Jay Bell's Hell's Pawn was published in 2011.
Here's information about Jay Bell:
Click here to visit Jay Bell's official website.
Here's a description of Hell's Pawn:
John Grey is dead... and that's just the beginning.
Purgatory should have been a safe haven for souls that belong neither in Heaven nor Hell, but instead John finds himself in a corrupt prison, one bereft of freedom or pleasure. Along with his decedent friend Dante, John makes a brave escape, only to fall straight down to Hell and into the arms of Rimmon, a handsome incubus. John is soon recruited as Hell's ambassador, visiting the afterlife realms of other cultures to enlist an army strong enough to stand against Heaven. As interesting as his new job is, John's mind keeps returning to Purgatory and the souls still trapped there. Somehow John must stop a war he doesn't believe in and liberate Purgatory, all while desperately trying to attract the attention of an incubus whose heart belongs to another.
A REVIEW OF JAY BELL'S HELL'S PAWN
I recently read Jay Bell's The Cat in the Cradle and liked it very much. Now that I've read Hell's Pawn, I can say that Jay Bell is a good and talented author, who has his own voice. He writes good and entertaining fantasy with gay characters for adults.
Hell's Pawn is an entertaing gay fantasy book, because the author has an ability to write about feelings, love and sexuality in an engaging way. There aren't many authors, who are able to write this kind of gay fantasy. I'm sure that several readers will enjoy reading this book, because the story is good and the characters are charming.
Hell's Pawn is clearly a fantasy book, but it's a bit difficult to categorize it properly, because the author combines fantasy, mythology and even paranormal romance (the main character, John, is attracted to a male incubus, Rimmon). Although this book contains romantic scenes, it isn't a romance or paranormal romance book. There are also minor urban fantasy elements in this book, but this book isn't urban fantasy. Perhaps the best way to categorize Hell's Pawn is to say that it's an entertaining fantasy book with mythological elements for adult readers.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
In the beginning of Hell's Pawn, John finds out that he's in Purgatory. He soon notices that things aren't as they should be. He meets Dante and together they decide to escape. Their escape goes wrong and they end up in Hell. John meets Rimmon, an incubus, and finds him very attractive. John and Dante meet Asmoday (an Archduke of Hell) who asks John to help them in the forthcoming war. Asmoday wants John to recruit allies for them... This is all I'll write about the plot, because I don't want to reveal too much information (you'll have to read the book in order to find out what happens next).
Jay Bell's vision of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory is unique in its inventiveness and originality - it's a refreshingly original and humourous take on an old theme. I don't remember reading a book like this before, because the author has come up with a totally new vision of afterlife. There are all kinds of different realms (the realm of Norse Gods, the realm of Greek Gods etc) and there are lots of surprises to discover. One of the most interesting thing about this book is that Hell isn't as frightening a place as people usually think it is. Hell is a fascinating place, because there are different areas for different things.
Jay Bell writes easily and fluently about friendship, religion, death, love, beliefs, homosexuality and sexual situations. He also writes fluently about different places and describes them with insight and beautiful details. His descriptions are detailed, vivid and amazingly entertaining. There are lots of funny moments in this book, because the author has a good and witty sense of humour. It's almost impossible not to grin and/or laugh out loud in certain places.
The characters are interesting and it's fun to read about them. John is an interesting character, because he's gay. He's a bit different kind of a man and he has an ability to do things, which others can't do. Rimmon is also an interesting and complex character, because he has a boyfriend, but he does his job and secudes men even though his boyfriend is old-fashioned. Dante is also interesting, because he's different than John.
I think it's great that the author writes about the souls of the animals, because usually this topic isn't handled in this kind of books (it's rare that authors write about the souls of the animals). In this book the souls of the animals have an ability to travel from realm to realm without limitations, which is an interesting concept. (It's also fascinating that the author mentions Cthulhu in this book.)
One of the best things about Hell's Pawn is that the story flows effortlessly from the first page to the last page. Although Jay Bell has included lots of information, this book doesn't feel heavy, because the author avoids info dumping (the information is given to the reader gradually).
Although Hell's Pawn is pure entertainment and there are several funny and hilarious moments, it also contains philosophical conversations (these conversations aren't too heavy, because they're enjoyable conversations), which add depth to the book. It's surprising how many details and layers there are in this book, because usually books like this don't have much depth in them. A big part of the depth comes from the author's way of writing about the characters, different situations and worldbuilding.
I think it's good to mention that this book contains sex. I'm sure that adult readers won't be shocked by sex and sexual situations, because several fantasy authors have already written about sex and sexuality.
The cover art by Andreas Bell looks nice and fits the story perfectly. Click here to visit his official website.
Hell's Pawn is a delightfully funny, fascinating and different kind of a fantasy book, which can be recommended to fantasy readers (I'm sure that this book will appeal to all kinds of readers). If you're looking for something different and entertaining to read, Hell's Pawn is an excellent choice. It's one of the funniest and most entertaining fantasy books I've read (I enjoyed it very much). I'm looking forward to reading more books from Jay Bell, because his books are good entertainment.