Series Highlight - Samuel Johnson

The Books

Title: The Gates
Book #: 1
Author: John Connolly
Release Date: October 2009
Pages: 293
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

My Rating:


 Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Hallowe'en. Which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Avenue.
 The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with Satanism. But it just happens to coincide with a malfunction in the Large Hadron Collider that creates a hole in the universe, a hole through which can be glimpsed a pair of enormous gates. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out...

Title: The Infernals (US) / Hell's Bells (UK)
Book #: 2
Author: John Connolly
Release Date: May 2011
Pages: 268
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
My Rating:

Samuel Johnson is in trouble. Not only is he in love with the wrong girl, but the demon Mrs Abernathy is seeking revenge upon him for his part in foiling the invasion of Earth by the forces of Darkness. She wants to get her claws on Samuel, and when the Large Hadron Collider is turned on again, she is given her chance. Samuel and his faithful dachshund, Boswell, are pulled through a portal into Hell, there to be hunted down by Mrs. Abernathy and her allies. But catching Samuel is not going to be easy, for Mrs. Abernathy has reckoned without the bravery and cleverness of a boy and his dog, or the loyalty of Samuel's friend, the hapless demon Nurd. Most of all, she hasn't planned on the intervention of an unexpected band of little men, for Samuel and Boswell are not the only inhabitants of Earth who have found themselves in Hell. If you thought demons were frightening, just wait until you meet Mr. Merryweather's Elves...

Title: The Creeps
Book #: 3
Author: John Connolly
Release Date: October 10th 2013
Pages: Still Unknown
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Samuel Johnson is not in a happy place. He is dating the wrong girl, demons are occupying his spare room, and the town in which he lives appears to be cursed. But there is some good news on the horizon. After years of neglect, the grand old building that once housed Wreckit & Sons is about to reopen as the greatest toy shop that Biddlecombe has ever seen, and Samuel and his faithful dachshund Boswell are to be the guests of honour at the big event. A splendid time will be had by all, as long as they can ignore the sinister statue that keeps moving around the town, the Shadows that are slowly blocking out the stars, the murderous Christmas elves, and the fact that somewhere in Biddlecombe a rotten black heart is beating a rhythm of revenge. A trap has been set. The Earth is doomed. The last hope for humanity lies with one young boy and the girl who is secretly in love with him. Oh, and a dog, two demons, four dwarfs, and a very polite monster.
We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and a Happy End of the World.

The Author

According to his website, John Connolly "was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute."

Other than this series, John Connolly has written "Charlie Parker" - which is a series - "The Book of Lost Things" (will have a review of this one at some point) and "Nocturnes".

My Thoughts

"The Gates" is a very good example of why you shouldn't judge a book by its short description. When I first picked it up, I really didn't have high hopes for it, but after a couple of pages I did not want to put it down. It made me laugh out loud, it made me scared for the characters and most importantly it got me immersed in the story.
This book as a wonderful mix of science, humor and fantasy. You can actually learn some facts while reading it, if you pay attention to the footnotes that it offers - it has a lot of footnotes, some are funny and some are just science explanations. Even though it presents the readers with science information, the writing is amazing since it's very easy to understand and the story itself is very fast paced which is a bonus in my opinion.
The characters are basically Samuel and his dog, along with two of his friends, a demon called Nurd who plays a very important role in the story and Mrs. Abernathy. I absolutely loved the fact that Samuel had a dog (a freaking daschund which is so adorable) which, as all dogs do, never left his side and actually helped him when he needed. I also appreciated the fact that Samuel had to struggle A LOT during this story, which made me even more interested in it.
I completely loved this book and its now a part of my all time favorites.

"The Infernals" is a wonderful sequel to "The Gates" and it presents us with the same characters as the previous book, but it also has some very hilarious and interesting additions to it.
Once again, we are presented with several science facts and some very funny footnotes.
When it comes to the story itself, this time there's a very interesting plot twist. This time Samuel is in Mrs. Abernathy home, HELL. You would think that Samuel would be automatically doomed, but the author has a very peculiar defition of Hell and therefore you never know what to expect from it.
I personally enjoyed the first book of the series a bit more, but this usually happens with me.

These books are aimed at young adults, according to the author, but I would highly suggest it to people that are on their early teens - or anyone who enjoys reading books with a 'hell' theme, like myself.

I cannot put down in words how excited I am about the third (and final?) book of this series.

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