You wouldn’t really know it by the books I’ve reviewed so far, but I am a vampire junkie. I just can’t get enough. I’m always on the lookout for fresh, new voices in vampire fiction, who don’t try to rewrite what has already been done, who aren’t trying to be the next Laurell K. Hamilton (sorry, there can only be one and she sits rightfully on the throne of modern vampire fiction). I hit the jackpot when I found this book, which the author promises is the first in a series.
Three hundred years ago, Jack Bentley made a pact with the devil in order to escape a vampire hunt. When the devil is ready to collect Jack’s debt, a demon is sent to earth to escort Jack to hell. He is reluctant to go. He has visions of an eternity in hellfire and brimstone, unending torture. He wasn’t far off. Jack was chosen to spend his eternity working in the Registration Office of the Damned, welcoming new souls to hell.
By luck or fate, instead of being forced to live in employee housing, Jack manages a way to live permanently with his demon escort, Alex Ridner. Normally, those new to hell only live with their escort for a week to get accustomed to the drudgery that is hell. Alex gets Jack involved in his first election for Administrative President in Hell. Traditionalist candidate Chaz Colby wants to keep demons in positions of power. Progressive candidate Quentin Hart champions the rights of non-humans, like vampires, ghosts, etc. Alex is a passionate supporter of Quentin Hart, but takes Jack to a meeting of Colby supporters to stir up trouble. This sets up one of the best lines in the book. Alex is doing his damndest to heckle the speaker and Jack decides to help and says, “Play Highway to Hell or get off the stage!”
Lots of hilarity and escapades ensue. I hope Ms. Rainey is working feverishly on book 2 because I can’t wait to see what happens to Jack and Alex next. This book is hilarious, irreverent, sarcastic and just plain fun.