Once again I have the honor to present you a review.
Author J C Marino has been so kind as to send us a copy of his debut novel Dante's Journey (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1935188094] and of course ediFanoB promised him to review his book.
Let's start with the cover and the back of the book:
"A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world-Hell itself. Joe was in hot pursuit of his family's killer, drug lord Filippo Argenti, when both were killed, and isn't about to let a little thing like death slow him down. So, with a healthy dose of New England stubbornness and the help of a mysterious guide, Virgil DiMini, Joe must evade angry demons, and search ever-lower through the rings of the original Dante's Inferno in hopes of finding justice for his wife and children. However, Joe will soon discover that behind every sin lies a secret and each secret revealed could land Joe in an eternity of hot water... VERY hot."I don't know whether you are familiar with the famous Divine Comedy - an epic poem - written by Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.
I must admit I never read the Divine comedy.
And now we have Dante's Journey. Any coincidences? YES. Dante's Journey is the modern version of Inferno, the first part of the Divine Comedy. The name of the main character: Joe DANTE. Where does the main part of the story take part? In HELL. And the name of Joe's mysterious guide: VIRGIL DiMini.
The story starts in Boston 1961 and leads through all nine level of HELL interspersed with flashbacks to Joe Dante's life in Boston. Between the prologue and the epilogue the story is divided in 55 named chapters. So you know always if you are in Boston or in which part of HELL. The whole story is narrated by Joe Dante himself who is a big fan of the Boston Red Socks (which is more important for US readers than European readers).
It is important to note that the blurb completely suppress the important role of human understanding of topics like faith, betrayal and more.
I have been impressed by the imagination of the author: from plenty of different kind of demons and monsters, over machines to unbelievable tortures. And due to J C Marino's wonderful knack of a eternalness HELL he created the possibility for Joe to meet people from past and future. And these people talk about their time. That gives the story more twists and turns in combination with Joe's story. Within all the action and thoughtfulness the author does not forget to intersperse humor.
Dante's Journey is definitely a great read.
there are few things, which I personally did not like.One thing is religion. I have my own opinion about religion and normally I avoid to read books with too much religion.
And there are several scenes where Joe Dante's behavior has been a pain in my neck.
That hindered me personally to enjoy the book in total.
You look for a modern view of HELL based on a classic containing, action, thoughts, fantasy, mystery, mankind basics and not to forget humor then there is now way out to read Dante's Journey.
For more information about the author an the book checkout J C Marino's website and read the interview over at Fantasy Book Critic from June 2010.
Don't read the book when it is hot outside. You will sweat double ......