Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: Raising Hell by John Hartness

Hello and welcome to another hellacious review here at Sit. Write. Bleed.! Today I am review John Hartness' brand new novella, Raising Hell:



While Sit. Write. Bleed. is indeed a blog devoted to Epic and Heroic Fantasy, as well as Sword & Sorcery, sometimes something comes along that really wows me. Raising Hell is that kind of novella, an urban fantasy from the hands of a well-established author who knows what the hell he is doing.

Quincy Harker is the son of Jonathan Harker and Mina Harker, two survivors of the dreaded incident which left Mina giving birth to a child with the powers of their old enemy, Dracula. A talented exorcist and sorcerer, Quincy sets out one night to find a dead girl's rapist, a horrid crime involving a demon and a bloody end for the girl. He races throughout Charlotte, North Carolina, following a trail of blood that leads to the highest heights of corporate America and one of its devilish masters.

What makes John Hartness such an electric author is his ability to blend humor and gravity in the right doses, taking the reader on a ride as Quincy delves deep into what is a really disturbing crime when one stops and thinks about it. Written in First Person Past Tense, a truly cultivate voice comes through, oozing with confidence while at the same time bludgeoning the reader with its break-neck place. Never once goes Quincy make the reader feel lost, giving ample time to the "small-enough" details that really help build the setting into a living, breathing behemoth. It may only be Charlotte, North Carolina, but that voice of this piece makes you think Charlotte is New York, and not in a contrived way.

The points where it lacks are small. There are places where the action is a tad muted, a place where the sequencing isn't clear, but for someone who reads and writes battles the latter is incredibly forgivable. Where Hartness never fails is in his ability to keep you there in the story, his hand clutched around your neck as Quincy hunts down the things that need to be hunted.

Overall, this is a great read for those who are looking for something not too long, but not that short either. Novellas have a rich tradition in fantasy literature, and thankfully Raising Hell brings it forward with a dose of real fresheness. You would be an idiot not to pick this up!

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Check out these links to John Hartness and his work:

Goodreads

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Until next time!

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