Review: These Hellish Happenings by Jennifer Rainey

These Hellish Happenings - Jennifer Rainey


In 1707, hapless vampire Jack Bentley made a pact with the Devil in order to escape a vampire hunt. Dealing with Satan seemed better than your standard angry mob at the time. But three centuries later, Satan is ready to collect His dues, whether the vampire likes it or not. He's taking Jack down to Hell, and He's even got a job picked out for him down below: an eternal position at the Registration Office of the Damned. Jack attempts to adjust to life on the Administrative Level of Hell where fire and brimstone have been replaced by board meetings and the occasional broken copier. But the whiny complaints of the recently-deceased and the legions of suited, cookie-cutter demons are the least of his problems. Try adding to the equation a dead ex-lover, a dangerous attraction to his high-ranking demon companion, Alexander Ridner, and the sticky and distorted anti-vampire politics of a Hell that is surprisingly like our own world.



A helluva fun read!

Jack the Vampire makes a deal with devil to escape a vampire hunt. Three-hundred years later it is time to pay the piper. After a feeble and unsuccessful escape attempt he is whisked down to Hell to spend his eternity as an office worker in the Administrative level of Hell registering the newly dead. Jack finds Hell isn't quite what he imagined. He will be punching a clock for the rest of eternity and is required to live in employee housing. There are company picnics and a healthy dose of politics and prejudice to rival that on Earth. He soon finds himself at the heart of a political movement of which he has no interest. He just wants to stay out of the employee housing and make his eternity in Hell as bearable as possible. But things don't always work out as planned. Much to Jack's chagrin, it looks like he is going to have to get (gasp!)...involved. And maybe in more ways than one.

Some random thoughts:

* Jack really wasn't much of a vampire. He was several hundred years old and drank blood (out of a bottle) at the beginning of the story but other than that I didn't get much of a vampire vibe from him. He has no super strength, no ability to glamour, there is no biting, and barely a fang to be seen. He is also definitely of the beta male variety. I would like to have seen more of his vampire nature. If there were not frequent references to him being a vampire in the story I would have forgotten that he was one. On the other hand he was British and funny. A very likable character even though he wasn't a very vampire-ish character.

* When he first gets to Hell and is being oriented to his new eternity, the story plodded along a bit but it was an interesting plodding (if that makes any sense), as he was introduced to his life in Hell. Things pick up later as the story and conflict develop. I really enjoyed the sense of humor in this book and it gave me quite a few chuckles.

* There is a m/m relationship in this story that may take some readers by surprise. The description hints at it but doesn't really come out and say it, and some reviews hint around it but don't really say it either. I mention it because some readers will likely take issue with it and will feel blindsided when it occurs (and if you don't like this kind of relationship then you may be better off skipping this book). Personally, I loved it. I saw hints of it coming as the story unfolded and was squeeful when something finally happened. The relationship wasn't portrayed in an explicit or graphic way and in fact it was actually kind of sweet. They make a delightful and humorous odd couple and I was happy for them... and that made me happy as a reader. I actually wished it was explored more but that's the romance reader in me talking. I realize this isn't a romance book so I'm content with what I got.

* Oh, there's a scene with a talking cat that was another pleasant surprise for me and earns extra brownie points. :)

I thought this story was a well-written and smooth read that gave me much enjoyment. The characters were likable and the humor suited me. I was engaged in the story. I rooted for the good guys and booed the bad guys. After I finished it, I kept picking up my ereader with thoughts of sinking into the story again only to quickly realize that I had finished it already! Crap! Though there was no major cliffhanger at the end I did feel that there was an opening left for a continuing story. After checking around the interwebs, it does look like another book is in the works and I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for it. I wish I knew what the word count is for this book but I can't find it anywhere. The print version is 376 pages, but it sure didn't feel that long.


Source: LibraryThing Giveaway