After The Hell
Title : After the Hell
Author : Eric Del Carlo
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY IT HERE)
Genre : M/M, Science Fiction
Length : 168 pages (e-book)
Published : December 31, 2013
Rating : ★★★
Shadow Juke, postapocalyptic gunslinger, mercenary, cold-blooded killer…red-hot lover. Forced to take on a rescue mission he never wanted, Shad must retrieve Harc, the lover of the ethereal witch the White Whisper, from the perilous Scarlet Fires Oasis. There the powerful wizard Capricorn holds the witch’s beautiful lover captive. Too bad for Shad that he himself has fallen in love with the man.
Shad is thrown down among the slaves of Capricorn’s brutal temple, only to fall in with a gathering rebellion. There, he’s forced into sexual gladiatorial games by an old nemesis.
The world of After the Hell is fraught with sex, danger, monsters, mutants, black magic, radioactive wastes and even a porn-obsessed mad scientist. Throughout, Shadow Juke must fight his way against impossible odds. Yet if he succeeds in rescuing Harc, he may have to give up the man he loves…
I’ve been struggling with what in the hell I’m going to say about this book in a review. I really liked parts of it. The other parts left me thinking this book was far out fantasy porn. So there were some highs and lows.
Shadow Juke is a gunslinger in a post apocalyptic world. He’s hired by the White Witch to retrieve a man who was kidnapped. Shadow has to take the job despite promising to never return to Scarlet Fires Oasis. Since hell spilled out into the world he needs magic to live. Magic he takes as payment for his skills. What Shadow finds once he’s inside the Oasis is a kingdom within it run by the powerful wizard Capricorn. Capricorn’s power has gone to his head. He’s created a place where they use people looking for safety from the ruthless world outside the gates only to find themselves used and thrown away for the purpose of Capricorn’s vanity and greed.
Shadow has no choice but to find the beautiful creature he’s been sent to return to the white witch. He didn’t think it would be easy but he didn’t realize completing his assignment would include joining the revolution brewing inside the palace. Shadow also didn’t expect his response to the man he’s sent to find. He’s become slightly obsessed and yearns for his touch. Shadow doesn’t even know the man but he can’t shake off the feelings for the man. He’s torn between what he wants and what he has to do to stay alive.
Like I said before, parts of this book were very intriguing. The premise and world building were great. The baddies were brutal and I hated them thoroughly. Shadow was a believable bad ass. Very sexy. The parts that kind of pulled me out of the fantasy element were the sex scenes with random men he happens upon. Don’t get me wrong, they were all hot sex scenes but it was kind of bizarre. Like I was reading two different books. There’s even a crazy scientist who keeps guys to watch them fight in a type of sexual gladiator takes all sort of thing. Also, the author switched up calling Shadow, Shad, Shadow Juke or Juke. It was kind of confusing in the beginning. The other problem I had were some of the too long over descriptive scenes in the book. I should never zone out in the middle of an intense scene. I should be in it and on the edge of my seat.
I wanted to love this book more than I did. The blurb sounded amazing. I think there was just so much going on I never really settled in.
Rated 3 stars by Whit