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Book Review: Swallow You Whole, by Jasper Black

Swallow You Whole, by Jasper Black

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For two villainous nobles, it is a desperate means to an end. For two clever demons…it is one hell of a tax break.

Henry and James have accidentally staked claim on the same soul. Elliot Dosett, the bitter and sickly son of a successful steel magnate, summoned a demon in hopes of solving his trouble with his father and inheriting the estate. Violet Clifton, his aunt, also summoned a demon in order to rid herself of a useless husband and take over the business he leaves behind. In order to delay her own death, she also signs away Elliot’s soul. And so the paperwork begins to fly.

Lady is a fallen angel. He is also one of Hell’s top auditors. He is sent to monitor the activity of Henry and James. Once he finds out which demon is trying to cheat Hell, his job is to send them back in chains.

Henry will do anything to avoid being reported, dragging James and Lady down the path of a capricious scheme. Yet Satan is hot on their heels and will stop at nothing to hunt them all down; even if that means interrupting God’s latest round of golf.

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Coveart Copyright © Leanna Teneycke 2016

Swallow You Whole © Copyright Chamber Press 2015

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Amazon US              Amazon UK            Amazon CA

Chamber Press

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Book – Swallow You Whole

Author – Jasper Black

Star rating – ★★★★★

No. of Pages – 206

Cover – Gorgeous!

POV – 3rd person, omni-present.

Would I read it again – Definitely.

Genre – Historical Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror

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** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

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WARNING: murder, gore, cannibalism (kind of), death

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I was thrilled when Jaspar Black asked me to review this. The premise sounded incredible – I love demons! – and I knew the writing would be fantastic. I wasn’t disappointed.

First off, the characterisation of the main characters – Elliot, Violet, James and Henry – was fantastic. There was so much detail about their inner workings – Elliot and Violet in particular – their behaviours and just how despicable they could be, that I was left in no doubt that they were a pair of schemers, intent on revenge. James began as this innocent, naïve demon that had no clue what he was doing. Henry, on the other hand, was an old hand, who was playful and arrogant, with a great sense of humour. He’s a total troublemaker and he has a clear effect on James, who becomes just as playful as him the further on they travel together. Lady and Francis were minor characters, as were God, Satan, Greed, Michael and Raziel, but they all had their part to play and they were all diverse and unique in their own way.

I LOVED the idea of Hell being a corporation, with Satan as the CEO and the demons having to file paperwork. It was so great to actually see demons being held accountable for their actions, having quotas to meet and being pretty much reprehensible, despite any feelings of their own that they might harbour. They even had an auditor, which was so much fun.

The really fun parts were when Satan got involved, especially when he had to visit God. When the blurb said that he interrupted his golf game, I somehow assumed that it was a euphemism for God being useless. But he actually did it!

The detail, as you can imagine from what I’ve said above, is spectacular. The entire world – from Hell, to Heaven, to Earth – are all equally explored in great detail, but not so much that it got bogged down with description. We know things when it’s appropriate and when we need to.

When it comes to romance, there’s very little, which is perfect for the characters and the plot. Henry had a bit of a romance with Violet, though he’s a demon and incapable of love, so there is some explicit MF sex. There is a hint of an MM romance, but nothing explicit there or even explored, which perfectly works in with the Victorian/Edwardian time frame of the era.

Honestly, I really loved the brutal/gory aspects, which isn’t normally something I say. I’m a squeamish reader, but there’s such skill here that it all seemed perfectly natural. However, I much preferred James and Elliot’s treatment of his father and brother, to the way Violet chose to dispose of those in her way. This is where the omnipresent part really came into play. We got to see every aspect of the story, from all different POV.

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Overall, I loved every minute of it. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. There were equal parts Eww! and equal parts giggles. The humour was well placed, well managed and totally appropriate, while the gore and Hellish aspects are always as equally arranged and appropriate. I was pleasantly surprised by a lot of the twists and turns the story took, but never disappointed when things didn’t go how I expected. It’s a story of unapologetic demonic behaviour, even when you secretly wonder if they’ll slip up and be a little “human” just for a minute or two.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

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