The author of 'Wee Rockets' hits it out of park yet again. After enjoying 'Wee Rockets' so much I was hoping for more of the same. Well 'Fireproof' is vastly different, not only from 'Wee Rockets' but from anything I've read (perhaps 'I, Lucifer' by Glen Duncan sorta comes close...sorta) yet it's also of a high quality. The characters are immensely enjoyable and the story entertaining from start to finish. Blasted Heath are on to a winner in Gerard Brennan - with two solid novels, the next sure has a lot to live up to (I'm confident Brennan will again deliver). This is the latest Blasted Heath novel I've read. My review is as follows:
Similar yet distant enough to be a unique take on the occult brand of Satanism. Switching up the fallen angel angle to have a more human feel, Brennan's 'Fireproof' is more than a story of Hell and it's dark angels. Underlying the plot and character focus is a love story, albeit misguided and partially built on a common interest in murdering people. The allure of the un-natural combined with a fatal attraction of sorts (fatal by means of the mortal bodies Mike occupies) adds another element to the reincarnated hit man.
I love the way Brennan regenerates Mike by pulling the reader in through the bowels of hell, to ashy mist, to present day Earth. The hazy fog like realisation of reincarnation Mike feels is conveyed to the reader in startling realistic fashion - it doesn't read as over-to-top, yet unnervingly believable.
The opening stanza is like nothing I've read before. Funny, horrifying, disgusting, overly violent and graphic yet down right entertaining. It really sets the tone for the novel.
The characters are vivid, unique and well rounded. From the hell-ish residents of the Price of Darkness' abode in Lucifer himself, the Imp, and Cerberus, to Mike Rocks "the charismatic, reincarnate rebel", Cathy (a murderous vixen intent on exercising her blood lust), Cadbury (a mysterious homeless man), to the band of Hoods and Goths that make up the religious followers, each bring a new perspective and dynamic to the story.
Adding to the core plot elements which consist of the formation of a new religion to worship His Darkness, hit man vengeance, and a romantic coupling, is a pressing message stating the divide between right and wrong and the resulting consequences, 'Fireproof' is a true multi-layered story. Readers will also be treated to the familiar, in that Brennan institutes the same feel to his brand of hoods in 'Fireproof' as he does those in 'Wee Rockets'.
I really enjoyed 'Fireproof' - it's humours, dark, violent and something a little left of centre. Highly recommend.
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