The Devil’s Engine: Hellraisers
by Alexander Gordon Smith
In the first of the Hellraisers series we meet Marlow Green, a troubled sixteen-year-old that defies authority whenever possible. He’s been expelled from several schools and the last option school goes in the same direction.
His alcoholic mother grieves for his older brother who died in military service. His father has not been in the picture since he was little. She blames Marlow for all of his troubles, wishing he were more like his brother than his deadbeat father.
Marlow has a heart of gold and while he sees himself as cowardly, he actually is selfless to save others.
He ends up in the middle of a battle between demons and a team trying to save the world called the Hellraisers.
There are magical machines called the Engines with so many mechanized parts no one has ever cataloged them all. These fantastic engines can grant supernatural powers or any desire a person may wish; at a cost of course. Which really brings in the adage “Be careful what you wish for.” Two main engine’s are competing for world domination, one to keep the current balance and one to let hell loose to rule the world. If your contract expires, demons come topside to collect.
The team has “lawyers” which are really genius coders to break the code in the machine which then breaks the contract. Marlow meets Pan, and a host of other characters that bring the Hellraisers into his little corner of the world. It is Pan that rounds out this story promising in the sequel her problems will take a lot of attention to fix.
The story is adventure filled with choice after choice to make Marlow grow. His misadventures and bad choices could lead everyone into peril and those closest to him at the greatest risk. The real story of his character is what he will do to make things right.
This is a exciting read where you really want to know what happens next. You’re rooting for Marlow to make the right choices, you cheer when he does and cringe when he doesn’t. It’s action packed but balanced with emotional scenes to even out the pacing of the story.
If this is the starting shot of the race, I can’t wait for the next lap as it progresses.
To see other novels by Alexander Gordon Smith, please visit his website at http://www.alexandergordonsmith.com
FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title by Macmillan via Net Galley for review purposes only. No other compensation was awarded.