Review: Wrong Side of Hell By Sonya Bateman


Publisher: Sonya Bateman

Publishing Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9781523672127

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.9/5

Publishers Description: Hauling dead people around Manhattan is all in a day’s work for body mover Gideon Black. He lives in his van, talks to corpses, and occasionally helps the police solve murders. His life may not be normal, but it’s simple enough.

Review: Boy, am I late to the party on this one. Scads of reviews out there already, that are mostly glowing. I think each reviewer nuzzled up to the authors butt in order to get some brown time. “Was that necessary?”.  Yeah, maybe…….well whenever every reviewer spans the critical chasm without discernment (jumps on band wagon) I am immediately suspect. So I sorted the reviews and found that there were 16 chicken shits that ranked it as a two, but not a one written review. What we can generally learn from reviews prior to reading the novel is a sense of what will either interest us or repel. Say, if I am perusing a Scifi novel and find that there is a gushy love tribangle (yes, triBangle) between humans with no alien element, then meh.  Add in that if it is forbidden that a Fookyarnian female in the throes of Markya avail herself of the nearest male-pole in order to relieve her tentacled naughty bits without the Rangled Foo, then I am all in.

So where does that leave us with Wrong Side of Hell? Viscerally, I liked it. Technically it was ok. Believability ….pushing it. Character development, average in its entirety. Storyline pretty good. So lets shjtpick this fooker like a real critic so every writer out there can hate me even more as I trample upon their identities.

Gideon was a well developed character, and as you move with him through the story line, the self-discovery is a tangible thing where you can almost at times be the character. Gideon more than makes up for the lack of development of the supporting cast that seemed like they were assigned roles in a play. “You, yeah the tall skinny kid. You’re gonna play the bogey man…why? Cause you’re skinny and scary looking. No need to try out for anything else.”. Initially the story line was great and moved at a good pace. Then at about 2/3 of the way through, the story line begins to become compressed and a bit rushed. Gideon’s self discovery goes from a well paced and driven novel to a random assortment of events tied to a rushed ending. A substantial portion of Gideon’s story is based on his adoptive family torturing him his entire life. This Hillbilly poacher-hunter clan regularly hunts Gideon and shoots him with real bullets for sport. They burn him and generally behave badly in his direction.  For the moment forget the ludicrous idea that he has been getting shot since he was a little child. Wouldn’t Gideon be fucked up as an adult as the result of this mistreatment? Like, serial killer type fucked up?  But what we find is a rather glib and deeply caring person that will risk his life for others he doesn’t know. Gideon now lives in a van mostly to avoid being found by the Hillbilly clan. Really? How are the Hillbilly’s going to find him let alone do anything to him, and why would they care since they wanted to drown him as an infant?

This was a solid three stars. It had upsides and downsides, mainly with story line compression and character development. As an independently published author this is amazing work and really needs a major publisher in order to take advantage of a professional editor. Or maybe she just needs an honest professional assessment of the novel entire. This work was an easy 4 stars with a cohesive story line.


6 thoughts on “Review: Wrong Side of Hell By Sonya Bateman

  1. Tribangle is a lovely word!!! It truly is…
    As always, your review is really good… You can really dig out and present the pros and cons without waffling…

  2. Either way, you’ll produce pure review gold, I’m sure 😎

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