A human boy finds adventure and a home in hell in this sequel to Donny’s Inferno (2016).
After a series of near-fatal encounters, Donny Taylor reaches the conclusion that his friend and protector, Angela Obscura, doesn’t really care about his human life. An overheard conversation convinces him that the beautiful, shape-shifting archdemon is simply using him to educate herself about the mortal world. Attempting to return to his former life, he connects with the mother who abandoned him, but she doesn’t offer to take him in. Luckily, Angela convinces him it was all a misunderstanding. She needs him in her efforts to keep hard-liners in the underworld (now called Sulfur) from returning to their old ways of tormenting human beings; she really does care. Together they solve the mystery of souls that have gone missing, but not without battles that further endanger the white, human boy. With short chapters and fast-paced action, this is another suspenseful read. The author’s worldbuilding continues to be impressive. The duo’s travels through the underworld allow plenty of opportunity for Catanese to describe its sights and sounds, and they visit some interesting parts of the human world as well: Old San Juan and Bayamón in Puerto Rico and Varosha in Cyprus. In her human form, Angela apparently chooses to be white-skinned like the protagonist; the underworld creatures are impressively varied.
Second in a series that promises continued terror and delight. (Fantasy. 9-13)