Breaking the Devil's Heart by H.A. Goodman
Review by Lauren
Author sent a copy for review, but all opinions are my own
Official Summary: When Stewart and Layla recruit a demon to spy on the Devil, their decision takes them on whirlwind ride through the afterlife. Journey alongside this young couple in H. A. Goodman's new novel, Breaking the Devil's Heart, and join forces with a teenage Angel outcast to bankrupt Satan's underground Company and save Heaven from civil war. H. A. Goodman's Breaking the Devil's Heart is a rollercoaster afterlife experience that tests a young couple's love, their grasp on reality, and the essence of human nature. What happens when Stewart and Layla tour Hell's Marketing Department and Stock Exchange? What happens when their relationship is tested by Satan?
Review: When the author first wrote me about possibly reviewing this book, I was immediately interested. However, it said it was a Logic of Demons novel and I figured that meant it was part of a series. When I inquired about reading it without having read the first, I was assured this was a stand-alone novel. After finishing the novel, I now understand that the books might be part of a similar universe, but they are able to be read and enjoyed as their own novels. I'm also quite curious to check out Logic of Demons now that I thoroughly loved Breaking the Devil's Heart.
Yes, that's right. I loved this book. I don't normally rate books because it's hard for me to figure out just what number a book falls under. With this, though, I'd happily rate it a 5/5 and tell you, in the words of the lovely Mimi, to BUY. Buy it now!
Breaking the Devil's Heart is an intellectual, yet exhilarating, ride through the afterlife. Stewart and Layla were wonderful people in their life, but after they suffer a horrific death, they must make a choice: become an Angel or go another route and be an Observer. They both choose the latter as they feel they can more easily fight evil and the Demons that peddle said evil (via the Formula) in the Hell known as The Company. Goodman has created a unique premise for how the afterlife works, basing it on very real premises like the Stock Exchange and a Ponzi Scheme. The Boss, in this case though, is Satan (and Satan is a woman, despite most people depicting a red male with horns and a tail).
Stewart and Layla are in love and they believe in the basic goodness of human nature among others, but their faith is tested in many ways throughout the novel. They come face to face with demons that have done reprehensible things to people while they were living and they even venture into the past to witness crimes against Freedom Riders and even the Jews during the Second World War. Breaking the Devil's Heart is filled with historical and philosophical references, but it never reads like a history book and I believe most readers would easily connect and relate to Stewart and Layla's very human personalities.
It's obvious that Goodman brought in many of his own life experiences to the world he created and it made reading the book that much more interesting (I'll include the author's bio below so you know what I mean). Breaking the Devil's Heart is one of the most unique, exciting, and thought-provoking boks I've read in awhile. It's equal parts action and heart and would be fabulous on the big screen. I highly recommend you dive into this world!
Author's Bio- H. A. Goodman is a former financial advisor for Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab as well as a former LAUSD history teacher. He has a degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California and has also worked at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. His debut novel, Logic of Demons, has received rave reviews from over 35 book blogs and review sites. In 2012, H. A. combined his love for fantasy and philosophy to create a whirlwind ride through the afterlife in Breaking the Devil’s Heart.