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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, January 2015 - I’m famous around the office for being an evangelist for Gina Damico and her Croak trilogy. When I learned that she had a new book coming out I jumped at the chance for it to be my January pick. Max Kilgore’s nerdy life is pretty average – if not, a little sad – until one day when he makes a deal with the Devil… and the Devil refuses to leave. The outrageous situations that ensue highlight Damico’s talents for smart, quirky, and darkly comedic YA storytelling. Her unique blend of horror and humor lends itself so well to audio, and I can’t wait to relive Max’s journey with Audie Award-winning narrator MacLeod Andrews leading the way out of Hell. —Katie, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

A devil is a bad influence.... There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max's choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food - and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high. With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin' Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.

Gina Damico, author of the Croak series, once again delivers all the horror, hilarity, and high-stakes drama that any kid in high school or hell could ever handle.

©2014 Gina Damico (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Critic Reviews

"MacLeod Andrews is hilarious as he delivers this darkly funny tale about a boy who finds Satan living in his basement.... Andrews's growly, juicy sounds make Burg sound as if he's a heavy smoker, yet Andrews also manages to sound absolutely adolescent as teenaged Max." (AudioFile)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Eugenia
  • Chatsworth, CA, US
  • 05-09-15

Worth it just for Macleod Andrews

I am not familiar with Gina Damico's other works, so I am basing my review solely on this one.
I found it amusing in spots, but overall not the kind of wonderful snarky humor I enjoy with others of this genre.
The main problem I had with this book, aside from the rather weak plot, was the main character. He was so disagreeable at times and almost completely unchanged throughout the entire story, that I had a really hard time caring for his character. Most of the other characters, including the pivotal mother, were not fully realized at all.
And the devil. Well, once you get past the joke of he being the snack-loving devil, it gets pretty old.
The saving grace of this book is the narration by Macleod Andrews. Actually, it was his name as narrator that I purchased this in the first place. I would listen to Macleod Andrews read the phonebook.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ceemax579
  • Leicester, MA, United States
  • 01-21-15

One of the best audio books I've heard

Any additional comments?

unusual story and characters. One of the best I've heard lately. Macleod Andrews is an outstanding narrator. His narration carried me though out the book. I hated to have it end.

Gina Damico is excellent writer. loved the story. I cant wait for her other books.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Gina Damico is simply hilarious

Gina Damico, author of the Croak trilogy, is known first and foremost for her fabulous sense of humor. Her books are always hilarious, which more than makes up for the occasionally weak plots. On the surface, Hellhole is a pretty weak story about a boy who accidentally ends up taking care of the devil (one of 666 of them, apparently) and makes all sorts of ill-advised bargains with him along the way. But there are many other things underneath, and it’s precisely those things that make this book worth your time.

The beginning and the ending were actually Hellhole’s weakest points. The beginning seemed slightly ridiculous as there was no good reason for Max to end up with Berg. The whole digging-up-the-devil business made very little sense and I felt that Max’s whole predicament lost some weight because of how it came about. The ending on the other hand felt rushed and non-sensical and it made my head spin with how quickly everything was wrapped up. I had maybe twenty minutes left of my audiobook and nothing was resolved, which made me panic slightly, and then before I knew it, everything was set to rights.

The middle part, however, was an absolute delight, what with all the humor and the explorations of Max’s character. A boy in his situation could so easily be swayed by the forces of evil, and it was touch-and-go for a while there since he kept making so many poor choices that almost led him to the point of no redemption. That psychological aspect of the story that can be pondered and discussed if one is willing to dig just a little deeper is something I truly didn’t expect from Damico, but it made Hellhole a much better and far more worthy experience.

The romance developed slowly, gradually, from poorly hidden disdain to reluctant friendship and finally to love. I really enjoyed the fact that Max had a best friend who was never anything more, and that he managed to endear himself to Lore despite his inability to talk to girls. Word vomit is a term that certainly applies to Max and his predicament was always equal parts endearing and exasperating.

MacLeod Andrews is quickly turning out to be one of the few narrators that can be relied upon completely. He is the male version of Lorelei King – fabulously funny, extremely capable, with a voice laced with humor and a talent for voice characterization. I still maintain that his female voices need more work, but overall, his performance is always superb.

All in all, Hellhole is a standalone, it’s adorable and it will make you laugh. When you add to that MacLeod Andrews’ fabulous voice, you know you’re in for a treat.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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a great listen

The narrator did a wonderful job of giving everyone individual voices and the author did a wonderful job of giving each character a unique personality and real life struggles

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • SCOTT DEPOT, WV, United States
  • 01-10-15

Excellence continues into new adventure

Gina Damico continues to delight with her humor, wit and sublime writing style in this wonderfully spun tale. Behind the crisp presentation of interesting characters lies a really well done narration that wraps this tale around the listener like a blanket.

I was a little apprehensive about delving into a new story with a new narrator after having grown so fond of Croak, but I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I warmed up to Hellhole.

Five stars to Hellhole. Really well done, Gina!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Diane S.
  • Everett, MA, United States
  • 01-07-15

Smart, Dark and Funny

This is a really entertaining read. A great story made even better with amazing narration.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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What you would expect from Gina Damico

Here is what I know of what to expect from Gina Damico. Young adult hilarity and fun, I mean the type that will make you laugh out loud and give you stitches. I hope that this new novel will follow this trend she has created for herself.

Hellhole is a ridiculous tale of a young man, Max Kilgore, high school student, family breadwinner and primary caregiver to his sick mother. Somehow gets paired up with the Devil, or rather on of 666 of them. Now he must keep the beast satisfied in order to keep him from ruining his life and the lives of the ones he loves with the promise to heal is mother.

One the best parts and something I have never come across, especially in a young adult story, was Max’s best friend sense childhood is his female neighbor. Seriously, a strictly platonic relationship! As with pretty much all stories in this genre, there is the love story that evolves from an unlikely source, even though she is really the only other female character.

All in all, if you are looking for a fast and entertaining young adult listen, you have found what you crave.

I am not sure, and would love to know, how in the world Macleod Andrews gets the job to narrate a ton of fun and enjoyable audiobooks. Along with that I seem to continue to end up listening to them all. Seriously, if you are looking for an audiobook that will guarantee a stellar audio performance, look no further than Andrews. There are few others that I can think of that will be able to elevate a so-so story to outstanding.

Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful narration

I laughed out loud. Rare for me. A silly fun escape.
Nine words remaining -if you want a review you please accept whatever length I choose

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Best book I have read in over a year!

LOVED this book. I usually just listen to my books in the car or at the gym, but I took this book with me into work and listened at home. The humor was awesome and the narrator was incredible, but the story itself was funny, refreshing and very unexpected. I didn't think this book had it in it to take the dark place that it went at the end with all of the humor, but it did and it really worked. I feel like I actually learned a lesson and I can't stop thinking about the message, whether it was implied or not.

Super funny, very witty and the best book I have read (listened to) in a very long time. Fast paced and fun, but very thought provoking..... for me anyway.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good YA fun, even for an adult

Yes, this book is good fun, even if you are an adult (though it's clearly a YA book). Yes, the characters are thin and some of the stuff is repetitive, but it's still a lighthearted and humorous supernatural adventure. And then the fabulous narration bumps it up to be a really good book.

Great narration, good simple fun book ----> worth my time and money.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful