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Download One if by Heaven Two if by Hell epub

by Rick Maydak

Boston bartender Ethan Reyes can read minds. Voices assault him on all sides every waking moment, and drinks himself to sleep each night for a moment's respite. Yet when a demon comes knocking, Ethan must use his gift to save his world.
Download One if by Heaven Two if by Hell epub
ISBN: 0980033969
ISBN13: 978-0980033960
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Genre Fiction
Author: Rick Maydak
Language: English
Publisher: Leucrota Press (May 1, 2009)
Pages: 324 pages
ePUB size: 1112 kb
FB2 size: 1593 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 312
Other Formats: txt rtf mbr lrf

One if by Heaven, Two if by Hell takes an old theme and gives it a new slant. This story starts off with that most basic of childhood nightmares--the thing in the bedroom shadows--and goes downhill from there, galloping wildly and building momentum as it hurtles toward its inevitable conclusion...which turns out not to be so inevitable after all.

At first glance, the hero,Ethan Reyes, doesn't appear so heroic. A bartender in Boston, he's also a telepath; by day he's bombarded to the point of frenzy by the thoughts of others, at night he collapses into a routinely drunken haze, the only way he's found to keep the voices in his head at bay and get a bare moment's rest. He's slovenly, staggering about in an alcohol-induced haze most of the time, though he does manage to keep that factor of his life out of his work. As if that isn't bad enough, Ethan has no memory of his early years, but this memory lapse and the invasion of his mind by others is eclipsed when a misshapen stranger shambles into his bar one night, makes a request which Ethan refuses, and one by one people begin to die. First is a friend and patron, killed on a snow-covered sidewalk in a particularly horrible way. Then, Taylor, the waitress whom Ethan loves, is assaulted and left in a coma. His boss dies soon after. When the stranger--revealed to be the demon Gottfried and the "thing" in the shadows--urges Ethan to kill Taylor's assailant to assuage his guilt for not saving her, he refuses and is forced to watch while Gottfried does it for him. From that point on, it's a battle of wills between the two--Gottfried threatening and murdering to coerce Ethan to join him in some as yet unstated act, and Ethan resisting. Unable to keep the horror to himself and hoping for some kind of absolution, Ethan confesses to Father Ryan, parish priest of a church about to be torn down. Although the Father believes his story, all that happens is that the old man's faith is almost irretrivably shaken. He, however, believes that Ethan is some sort of angel and not the drunken madman he appears to others. When the two at last unite to fight the growing horror, Ethan's true identity and the reason for his inability to remember his youth is revealed. At this point, he's forced to make a choice which will affect not only his own existence but--in the long run--that of the entire world.

Though I found some of the writing repetious--many short sentences, some phrases--and often the characters seemed to be doing extraneous actions, I thought the novel an easy read, and entertaining, the words flow. Ethan is at first both a sympathetic and pathetic character but he grows in stature and believability as the story progresses. Gottfried (in all his forms) is portrayed as a creature of disgusting cruelty though he seems to have underestimated his opponent just a trifle. Father Ryan's struggle with his suddenly-questioned faith after meeting Ethan and then being told his church is to be torn down is totally understandable. His acceptance of his fate isn't so much a surprise as it is a redemption, and it does leave one wondering if a sequel is in the wings. A Warning: Don't read this novel at night or just before bed, however, not if you want to sleep peacefully. Those easily-flowing words are graphically descriptive and image-provoking. The message raises a good question: Can a creature disposed toward evil be changed by being treated with goodness? It might also make you wonder if those things in the shadows in the corners of your bedroom were really just in your imagination.

(The author received an Advance Review Copy of this novel from the publisher.)
I had high expectations for this novel and I was not disappointed.

Ethan Reyes hears voices and he can't stop them, no matter what he tries. The only peace he finds is when he drinks himself into unconsciousness. When the people around him are attacked and start dying grisly deaths, Ethan must pull himself out of the bottle and confront the real-life demon that is haunting him.

Rick Maydack has crafted a great story. I will admit I guessed Ethan's "secret" early on (and I don't mean the mind-reading), however, I could not have predicted the twists and turns this story takes and how this story would turn out. Imaginative and well paced, the action kept moving and growing more and more intense right to the very end.

If you're looking for a great middle-of-the-night-scare-me-read, I highly recommend this book.

The reviewer received an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher.
While One If By Heaven, Two If By Hell featured topics of interest to me (angels, demons, end of the world stuff), the writing too often got in the way. What do I mean by that? Sentence structure, word choice, lack of transitions, too much repetition, and other annoyances disrupted the story. When you have each sentence with the same basic structure, beginning with the same pronoun, for three sentences in a row, it gets tedious. "He did this...He did that...He wished for..." Ugh. Then there were plot problems. Towards the end, Ethan, the protagonist, is in a big hurry, and mentions it several times. Then he takes the time to remove a dead body that is pinned to the ceiling. Meanwhile, more people are being killed, and he's worried about more people being killed. So why in the world did he take time to do this? It perplexed me. The last 30 or so pages seemed rushed, and the most poorly written. There is a decent story hidden somewhere amongst these words. I admire the fact that Rick Maydak enjoys writing and wants to continue creating stories. It's also admirable that he was able to get published, although I do question why the book wasn't put through a better editing process. I can't say that I'm looking forward to his next work. My advice for him is to work on his craft. Take some writing courses, or read some writing books. One that comes to mind is The Power of Point of View, because there are times in this book that he uses multiple third person, and it is so abrupt that it is confusing. I feel that this would have been much more powerful sticking to single third. As to whether any of this was intentional or not, I couldn't say. More than likely it wasn't planned this way, but just happened. Rick, do yourself a favor and brush up on your craft. Your dedication to create is admirable, but if you don't want to be a one book wonder, produce better prose and a tighter plot.