and his twin sister are transported to H3!! by demonic aliens, after they kill his father. Paul and his sister are separated from their mother upon their arrival on the planet H3!!.

There are only a few rules that slaves on planet H3!! must follow. They are simple and to the point, but the punishment for disobeying will become fatal quickly. The only way to survive on H3!! is to be the best slave ever or become food for their demon masters.

The descriptions are so very graphic making it very easy to see it playing out in my head as if I was watching a movie. A Slave’s Revenge was so superbly written I could see and hear everything as if I was right there with Paul, his sister, and the rest of their crew as they went about their daily chores trying to follow all the rules and just trying to stay alive in all that misery and filth.

There were so many times where my heart just broke for Paul. I was like how can one person endure so much pain. A Slave’s Revenge has so many different feelings it is like riding the waves. One minute the feelings were up, and then the next they were down. Paul had quite a few sad times, but he did have some happy times too.

I fell in love with this series, Hell Holes from the very beginning with the first book What Lurks Below as the demons came pouring out of that hole in the ground. This is one amazing series. One that I can’t seem to get enough of.

I would like to recommend A Slave’s Revenge to all horror-filled, gory, blood-curling, and sci-fi fans. Grab your copy today for an epic. horror-filled adventure! I would also like to recommend that you start with the first book What Lurks Below. It is my opinion that the books be read in order so you can get the full experience and not miss out on a thing.

12) Superb Read ★★★★★

By Amy Shannon (Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews) on 21 July 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

Firesmith pens a magnificent prequel to his Hell Holes Series. I read the books that came before this one in the series, and now, the prequel is here. The alien demons are taking who they want, and making them slaves. Hell is not what we perceive as Hell; it’s a planet all of its own. We learn about Paul and his family, and the hellish journey he must face not to just survive, but get out from under this devilish predicament. What I like about the story, besides the characters, the ultimate evil alien devils, is there are underlying plots, that are more than just part of the story, they are the story. Humanity, survival, and dealing with loss, in the most impossible way. This author has a great imagination, and I’m glad it’s being shared with stories. It is a very well-written story, and I enjoyed it. It is always a joy to read this author’s stories. A definite attention-grabber, so much I couldn’t put it down. It’s literally out of this world! Action-packed, and it takes the reader on a superb journey. This read is more than just words on a page. Hell Holes 4: A Slave’s Revenge is a definite recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. I look forward to reading many more stories by this author.

11) Pavel’s Review ★★★★★

By Pavel H. on 21 July 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

The perfect blend of action and mystery. The magic that dominated the previous 3 volumes of Hell Holes was gradually replaced by psychological probes of the characters’ decisions in Hell. This is the best book in the brilliant series. The story completely pulled me in, and once I started reading this book, it was very difficult to take breaks. Keep it in mind.

10) Exciting! ★★★★★

By Jame J. on 21 July 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

Donald Firesmith has done it again. Hell Holes #4 is a purely enjoyable read, as are the others in the series. I am not a big science fiction reader, but his coherent and lively style makes this series real page-turners. Would recommend to readers of any genre. You wouldn’t be able to put them down.

9) Hell’s Fury ★★★★★

By Ann Keeran on 22 and 19 July 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

Amazon: Suppose Hell is a place on earth. Suppose that you and your mother and sister are sent there. What would you do to survive?

Goodreads: Going to Hell is extremely bad when you’re dead, but suppose you’re still alive! If you had a choice you could pick slave labor, being a gladiator or the absolute best – food for the devils and otherworldly creatures. But of course, there is no choice, you do what you’re told. Donald Firesmith has written a superb account of life in Hell. Destined to be a classic.

8) Best Book Yet! ★★★★★

By Crystal Fenerty on 18 July (1 August) 2021 (Amazon CA Review and Goodreads Review)

Absolutely the best book yet in the series.
This book follows Paul, the slave rescued in the previous book, and tells of his life as a slave to the demons on their world. The book is well-paced and kept me intrigued through to the end. Also answers a lot of questions about the demons I had from previous books in this series.
Definitely recommend everyone read this book.

7) Brilliant book that really stands out! ★★★★★

By B. Sinsational on 17 July (updated 1 August) 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

I read this book first as a beta reader; when that was done I knew that it would be edited and completed.
To my surprise it STILL held an unworldly allure and magnetic pull; I was so intrigued and wanted to read it in its finished state.
So by my own request, I got a chance to get the finished book, grabbing it with the joyous heart of a reading addict, I happily chose to re-read it, not because I had to, but because it felt like I needed more. I couldn’t let go, even on the second round, I found it was still unputdownable, and beyond very intriguing.
Originally in part I felt I wanted to see if it would have the same impact and evoke the same kind of feelings from a reader’s point of view.
THAT, I can answer by a definite YES!
By all accounts and in all honesty: The appeal and allure had not faded, I still felt that pull. A deep-rooted wish to head plunge into this amazing story when it was in its full glory.

I should admit I extremely seldom re-read any book, because I have a good memory, and usually I feel like I’m “done” with a book once I’ve read it.
So this is a MAJOR exception.
That is a testament if anything to that the book is brilliant.

Regardless if you read it for leisure, or to scrutinize it, the outcome is the same.

In this book, you find well-developed characters with depth, and flaws, shortcomings and strong suits.
A vividly skillful built “world”, full of life forms of all sorts.
A hero that is also an anti-hero (very intriguing).
A storyline that even after reading it twice still felt mind-boggling and stunning.
And that’s just the obvious.
Then there are utterly brilliant dialogues, cheeky humor, emotion-invoking events, and heart-pinching happenings that stuck in my mind.

I’m totally blown away in a way I haven’t been since I read the first Outlander book.
And that says a ton!

In short, I would sum this book up best if I’d say: IF you want a mind-blowing, wild, unforgettable read, one that you will never forget.. then this book is for you!

* An Admission (from a person who usually never reads a book twice): I am going to read this book a third time, I feel like I’m not all done with it, like the story still holds appeal and beckons me, and I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame. It’s unprecedented that I would feel the want or need to read a book three times! So charting new territory I have to ask… what’s the English word for beyond brilliant??

6) Ann’s Review ★★★★★

By Ann Daniel on 12 July 2021 (Amazon UK Review and Goodreads Review)

I was very honored and thrilled to be asked by Donald to proofread this new chapter in the brilliant Hell Holes series. This is the 4th book in the series, but it’s actually a prequel of the story of Paul’s life as a slave in Hell. What can I say? As with all of Donald’s books, this is brilliantly written. In fact, I’d go as far as saying this is the best book in the series!! Although I do love all the books in this series as they are brilliantly written. And the story, it an amazing adventure from start to finish. This book actually follows Paul’s story from the moment he is kidnapped along with his mother and sister when he was 15 as they are taken to Hell to start their new lives as slaves, to the moment he becomes free and escapes. This is a very hard-hitting, emotional book that did have me in floods of tears many times while reading. The way it is written, you can really feel and witness the emotional roller coaster journey Paul goes through, and it’s heartbreaking at times. You can truly feel what he’s going through, and you can’t help but sympathize with Paul as you go with him on this awful journey. During his time in Hell, he must go through many awful situations just to survive what most people could never dream of surviving. While most people would give up and die due to the life they must now live, Paul fights to survive right to the very end. I highly recommend you read this series; you won’t regret it

5) Raymond’s Review ★★★★★

By Raymond Quick on 12 July 2021 (Goodreads Review)

This is one of my favorite authors, and this book shows why. His father killed, mother, sister, and he are captured and taken to a planet called Hell and for a good reason. This is a story about a 15-year-old boy. His anguish at his personal losses and how he manages to survive and rise to the top as a slave. It is well written and somethings didn’t get done because I was reading the book and not cleaning my room. I am 77, and I still get sent to my room. Anyways, get the book and enjoy.

4) A fantastic addition to the series!!! GET IT!!! ★★★★★

By George Graham on 30 June 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

Are you a fan of Donald Firesmith’s Hell Holes series? Were you interested in where exactly Paul and the alien came from and what they endured there? I was! I remember reading the last book of the series thinking “Boy! Now there’s a story to tell!” Guess what? HERE IT IS! I had the privilege of being a Beta Reader for his latest book Hell Holes 4: A Slave’s Revenge! Donald thoroughly explores the planet Hell, the aliens who run it, and the variety of alien and human slaves that live there. I don’t know where he gets his imagination from, but I would like some of it! You’ll get to find out how Paul gets there and how he survives. The book brings you back to the end of the third book! If you haven’t read the other three books, READ THEM! However, you can read just this one if you so choose. That being said, I still recommend that you read them in order so that, when you’re done with the third one, you can satisfy your curiosity like I did!

3) Riveting ★★★★★

By Brandon Cooper on 29 June 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

Disclaimer: I read this as a beta read for the author.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. It was a fun read, and he made Hell seem like such a real place, that it is worse than what you’ve been taught in church on Sundays. Plus, he made you feel all kinds of emotions for Paul, from happiness to anger to sadness, that he was almost real.

2) Margaret’s Review ★★★★★

By Margaret Osburn on 29 June 2021 (Goodreads Review)

Oh my, This is one fantastic read. Mr. Firesmith writes beautifully, but he uses unnecessary (cuss) words throughout this amazing 5🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 book! I put those aside and read around them. I did not allow them to stop me reading this brilliantly written story! Wow! Mind-blowing! This fast-paced, imaginative story sucked me in. Between the beautiful book cover to the amazing prologue, I was glued to my seat and I had to read the whole book. Wow! I could not put it down. Suspense built up from the beginning. Wow! Mr. Firesmith’s clever imaginative details and descriptions hit me like a ton of bricks. Wow! You feel all the pain, agony, and despair of the main character. You feel his every emotion and understand his reactions.
If you love science fiction you will love this book. You will experience his journey and feel as if you were by his side through the entire journey.
Fantastic read! Heart-pounding moments! Horrific moments! Scary moments! Sad moments! Some happy moments! Moments you don’t want to miss. Pick up a copy as soon as possible and become part of the journey of A Slave’s Revenge. Enjoy!

1) Epic Adventure ★★★★★

By Kim Schup on 28 June 2021 (Amazon US Review and Goodreads Review)

Every once in a long while a book comes along that unceremoniously rips you from your everyday life and catapults you into a thrilling adventure you’ll never forget. This is that book. Paul Chapman, an unassuming 15-year-old boy living with his family in Alaska, is suddenly taken along with his mother and sister to another planet, Hell, where humans are not, by any means, the top of the food chain. Forced into a life of slavery, Paul must learn to endure hardship, brutality, and never-ending hunger knowing that to rebel or break any rules would result in his immediate pitiless punishment or cruel death at the hands of any number of vicious, blood-thirsty demons, devils, hellhounds, or possibly even another human. Over the years, as Paul barely manages to survive, he learns to navigate the treacherous perils of Hell and he is transformed from a carefree teen to a humble field slave, and ultimately a hardened gladiator, valued champion, and the first human member of the personal guard of Åṣh Ķåh-ṭõķ, a high-ranking devil with diabolical plans for the inhabitants of Earth. During his time on Hell, Paul encounters many species from other worlds who, like the humans on Hell, have been enslaved and forced into lives of fear and misery (I think even George Lucas would be impressed with the variety of aliens on Hell). Paul wants nothing more than the opportunity to get revenge for the fate of his family and all others who have fallen under the malevolent rule of the devils. Will that opportunity ever present itself? If so, how, and at what cost? If you enjoy the epic sagas of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the keen and often whimsical imagination of J. R. R. Tolkien, or the dark and sinister characters of Frank Herbert, this book will be a relished indulgence. I highly recommend it to all enthusiasts of speculative fiction and to anyone who enjoys a whopping good story.

I was provided with an advance copy of this book but my review is completely voluntary, honest, and unbiased.

4 Star Reviews

5) Great Prequel★★★★☆

By Psigirl6 on 3 May 2021 (Amazon US Review)

Received an arc from Netgalley. This is a great prequel to a pretty cool series. Definitely recommend it.

4) Ashley’s Book Obsession (Ashley Mertz) Review ★★★★☆

By Ashley Mertz on 25 April 2022 (Amazon US Review, Goodreads Review, and Bookbub Review)

I received an advanced reader copy (arc) of this book via The Review Crew in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of this book are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

“I was having a nightmare! The worst nightmare of my life. I was asleep. I had to be.” Sarah and Paul were suddenly awakened at 3 am by demons who invaded their home, killed their father, and abducted their mother. Upon arrival in hell, Sarah and Paul were separated from their mother, when the demons decided if you were worthy of being a slave or deemed worthless and made into food. They were given dirty tunics, fed awful food, and immediately put to work. “I’m going to leave this place a lousy review the next time we get internet access”.

This was my first time reading a science fiction, horror story, and Donald Firesmith was a new-to-me author. At first, I had a hard time getting interested in the make-believe characters within this book. However, I so badly wanted to know why Sarah and Paul were abducted and I had so many questions. Would they ever return to Earth? Was their mom still alive or had she been turned into demon food?

It didn’t take long for this story to suck me in and keep me wanting more. I wonder if reading the other stories would have aided in some of my understanding. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures of the different creatures. Each time they were mentioned, my mind went directly back to a visual of them. I would recommend this book to anyone who thoroughly enjoys the sci-fi genre. It wasn’t necessarily what I consider “horror material” but did include some graphic bloody fighting scenes on occasion.

3) A Slow Beginning ★★★★☆

By Robert McCurdy on 11 April 2021 (Amazon US Review)

The second half of the book was much better than the first half. The beginning was focused on setting the scene instead of advancing the plot. I enjoyed it once it got going. This was the first book in the series that I had read. I received this book for free from eBook Discovery. I voluntarily review this book. This is my honest review.

2) Dglab1511’s review ★★★★☆

By Dglab1511 on 1 November 2021 (Goodreads Review)

Spoilers ahead!
OOOOO Don’t look!
Spoilers ahead!

Very different take on hell and demons. Started the action right off with the kidnapping and torture and hopelessness. Death of main characters abound. Evil big old demons aplenty. I received this book for an honest review. I love Donald’s books, but this one is not my cup o’ tea. Still, good marks for originality and the way the main character evolved.

1) Creative ★★★★☆

By Joshua on 27 October 2021 (Amazon US Review)

When demonic aliens kill his father and transport 15-year-old Paul Chapman, his sister, and mother to Hell as slaves, he learns just how far he’ll go to survive, get revenge, and regain his freedom. A prequel to the award-winning Hell Holes series of alien invasion novels, Hell Holes 4: A Slave’s Revenge is a story of love, loss, friendship, and survival under the most hellish of conditions.

3 Star Reviews

2 Star Reviews

1 Star Reviews

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