Hell’s Judgment Book Review3 min read

“The president’s quest to evacuate England took the country by storm. The prophecy could be fulfilled at any minute-any second- and its magnitude was fiercely anticipated. Dark clouds hovered ominously over the country. This was no joke. It was real.”

Author: Michael D.Benson                      Published: 2018                            Pages: 306

Hell’s Judgement: Birth of the Dark Princess is unlike any other book I have read. It is split into three sections, or ‘books’ and concerns the story of how Satan’s daughter tries to rise above the power of God to kill the people of Earth. The first book centres around John McClain who is a priest. Him and the people of England have seen a film called The Rebellious Winter and now believe the film to be a dark prophecy about the destruction of the country, which is now coming true. The second and third books concern the birth and rise of the Dark Princess and how she came into being. Knowing a tsunami is headed to wipe out the population of the country, panic ensues, but can the priest, John McClain, harness the supernatural powers given by God in order to stop the evil forces?

One of the first things which caught my attention about this book was the lack of consistency with the dialogue. Throughout the novel, there are sections of dialogue from reporters in both America and the UK. However, frustratingly, the English reporter still used Americanisms and did not sound any different from their U.S. counterpart, a minor, but very obvious error in the novel, which I felt made the whole thing sit badly with me from the beginning.

While I did like the character of McCain, I felt Benson didn’t succeed much in creating plausible characters. All of them didn’t seem very flawed or human, their actions and speech just seemed a little too perfect for me, even when there were disastrous events occurring around them. They always seemed to know what to say, and were all very ready to forgive each other extremely quickly.

I liked what Benson was trying to do with the story, and you could really feel his passion throughout the novel. He wanted to prove the power of God and show how having faith in Him does pay off. Unfortunately as the storyline just wasn’t intricate or believable, I just became disinterested quite quickly.

A novel which springs to mind while writing this review is William Young’s The Shack. Again, that novel is about the power of God and how we should remember to have faith in Him, but Young’s writing is just so much more compelling and raw. He is able to tap into an empathy of the reader, even if they are not religious or spiritual, and immerse them in the story and its allegories. I really wanted Benson’s work to do the same, and while I don’t think he has managed to achieve that yet, hopefully using his ability to write he will be able to hone his work until he manages to do so.

Benson’s ability to form an exciting plot arc left something to be desired, but I could really tell that it was not for lack of trying. If I wasn’t trying to be critical, and wasn’t reading the novel for review purposes, I could see how it could be a book which a reader could find hope and faith in, but for me, Hell’s Judgement lacked the necessary depth for it to be powerful, and instead just sounded like a 306 page long sermon, which ultimately fell flat.

Thank you to the author, Michael Benson, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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