Fiction Friday: Hellhound Valentine

My first novella, City of Kaiju, is out today! Available through Amazon and Books2Read. You can see a preview of the very first chapter here. Help support a fresh new author with a fantastic read this winter season.

Ah, love. A most wonderful feeling. Showing care, gratitude, and of course, demonic beasts…wait, what? That’s right, it’s about to get freaky up in the inn as we take a look at the “paranormal” side.

Today’s short story is Hellhound Valentine by A. J. Hackwith. You can find it here. A simple, yet cute valentine’s day story set in, of course, hell. Because nothing like celebrating a love-based holiday named after a Christian saint, than with demons, succubi, and cute hellish puppers. So let’s begin, shall we?

A Cold Day in Hell

Valentine’s Day in hell is a unique affair. When Claire meets with her demon guardian, she discovers that a certain someone left her gifts. One of which was a small hellhound pup, which causes nothing but trouble for the librarian, when it ends up getting loose. They must find it before it wreaks havoc on the forces of hell.

This is kind of a typical paranormal type story, but it is pretty cute. I can easily see the pup being creepy, yet adorable, kind of like the Heartless from Kingdom Hearts (kinda been on my mind lately. Expect a review of that.). The contrasting personalities, with the human entity in Claire being strong and domineering to her assistant, Poliver, a massive demon who is super nervous, shy, and gentle.

I love the contrast between the humans of the underworld and the demons that inhabit them. It’s such a refreshing take that makes for wonderful characters. Poliver is kind of the gentle giant in demon form, while Claire is basically her boss and bigger than he is not in size, but in sheer might. It’s brilliant and it works in this case. The realm of hell is an interesting place.

It should be noted that this is a story set within the Hell’s Librarian series. This story was actually published in 2016, so it’s likely this is already out but…I’m kinda interested in this series if these are the characters we get to see. It’s kind of cool seeing all of these characters and if this is the kind of storytelling we get to look forward to, then I’m all for it. It appears the first book comes out in October of this year (quite a wait, considering this story came out in 2016), so I’m looking forward to reviewing it. Plus, it works out for Halloween.

Anyway, on to the hellhound. He’s adorable. Barely any teeth and nibbles anything it comes into contact with. I’m sure they’d be hard to tame, but I found it so playful and would have loved to see more of it. No doubt such a massive thing like Poliver would care for such a small creature was heartwarming and really made his character shine. I felt it wasn’t around long enough compared to the other characters once it runs off into who knows where. It was really the highlight of the story and felt really cute.

As far as the rest of the story, not much else to add. It’s really a wonderful intro to what could be a great universe. The writing was witty if basic, and the personalities are clearly written. All of the characters were fun to read and had plenty of personality expected for this type of story. It made me interested, and that’s important to a prequel story. It’s designed to get readers into your world, and I think this succeeded.

Not much else to add. A great story overall.

Score:

+ Well-executed Preview.

+ Characters were entertaining and meshed well together.

+ Fun Concept

+/- Writing was basic, but clear.

– Could have expanded the plot more.

Final Score:

4/5 – Great Story

That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.

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