Book Review – Hot Falling Devil by Joanne Jarrar
The Hotfallingdevil is a Gothic version of a Halloween story. Author Randa Jarrar has combined ancient legends of Halloween with contemporary themes of man versus the wild. In HotfallingDevil, Chaturbate, also known as Adam, is the son of the chief of the Lost Boys. He and his foster brother, tracker, Matt, have been invited to a Halloween festival. There they encounter a vengeful old woman named Verity who claims to have killed their parents. The brothers help the local girl rescue her father’s farm and her captured livestock, while the evil sorceress retreats from the scene of the crime.
What follows is a series of events that sweep the Wild West into the dark night of modern history. There are witches, blood and skeletons, monsters and ghosts. And Adam finds himself caught in the middle of a war between good and evil that could only be won by using a powerful spell. Will Adam prevail? Who knows? The book’s very name hints at this possibility.
Jarrar does an excellent job of creating entertaining characters and displaying her expertise in writing gore, suspense, and horror. She creates interesting background details and maintains a fast pace of plot development. Her use of modern mythology provides a source of interesting material for her novel. In fact, I was so impressed with some of the mythology in the back of the book that I read it before finishing the entire book!
But Jarrar’s best novel is undoubtedly the one she called « The HotfallingDevil. » Set during the Civil War in Mississippi, this novella is a spellbinding tale of murder, magic, and revenge. It is set around a point when Black slaves in the area were disappearing. Along with a captured escaped slave, they are believed dead but turn up in a small town, where a newly-turned killer starts killing white girls (and men).
The HotfallingDevil is a terrific vampire romance. Not only did I enjoy the story, I found myself engrossed in the storyline. I really feel that the author created this complex and well-developed world. I especially like how she wrote about the brutality of the times. This really shows that even though times have changed, people still think of acts of violence as wrong.
As a final note, I just want to say that Hot Falling Devil is the first vampire novel I have read by Joanne Jarrar. Her style of writing is very clear and easy to follow. Her character descriptions are vivid and detailed, and her plot development kept me interested from start to finish. She has created a truly original creation that I am very grateful for. For someone looking for a good vampire thriller with a touch of romance and horror, this is definitely a book to pick up.