Monday, June 2, 2014

REVIEW: The Book of Bart by Ryan Hill

Title: The Book of Bart

Author: Ryan Hill

Genre: Paranormal

Age Group: Young Adult

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Release Date: May 22, 2014

Links: Goodreads

Only one thing is so powerful, so dangerous that Heaven and Hell must work together to find it: the Shard of Gabriel.

With a mysterious Black Cloud of Death hot on the shard’s trail, a desperate Heaven enlists the help of Bart, a demon who knows more about the shard than almost anyone. Six years ago, he had it in his hands. If only he’d used it before his coup to overthrow the devil failed. Now, he’s been sprung from his eternal punishment to help Samantha, an angel in training, recover the shard before the Black Cloud of Death finds it.

If Bartholomew wants to succeed, he’ll have to fight the temptation to betray Samantha and the allure of the shard. After an existence full of evil, the only way Bart can get right with Hell is to be good.

Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.

Links: Website + Goodreads + Twitter

Book Excerpt

Samantha burst out of The House of
the Rising Sun, trying to catch up to me. “Wait. Where are you going?”

I waved her off. “You’re on your
own, kiddo.”

“Where are you going?”

“Wherever the day takes me. Disney
World. The moon. I don’t know and I don’t care.” I lit a cigarette and took a
drag. “I’m not messing with a female demon, or whatever it is,” I said,
exhaling through my nose. “You think I’m bad? I at least have fun when I’m
working. Those harpies just…they take things way too seriously.”

Female demons are the worst. So
insecure. One look at another woman and next thing you know, the Titanic is
sinking. Believe me, I know from experience.

“How can I stop one of them from
getting the Shard?”

I stopped and turned around, moving
within inches of her face. “They probably already have it. Why else would
Pierce have attacked me? Why do you think we got jumped at the museum?”

Samantha shrugged. “I’m not sure.”

“Right,” I snapped. Lies. Or as
angels call it, distortion of the truth. Anger boiled in my veins. I considered
letting my horns out to play. It would be nothing to ram them through her
chest, ruining her perfect C-cups. “So tell me, little miss angel face, why
should I help you when you won’t tell me what you know?”

Samantha bit her lower lip, like
she carefully considered what to say next. A wise move. I wanted to impale her
like a matador.

“Well?” I pressed the button on my
keyless entry to unlock my car. “I don’t have all day. I’d like to deflower a
virgin or two before sundown.”

Her expression became stolid. “I
can’t believe you’re scared,” she said derisively. “You. A demon. Afraid of a

She laughed and laid a hand on the
roof of my Benz, adding to her offense.

I’d have removed her hand from her
body, but she’d called out my demonhood, and addressing that took precedence.
Nobody accused me of being afraid.

“Scared?” I spit out my cigarette.
“I’m not scared. I’m just smart enough to know when to close up shop. You don’t
have any idea what you’re talking about.”

“Maybe you’re right.” Samantha’s
lips curled upward. “Maybe they did send me the wrong demon. Next time I’ll
make sure they send me someone who knows how to finish the job.”

Oh, that burned. This girl was
good. And I bought into it, because to be fair, why should I stand idly by and
let somebody else succeed in my stead? I wanted to pat her on the back for such
a fine manipulation, but thought better of it.

My Review

A demon and an angel walk into a highschool. Sounds like the beginning
if a corny joke. In fact, it's one of many strange events in The Book of
Bart. The whole story revolves around a demon, Bart, who is working
with an angel named Samantha and a Templar determined to kill him, but
only after he helps complete the mission. Ryan Hill has written a winner
with this one.

First things first: I hate the cover
of this book. The image of Bart on the cover was borderline haunting
and definitely bothersome. It even shows up at the beginning of every
chapter. I'm typically one of those no-good scoundrels who judges books
by the cover, but I'm definitely glad I have this book a try. 

like to think that the Book of Bart is written in the same style I tend
to write. It's full of sarcasm with characters that tend to pick at
each other. Hill manages to find the humor in every situation, which
unfortunately means that poor Bart goes through an awful lot of nice
suits through the story. I liked how he didn't focus in on the small
details, which would make the book rather violent, but instead focused
on the big picture. His style keeps the reader focused on the main plot
and doesn't let them get tied up in those small details. 

only downside to this novel is that the plot takes so many twists and
turns it gets a little confusing. There were a few times when I would
have to re-read earlier pages in order to understand what is going on in
the later pages. I feel like this is a story I would need to read twice
to fully comprehend everything that was going on, but luckily I was
able to make it to the end with some idea of what was going on. 

Book of Bart is being marketed as a young adult book, though I wouldn't
suggest it be added to the high school library where I work. There is a
lot talk of drinking and sex involved, as well as a chain-smoking demon
main character. I highly encourage people who like stories that are out
of the ordinary to read this story. If you are reading about a demon
who was kicked out of heaven, you can pretty much assume that there will
be some debauchery. This book was a great read, go check it out.

My Rating

Four Big Stars!

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