Kirsten Reviews: Happy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams

, by Kt Clapsadl

Happy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams
Bobby Dollar #2

I’ve been told to go to Hell more times than I can count. But this time I’m actually going.

My name’s Bobby Dollar, sometimes known as Doloriel, and of course, Hell isn’t a great place for someone like me - I’m an angel. They don’t like my kind down there, not even the slightly fallen variety. But they have my girlfriend, who happens to be a beautiful demon named Casimira, Countess of Cold Hands. Why does an angel have a demon girlfriend? Well, certainly not because it helps my career.

She’s being held hostage by one of the nastiest, most powerful demons in all of the netherworld - Eligor, Grand Duke of Hell. He already hates me, and he’d like nothing better than to get his hands on me and rip my immortal soul right out of my borrowed but oh-so-mortal body.

But wait, it gets better! Not only do I have to sneak into Hell, make my way across thousands of miles of terror and suffering to reach Pandemonium, capital of the fiery depths, but then I have to steal Caz right out from under Eligor’s burning eyes and smuggle her out again, past demon soldiers, hellhounds, and all the murderous creatures imprisoned there for eternity. And even if I somehow manage to escape Hell, I’m also being stalked by an undead psychopath named Smyler who’s been following me for weeks. Oh, and did I mention that he can’t be killed?

So if I somehow survive Hell, elude the Grand Duke and all his hideous minions and make it back to the real world, I’ll still be the most hunted soul in Creation. But at least I’ll have Caz. Gotta have something to look forward to, right?

So just pour me that damn drink, will you? I’ve got somewhere to go.

Happy Hour In Hell by Tad Williams, the second book in the Bobby Dollar series is something of a conundrum. It’s not a badly thought out story, nor poor written, it’s simply that it doesn’t seem to go anywhere with much energy.

Bobby Dollar, also known as Doloriel is an angel, who, by his very nature would prefer to avoid Hell. But, the denizens of the lower realm have captured his girlfriend, a demon named Casmira, Countess of Cold Hands. The fact that they are lovers is not something that angels or demons are generally thrilled about, and after she’s kidnapped by Eligor, Grand Duke of Hell, Bobby has to mount a rescue mission by heading directly into Hell itself. While it might seem relatively simple for an angel to deal with demons, there’s a catch - Bobby’s soul is immortal, but his body isn’t, which means Eligor is not only on home turf, but he also has a huge advantage.

Nevertheless, Bobby heads into Hell, confronting a myriad of horrors, damned, and demons. His task is made even more challenging by the fact that in addition to demonic soldiers, hellhounds, and other creatures guarding Eligor’s domain, he is also being stalked by an undead psychopath named Smyler who also happens to be immortal. In short, Bobby Dollar is not having any kind of happy times in Hell.

The premise is a good one, but in its execution, the book ends up being lots of descriptions of Hell, other characters, and anything that is not the plot moving forward with any momentum. It’s definitely not the strongest sequel, and depending on readers’ opinion of Tad Wiliams’ other work, they may not be persuaded to stick around for the third book.
(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     The Eloquent Page
     Phobos

Previous Books:
     1. The Dirty Streets of Heaven

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