Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Raising Hell / Bryan Dekker

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Bryan L Dekker is a longtime resident of Indiana. He has two passions, writing and motorcycles. Raising Hell is his first paranormal thriller, and the first book in the Arcana series.


Nate LaCroux, a powerful wizard, lives as a hermit, shying away from life since his wife’s murder, three years prior. Three days before the convicted murderer is due to die by lethal injection, Nate is summoned to meet with a messenger from the magical order of Arcana. Nate is presented with a scroll, sent from Heaven. When he breaks the first seal, a sequence of events begins to unfold, which may end in the destruction of Earth. The story follows Nate as he learns the meaning of the scroll.


Mages, Faeries, Archangels, God (El), Satan, Giants, Heaven and Hell. Those are the components of the world, and the author has a good grasp on how they all interact and their special powers and limitations. On the face of it, to me, this sounds like a set of ingredients for a tale I’d enjoy. Sadly, though, the execution of the story ruined my chance of becoming engaged with the world.

The tale was narrated by the author (omniscient). I was told about the characters, told about their backstory, told about the three partitions (Heaven, Hell and Earth). Told, told, told! Consequently, I never had the enjoyment of experiencing the events through Nate’s eyes, or through any other character’s eyes for that matter.

When the viewpoint changed to one of the characters, it stayed there only for as long as needed for one or two thoughts, then it switched back to exposition, or just as often, back into another character. This book is a head-hopping jamboree.

I stopped counting the typos and grammatical errors once I burst through forty.

Such a shame, because the premise is solid and the characters could be engaging if only they were allowed to speak. The world would be fascinating and cogent, if only it were experienced.

Wait. Is that whimpering I hear? Ah, yes, it’s the sound of a story crying out for an editor.

Format/Typo Issues:

Typos and grammatical issues. I read on Kindle, and the lines were double spaced.

Rating: ** Two stars

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