Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Series: #2 in the Samuel Johnson vs. The Devil series
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 2011
From the publisher:
Young Samuel Johnson is in trouble. Not only is his eyesight so poor that he mistakenly asks out a letter box on a date but an angry demon wants revenge for Samuel’s part in foiling the invasion of Earth by the forces of evil. When Samuel and his faithful dachshund, Boswell, are pulled through a portal into the dark realm, home of the Infernals, it gets its chance.
Catching Samuel won’t be easy, for the Infernals have not reckoned on the bravery and cleverness of a boy and his dog; a hapless demon’s loyalty to the duo; or the presence of two clueless policemen and an unlucky, if cheerfully optimistic, ice-cream man.
Most of all, no one has planned on the intervention of an unexpected band of little men who also have recently found themselves in the underworld. If you thought demons were frightening, just wait until you meet Mr. Merryweather’s Elves. . . .
This is the sequel to Connolly’s The Gates is just as fun. Samuel Johnson has already been instrumental in saving the world from the demons from hell once. In this one he’s back battling some familiar enemies but the battleground isn’t Samuel’s familiar home town. As his former adversary seeks to draw Samuel through a portal to hell she inadvertently brings along some unsuspecting . . . well . . . ‘innocents’ is not exactly the best word for the four dwarfs known as Mr. Merryweather’s Elves.
This is part fantasy/horror story, part comedy of errors and part buddy film. I enjoy rooting for Samuel and his ally in the underworld the demon formerly known as “Nurd, the Scourge of Five Dieties” who is now hiding in hell with an antique Aston Martin disguised as a rock. Trust me it makes sense in the context of the story.
The story is fun but my favorite parts of this series are the footnotes. Connolly manages to make them a combination of explanations of scientific terms and hilarious asides.
As I did with the first book I plan to put this on The Hubster’s reading list. He enjoyed the first one as much as I did and has already put up with me reading him my favorite parts including the ‘discourse on tinkering’.