My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food – and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high. With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.
Hellhole, as any book of Damico’s, is fun, and even though there are dark themes to the story, it is foremost a very hilarious. Starting from the character names, and with Max’s mental commentary, Lore’s sass, and Burg’s love for all things artery-clogging, I was pretty much smiling through most of the book. Max has a devil in his basement, all because he accidentally raised him from hell, and now strikes a deal with him to ensure his mother’s full recovery from her terminal condition. What he didn’t sign up for was the mental anguish, dealing with the devil’s demands, keeping said devil a secret, while figuring out how to hold up his end of the bargain. And it’s not an easy one – Burg wants a big house, with a hot tub, as payment, with it being preferably stolen. Max is put into a dilemma, doing illegal and sometimes wrong things, just for his mom. Lore, a former dealer with such a devil, helps him out, initially reluctant but then she warms up to him. There is no mushy romance, but they are cute together.
So, since this was the first audiobook I ever read fully, I am going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back. But – this format is so not for me. I would have finished this book ages ago by actually reading it, not dividing it over two months. The narrator was pretty good, especially when it came to Max’s dialogues and Burg’s sassy comments, but for the female dialgoues – eh…I cringed at some points. Audie was particularly difficult to hear spoken, in that falsetto. Lore being spoken was good, and the narrator totally brought out her couldn’t-care-less attitude. Overall, great book, but not a fan of the audiobook version.