This was a very different style of book than I have been reading lately. It is definitely Noir, but with a heavy dose of supernatural to go along with the story. The main character, Joe Dante is on a mission and the old saying “over my dead body” doesn’t apply to him any longer. A detective in his former life, Joe is still pursuing vengeance for the death of his family and now has some added tasks to tend too in his afterlife.
Dante’s Journey is a hardboiled fantasy that is very well written. The story is both character and plot driven, which is always a plus! If I’m going to be picky I would say that there were times that the hero got a little annoying with his stereotypical macho attitude and his “voice” was too much for me at times. But, the author made up for those seemingly “off” moments with humor and heart touching scenes that endeared the character to me all the more.
The real treat is the setting…HELL. I am always attracted to stories that deal with the afterlife, or better yet the devil & hell (I’m not sure what that says about me;)), and this was a fun one! With all the various characters residing in the underworld, there is no shortage of entertaining possibilities and though the book deals with a “good vs evil” theme it steers clear of weighing down the text with religious notions and “holier than thou” opinions. Yet at the same time, the book takes the hero on a journey (hence the title) of faith in a very real way that wasn’t threatening, probably due to the LOL moments. It also switches back and forth between the real world life, and the authors version of hell, and that gave a fresh perspective throughout the story. As I mentioned previously, the sense of humor in this book is wonderful and was delivered at the right moments and for that I am appreciative.
I will say, that this book is not for everyone. I personally think that you must really like both noir & fantasy to really enjoy everything but, like any cult hit, those that do…will LOVE it!
Visit the author’s website for more information & read an excerpt of Dante’s Journey!
This book was provided to PBD for review.