Tad Williams - Shastrix Books

Tad Williams

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Happy Hour in Hell

Happy Hour in Hell

Tad Williams

13th November 2017

Wow this book is grim. It’s some years since I read the first book in the trilogy, The Dirty Streets of Heaven, and I’d forgotten exactly how I’d felt after finishing it. In this, book two, Bobby Dollar, angel, heads to Hell to try to rescue his girlfriend.

The character’s travels through the many layers of Hell are covered in excruciating detail, far more than I could have thought possible, and it just becomes hard to read - there’s only so much that I can cope with in one train journey, and I often found myself stopping much earlier than usual just to escape.

The book took me a surprisingly long time to get through, given my usual reading speed, and this was brought home to me by the next two books I read being devoured in the course of two days, demonstrating the relief at getting away from how dark and depressing this book was.

I think it will be some time before I return for the conclusion of the trilogy.

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The Dirty Streets of Heaven

The Dirty Streets of Heaven

Tad Williams

14th April 2014

Tad Williams' latest series kicks off with this story about an angelic lawyer on earth, arguing against hell's representative to get souls into the right afterlife. It feels much grittier than his longer fantasy and science fiction that've read before: it's contemporary, urban and feels like a private detective's mystery with some fantasy elements.

The character is almost a walking archetype of the cynical investigator, with a mysterious background that's hinted at occasionally but not explored in massive detail. Similarly the relationships feel similar from other novels of similar setting. The situation is what makes this book unique, and even then I felt it was underdone and actually detracted from by the plot, which quickly separated itself from some of the most interesting elements.

I felt the plot dragged, particularly in the centre of the book where one subplot got out of hand for a couple of chapters that I was almost embarrassed to read on the train, and during the repetetive action sequences where I found my mind wandering away from the book.

Overall, I didn't find this a particularly captivating book, and I'm in two minds over whether to bother with the sequel.

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Unreviewed books

City of Golden Shadow
Mountain of Black Glass
River of Blue Fire
Sea of Silver Light
Sleeping Late On Judgment Day
The Dragonbone Chair
The Stone of Farewell
The War of the Flowers
The Witchwood Crown
To Green Angel Tower - Siege

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  2. Happy Hour in Hell
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  4. The Dirty Streets of Heaven