The Damned Busters: To Hell and Back Book 1 by Matthew Hughes(5 out of 5)
Chesney Arnstruther is an affable fellow working as an actuary for an insurance company. His favorite past-times include comic books and dreaming about the cute girl who jogs by him in the park. In the heat of the moment, he utters profanities- that aren’t quite profanities(think pig Latin meets Dr Who terminology) and in the process summons a demon. He refuses to sell his soul to the demon(yes, there’s a printed contract they want Chesney to sign). What happens? Hell goes on strike and grounds to a halt. Which means nothing bad happens on Planet Earth. Doesn’t sound half bad? It also means things that were previously given a crap about no longer rank in importance in any way, shape, or form. Chesney realizes it’s bad when his holy-roller religious zealot mom is no longer quoting psalms and doesn’t care about missing her weekly religious broadcast of the Reverend Hardacre(a man who sounds uncannily close to Jimmy Swaggart). In fact, the broadcast is cancelled completely, meaning all Hell has broken loose. Chesney confides to his mother what has happened and she insists they head to the good Reverend to seek guidance. Guidance from the good Reverend is to give in to Satan- Chesney just wants to fight the good fight like his comic book superheroes and save the world. He also decides he’s the middleman between the group of demons(the Infernal Brotherhood of Demons and Temptors), Satan, and Heaven’s representative. How can this possibly wrap up peacefully? Well, it doesn’t exactly- there are, after all, two books after this one, in the trilogy. What you do get is that the book is fast, funny, and definitely should be categorized as fantasy. I’d say it’s humorous fantasy, if such a genre did exist. A great, funny book, and I can’t wait to read and review the other two.