First published back in April of 2012, US author John Prescott's sequel to Pray’ (2010) entitled Hell formed the second part of his epic post-apocalyptic trilogy - The Revelation Chronicles.

DLS Synopsis:
For the past three years, Trez Sleighton and his fellow followers, dubbed the JCSC, have been hidden away in the secret army complex dug into the rocky mountainside at Shaleford in Colorado. Over this time and following the great Rapture, this massing body of survivors has waited out the years, whilst the world outside of their protective hideout continued to run scared from the chaos and madness that had erupted since the Anti-Christ, in the form of Samouel Gallo, began upon his mission for world domination.

But there was only so long that Trez could sit and wait it out in the relative security of the inner-mountain facility. And finally the time had come for him to set in motion the next stage in their plans to counteract the destructive path of Gallo and his hellbound followers.

For the first time since the inner-circle of friends first convened in Shaleford, the core members must now split - with Trez Sleighton, Netti Banks, Roxi Parks and her half-angel husband Aeris (along with their new son Michael) leaving Colorado and flying to Jerusalem with the help of the former spy, Jessit, and his onside contact M. Their hopeful mission to stop the once movie-star and now world leader, Samouel Gallo, in his rallying of a monumental army of death, whilst relocating their entire headquarters to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

However, as they leave behind their much-loved friends and companions (Gene Stinson, Blanche Donaldson, Rick Adams, Lindsay Ericson and her husband Lee aka Eric, amongst many others) a traitor within the hidden army complex has secretly sided with Samouel in return for riches untold. Ernie Haskins does not know the full extent of what his small message to the new World Leader will unleash, but as he flees the Rocky Mountain location in the blinding winter snow, he had not envisioned such utter death and destruction would be wrought upon those left within the hidden sanctuary.

From out of the bubbling larva comes forth the fiery beast of damnation known as Apollyon the Destroyer. Directed by its new master, the Anti-Christ Samouel Gallo, the colossal dragon-like beast takes to the skies, to bring down the hidden complex in Shaleford; reducing the inner-facility to nothing more than pools of blood and rubble.

Meanwhile, Samoeul's plans for domination, alongside bringing hell to earth, are progressing with an increasing speed. Gallo's closest and most trusted advisor, Franco Pallini, has been setting in motion the stages for Gallo's eventual rule; cementing his master's leadership in the hearts and minds of the world's remaining population.

Elsewhere, the steward of the New World Church, Alberto Mascanni, has been called to Jerusalem to play his part in the collapse of humanity and Gallo's eventual dominating rule. Now more creature than man, the vampyric Mascanni-thing hungers for the blood of more victims, as it waits for its master's word to commence its nightmarish feeding on those that do not follow in Gallo's rule.

And it's here, in the once great city of Jerusalem, that the next stages in the world's endgame will come into motion. Amongst the throngs of Gallo's loyal followers, Trez and his companions will try to take a stand against the rising power of the Anti-Christ. A mission that puts them in the very heart of the beast. And on that they are very unlikely to return from.  But even in the face of near-certain death they will not give up hope.

It's a long way to Jerusalem, and one that is paved with great personal loss and vast swaths of bloodshed. For the leading core members of Trez Sleighton's JCSC, their fight is just beginning. A fight in the name of their Lord, and one which if they fail, will mean untold suffering for what is left of humanity.

Hell is truly on its way...

DLS Review:
Following on from the utterly enthralling (and therefore downright successful) first book in the trilogy,
Pray (2010), was never going to be an easy thing to do. Although much of the prophecy-inspired plot of an Armageddon-on-Earth scenario was now firmly cemented in place, and the handful of principal characters now so lovingly established, to continue with a similar (if not increased) momentum is certainly a hell of a feat in itself. And thankfully Prescott has proven himself to be up for the challenge.

'Hell' roars into the battlefield from the first few pages, with a magnificent show of unholy power unleashed upon the world via the colossal Apollyon who bursts out from the bubbling pits of the Aconcagua Volcano in Argentina. From here on it's a breathtaking whirlwind of escalating trouble for our faithful Christian pals in their (supposedly secure) inner-mountain hideout.

From early on Prescott pays particular attention to the growing political powers of Samouel Gallo, continuing with an almost carbon-copied Damien Thorn-esque Anti-Christ figure. Indeed, the similarities and no doubt influences from David Seltzer's
The Omen (1976) and the preceding Omen books become even more pronounced in this second instalment. However, this does the tale absolutely no harm whatsoever.

Okay, so the whole ‘religious’ aspect within the tale has increased considerably since the first book in the trilogy. In fact, the whole God-Squad element has taken on an unusually crucial role within the direction of the plot, swaying the overall course of the storyline, and most irritating of all, the infiltrating almost every piece of character dialogue from here on. If it's not just because "it's God's way" then our Christian-fighting-team are getting over some pretty darn tough times with some irritatingly twee collective-praying. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not totally adverse to a Christian (or to that matter any other religious) undertone or plot direction. Each to their own innit! If it's a good storyline, then why the hell not? And to be honest, it's worked for Prescott thus far. But I have to admit that at times in 'Hell' it does been to grate somewhat.

Confronting an Angel of Death with just a bible (and
faith in God's will) and then coming off the better of the two, is just pushing the twee-Christian-vibe a little too far down the track of tiresome ‘preaching’ for my liking. I'm sure this was in no way the intention of the author, but all the 'put your faith in the Lord' malarkey did start to make the novel seem like I was reading Christian fiction, as opposed to some good old fashioned prophecy-inspired-end-of-the-world-mayhem.

But aside from this heavier-handed approach to the whole religious element (which may settle a little better with others???) the rest of the book was an absolute triumph. The pace remains fast and bursting at the seams with explosive energy, the jagged tension absolutely contagious, and the intense and unpredictable plotline full of enough twists and turns to keep the reader constantly perched on the edge of their seat. Furthermore, Prescott's use of a vast array of particularly-horror-inclined beasties, all of which are at the disposal of our main antagonist, works absolute wonders with keeping the tale on edge. From werewolves, to hordes of the undead, to vampires, to the gigantic Apollyon - the novel's got it all going on. And the onslaught against our Christian pals just doesn't let up for a second.

Sit back and let all hell break loose...

The novel runs for a total of 400 pages.

 © DLS Reviews

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