Penguin Group (USA) LLC
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Diabolical (A Jake Hatcher Novel Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Hank Schwaeble has done it again. Diabolical more than lives up to its title - a twisty, turny demonic rollercoaster ride to hell." --F. Paul Wilson, NY Times Best-Selling author of Fatal Error
- ASIN : B004R1QIQ8
- Publisher : Berkley (June 28, 2011)
- Publication date : June 28, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 800 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 324 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,491,318 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Diabolical picks up not too long after the events of Damnable, and is basically a continuation of the plotline of that book, as opposed to a standalone story. I'm okay with that, but the ways the plot proceeded left me confused. Vivian, a character that had almost no real part or development in the first book, comes back here as a nearly central role, and without some buildup for her from Damnable, I had a really tough time fitting her into the story. I get some basic background that she and Jake were close after the first book, but if you want me to care about the character I need more development than that. Truthfully, I was really disappointed that Amy didn't have a much bigger part in the book, since she was important in Damnable (a little more on that in a bit). Aside from that, the book jut meanders through the plot, with numerous switchbacks and reversals that I think were intended to keep the mystery going, but just didn't work for me. At one point I think Jake is finally coming to realize that Hell and all the strange things he's seeing are real, then the author introduces a few pages of him looking for a magician's technique that could have been used to trick him into thinking what he saw was real, as well as the possibility that he was drugged. Maybe the author wants to keep the reader guessing, but I found it unsatisfying and I just wanted him to commit to one theory or the other. These sorts of machinations would probably work quite well in a movie, but in a book they fail, at least the way they were handled here.
At the end of the book Amy was reintroduced, which made me happy, but overall the ending felt like just another setup for the third book, rather than a book that could really stand on its own. Hopefully the third book will close things up, or at least remedy the wandering plotlines, and allow the author to move on to new stories with Jake. After four stars for Damnable, I could only give Diabolical three stars.
I picked up Damnable when it first came out and was impressed enough to do my one and only Amazon review. When I heard that Diabolical had been released, I naturally bought it. Because it was a sequel, however, I wasn't sure what to expect -- sequels just fall flat so often. Not here.
As this review's title suggests, Schwaeble has improved over time -- which says a lot, since he started with excellent material. The main character (Jake Hatcher) is even more relatable than before. The storytelling is even more compelling than in the original. While Schwaeble doesn't abandon the "creep factor" in this tale, he does allow for more mystery and thrills. Diabolical reads like a good movie, with all the imagery and suspense that you'd see in a theater.
It's good to see an author who can avoid the sophomore curse. If you're looking for a great supernatural thriller, give Diabolical a look.
Our hero, Jake Hatcher is in a battle against salvation and damnation and has to go up against evil forces in Southern California, namely in the form of The Hellion.
Jake fights the good fight with humor, foul language and feisty fury. It was a fun ride.
Mr. Schwaeble leaves plenty of room for a sequel and I wouldn't mind continuing the ride. He writes in solid third person with minimal narrative and exposition and keeps things fast-paced. It was a pleasure to read and I highly recommend it.
As a reviewer, I take these blurbs with a grain of salt, unless it's by one of my favorite authors. F.Paul Wilson's words are given only to novels that deserve them. He's a man of honor and sincerity, so as a peer, I know I can trust his views. The man knows, and teaches, solid writing, so if he recognizes a good story, most in the field would be smart to at least check it out.
As a professional reviewer for two major publications, I thought Diabolical was one of the few sequels out there that improved upon the original. Jake Hatcher has the makings of a serious series character with staying power in a format that is both original and successfully straddles the horror/thriller line with skill.
My full review will be posted here when the rights revert back to me.
A great read for a hot summer.
Jake Hatcher is a straight-shooting, ironic, multi-layered guy, and I just want to hang out with him all day.
Can't wait to see the movie version of this one.