Josh Reviews an ARC: Breaking the Devil’s Heart by H.A. Goodman

Posted June 17, 2012 by Joshua Burns in / 1 Comment

Breaking the Devil's Heart by H.A. Goodman

Title: Breaking the Devil’s Heart
Series: Logic of Demons #2
Author: H.A. Goodman
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published: May 4th, 2012
ISBN #: 9781432790585 / 1432790585
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: ARC
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating

When Stewart and Layla recruit a demon to spy on the Devil, their decision takes them on whirlwind ride through the afterlife. Journey alongside this young couple in H. A. Goodman’s new novel, Breaking the Devil’s Heart, and join forces with a teenage Angel outcast to bankrupt Satan’s underground Company and save Heaven from civil war. H. A. Goodman’s Breaking the Devil’s Heart is a rollercoaster afterlife experience that tests a young couple’s love, their grasp on reality, and the essence of human nature. What happens when Stewart and Layla tour Hell’s Marketing Department and Stock Exchange? What happens when their relationship is tested by Satan? This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read, or ever thought the afterlife might be like. Breaking the Devil’s Heart is an enlightening look into an alternate world, a new afterlife, and a profound journey inside the human conscience.

This is an odd read with a quick start.  The author clearly knows how to get the ball rolling.  

I was drawn in by the cover and for awhile I could not piece out why it was there.  It remains a colorful and spicy cover. 

The book ranges from sprawling worlds to highly accurate historical events.  There is a lot of talk about morality and the root of all evil and how it should be filled.

I think one of the bigger questions I have while writing this review is how to sell it (a remarkably funny pun because the entire book is about figuring out “The Formula” that the Hellish company is selling to earthlings). The book does a lot of things, some unfamiliar, some incredibly ordinary.  Take our main character for instance against his demonic opponent in the first chapter.  Franklin, a demon, is surrounded by all the riches in the world while Stewart, an Observer (basically the book’s designation for those in between Heaven and Hell), appears powerless with hair coiffed.  He is a former CIA agent who investigated the root of evil while alive and then quit to become a teacher of criminals before he died.  What is ordinary here is where they came from and the riches they have.  What is extraordinary is the fact that this is happening in Hell which for some reason is structured like a bureaucracy.  

Stewart’s determination is winning although it can be a little tiresome.  His entire gang is all go-go-go which I think is the right speed for the book.  Some of their decisions, however, are not entirely winning which I think is the point. 

The book’s strong points are in its conglomeration of otherwise uncombined events.  How about interrogating a demon inside your mind where you can summon sharks at any time to chomp at him, and then to show you his scheme he has you visit a Hiroshima landscape in black and white?  Pretty crazy.  My major complaint lies in the romance.  I think Layla gets short shrift.  There is a very tender and interesting love “event” (trust me it’s pretty weird) at the start but it quickly falls to the wayside under the brunt of Stewart’s determination.  I think people will like this book if they don’t mind wonky, enjoy reliving history, and have a hankering to ferret out the root of all evil (hint: it’s not simple).  The ending also is far from a conclusion.  What they ultimately achieve is left a little too open.  All in all, the side characters shine the most whether it be the over giddy demon seeking promotions, the Wall Street demon, or the break-dancing angel.  You’ll just have to read it to believe it.  

Recommendation: If you’ve ever wanted to relive discussions about infant mortality and why bad things happen to good people. It really reminds me of the Brothers Karamazov.
Like this, like that: Flight by Sherman Alexie, Animal Farm by George Orwell. These are the closest things I could think of because of their straightforward prose and kind of different concepts. This book also appeals to the 8th grader in me. You may have that hunger and not even know it. All in all, the nostalgia is a huge plus.


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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Reviews UF/PR novels with an eye for weres of all kinds.

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