Breaking the Devil’s Heart by H. A. Goodman – Book Review

An original fantasy concept that promised a lot, but failed to deliver.

 Summary: Breaking the Devil’s Heart is a rollercoaster afterlife experience that tests a young couple’s love, their grasp on reality, and the essence of human nature. What happens when Stewart and Layla tour Hell’s Marketing Department and Stock Exchange? What happens when their relationship is tested by Satan? This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read, or ever thought the afterlife might be like… look into an alternate world, a new afterlife, and a profound journey inside the human conscience.

When I was sent this book to review, I was warned that it was “a bit wild, out of the ordinary story” and it defiantly delivered on that promise. This original and highly creative production of heaven, hell and the dimensions in between was something that appealed to my fantasy radar.

I did at times enjoy Goodman’s concept of Hell being run as a ‘company’ to reek havoc on people’s lives. Eternal punishment on damned souls was having to meet impossible sales targets. The reward for doing well was a short break to torture another soul for fun. I can only assume a representation of the author’s opinion of the corporate world as a former Financial Advisor.

The ‘formula’ these pinstripe suit clad demons was considerably less clear. Possibly due to the intolerably long chapters that appeared to cover very little ground, the concept never really clicked. Inter-mingled with sickening romance scenes between protagonist Stewart and his life long love I failed to grasp what Goodman was trying to say.

The writing style was often very awkward and difficult to read. Stewart’s train of thought was erratic at times,  and painfully slow at others making it hard to pace as a reader. I have been assured by other reviews the dialogue improves in the second half of the book, yet I failed to pass the half way point.

It is very rare that I fail to finish a book, but after 150 pages I still felt as in the dark as the first chapter. It felt more like an opinion piece on corporate culture and human nature as a whole badly wrapped up as a fantasy novel.

This book does have some saving graces. I did enjoy the quotes that headed each chapter. Angels, Observers and Demons and their dynamics within the after life was an interesting concept, and learning how Stewart came to be within the afterlife, and his noble decision to become an Observer was a sad, but creatively told tale.

What the story really lacked, that would have made me read on was a solid explanation. A clearer description of what the ‘formula’ was and what Stewart was trying to achieve would have left me possibly wanting to read on to find out how he does it.

I have to give this book just a

3/10

Yet this book has been branded by many as an creative, original and intelligent book that possibly I do not have the brain power to process. At just 77p on Amazon I urge anyone with a Kindle to check it out and form your own opinions, but really cant endorse it being worth the £15 for the hardback!

If you have read this book I would love to know you thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

This book was sent to be to review, to open a blog tour organised by Illuminated Tours. You can check out the tour schedule, and what other book bloggers thought of the book here.