Hellfighters by Alexander Gordon Smith

Hellfighters by Alexanfder Gordon Smith. November 1, 2016. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 320 p. ISBN: 9780374301729.  Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA; Lexile: 760.

Thrown into a relentless war against the forces of darkness, fifteen-year-old Marlow Green and his squad of secret soldiers must fight for control of the Devil’s Engines―ancient, infernal machines that can make any wish come true, as long as you are willing to put your life on the line. But after a monstrous betrayal, Marlow, Pan and the other Hellraisers find themselves on the run from an enemy with horrific powers and limitless resources―an enemy that wants them dead at all costs. Failure doesn’t just mean a fate worse than death for Marlow, it means the total annihilation of the world. And when all looks lost and the stakes couldn’t be higher, just how far is he willing to go?

Sequel to: Hellraisers

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Mild language; Grotesque violence

 

Reviews

Booklist (January 1, 2017 (Online))
Grades 9-12. The second installment of the Devil’s Engine trilogy picks up after Hellraisers (2015) ended: with the battered and bruised Marlowe, Pan, and the other Engineers racing from and toward danger and destruction, in hopes of saving the world. Chapters alternate narration between Marlowe and Pan, whose relationship deepens, leading to even higher-stakes decisions for Marlowe as he seeks to locate and save his old friend Charlie. Adventure fans will be thrilled by the fast-paced, wall-to-wall action, and horror readers will delight at the supernatural terror and gore in the Engineers’ battle against chaos and pure evil.

Kirkus Reviews (September 1, 2016)
The Hellraisers have been betrayed, and all hell is threatening to break loose, quite literally.With the help of their ragtag crew, Teens Marlow and Pan are back in this follow-up to Hellraisers (2015). This time they not only battle nightmarish creatures, but must also travel between dimensions and through time to stop the Engine from releasing hell on Earth and destroying the world. Smith takes readers on another twisted, twisting journey and—to paraphrase the narrative—leaves readers with “images that belong in the sickest of horror movies.” With the exception of using skin tones to convey emotions and ailments, descriptions of race are largely avoided, leaving readers to conclude that most of the main characters are not people of color, an inherent and unfortunate trend in horror. While this sequel is certainly a page-turner and will keep readers engrossed, it’s not perfect. The imminent threat of Pan’s and Marlow’s expiring contracts with the Engine doesn’t pack enough of a gut-wrenching punch to really make readers feel it; there are a few too many pep-talk scenes with teary-eyed Hellraisers giving group hugs; and Pan and Marlow’s budding (but apparently inevitable in books for teens) romance is hard to swallow, particularly from Pan’s perspective. Nevertheless, this brings the same fear, fire, and comic relief as its predecessor, and readers will be happy enough with this sequel to the first Faustian tale to look forward to the next one. (Horror. 14 & up)

About the Author

Alexander Gordon Smith is the author of the Escape from Furnace series of young adult novels, including Lockdown and Solitary. Born in 1979 in Norwich, England, he always wanted to be a writer. After experimenting in the service and retail trades for a few years, Smith decided to go to University. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, and it was here that he first explored his love of publishing. Along with poet Luke Wright, he founded Egg Box Publishing, a groundbreaking magazine and press that promotes talented new authors. He also started writing literally hundreds of articles, short stories and books ranging from Scooby Doo comic strips to world atlases, Midsomer Murders to X-Files. The endless research for these projects led to countless book ideas germinating in his head. His first book, The Inventors, written with his nine-year-old brother Jamie, was published in the U.K. in 2007. He lives in England.  His website is www.alexandergordonsmith.com.

Around the Web

Hellfighters on Amazon

Hellfighters on JLG

Hellfighters on Goodreads

 

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