“Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here” is the story of Chad Strickland, his family and friends as they try to survive the onslaught of a virulent plague. The setting is in the near future in Central Washington. Chad and Mary Strickland, along with their neighbors, Dave Tippet and Heather Tunney band together to protect their children and their way of life. Along the way, Chris Vaughn and Amber Hoskins join their group as they are hounded out of their homes and forced to go on the road to escape a gang of infected bikers led by Special Agent Macklin who is in turn part of a bigger plot to over throw the US Government and take control. – Goodreads
Hell is Empty and all the Devils are Here Review
In Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here, Mark Rounds gives us an interesting premise, one that I wasn’t expected as somehow, even though I’d seen his genre labeling, I’d shoved this book into the “zombie” section of my reading. On top of that, his ‘infected’ were genuinely terrifying on a visceral, believable level which was definitely super fun. I loved watching everyone pull together even as everything deteriorated, and enjoyed that even though there was definitely at least one guy that was a survivalist, everything did not go perfectly. The author definitely has a plan in his head for this series it would seem.
However, there are a few things that need work. The writing in the first quarter of the book is significantly weaker than elsewhere in the book. When you track an outbreak from the beginning, you have to ‘sell it’ to the reader, and he did not sell it to me. I almost walked away at one point. I kept going though, and was happy to see that his writing got stronger and pretty soon I was completely sucked into what was happening. The last half of the book is, by itself, a 4 Cthulhu book. Unfortunately, I have to account for the first half too.
It was an interesting read with an intriguing and unusual premise, and a rarer breed of monster than you’re used to seeing. I would definitely give it a shot if ‘zombie-ish’ books are your thing.