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The Good the Bad and the Infernal (Heaven's Gate Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – March 26, 2013
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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A brief summary of the setup: Wormwood is a city that appears in various places around the world once every hundred years for a single day. Supposedly inside it you can find a gate to heaven, so you can get there without dying. It's legendary, and draws every kind of person imaginable. The book gives us the journeys of three groups: a bank employee traveling to California for a job and the not-quite-human old man he falls in with; an eccentric British inventor and his daughter traveling with an adventurer and a group of monks; and a group of carnival sideshow folks traveling with a not so holy preacher, an ex-slave and the wounded soldier she loves. As they journey toward heaven they all have to face different hells that test their resolve, and not all make it.
The book is told from several different points of view, some more successful than others. Occasionally the prose is dense with description, mostly gorgeous but occasionally a little too much. I ended up thinking that the author is either a genius or insane for writing that way. Maybe both. His successful descriptions could give a scene or character a moment of clarity like those shots in movies where characters freeze and rotate and you can see them from every angle. His less successful made me stop in my tracks (and at one point had me yelling at my husband, "What does that mean? Has he ever seen cooling cooking grease?").Read more ›
But, don't let that throw you as this is one helluva good book. This is book one of a three book trilogy. The second book is Once Upon A Time in Hell and I read that one first. I don't recommend doing that as this book really gives you the background on the myriad of strange characters. As of the time of this review, the third book in the trilogy has yet to be released (who knows if Adams has even written it yet).
The premise is that for one day every hundred years a town appears that is a gateway to the other side. So if you get to this town, you can go to heaven without dying first and, of course, there are other places it might lead you to. Sometimes the town appears as a Tibetan village. Sometimes in a rainforest. This time, the town which appears about twenty years after the Civil War is Wormwood and its going to appear somewhere out west. For various reasons, there are an assortment of folks that would like to make journey.
The book follows three disparate groupings of people. First, there is Quartershaft, a famous adventure writer, who has been given the map to Wormwood by Alonzo. He is on the journey with a Lord Forset, a British inventor/scientist, and Forset's daughter Elizabeth, and for good measure an order of about a dozen monks of a peculiar order who see it as their mission to explore all questions about God and Heaven.Read more ›
The descriptions are gold. They let you live every thought, every movement of every person in the scene of action.
Although Guy Adams left a cliffhanger as big as the Great Canyon, it was a satisfying read and journey.
The desperation of mine when I was almost at the end of the book and there was no apparent closure ahead made me cling on what I had even more.
Brilliant read. Can't wait to get the second one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting and fun; godd characters. Enjoyable as the first of a weird west trilogy. Will read the next one now.Published 10 months ago by A. Khromov
A book should be able to stand on its own, whether it is part of a series or not.
Compared to other "first in a series books" (most recently for me: Night Angel,... Read more
I had received the sequel to this novel from NetGalley.com and the publisher for free to review. however, not having read this first book, I picked it up as well. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed this first installment quite a bit! I'm excited about the second one, as well as the third. Read morePublished on September 30, 2013 by Erik W Pepper