“The journey is as important as the destination.” – God
In Hell, Book II of the Afterlife series by Mur Lafferty, Kate and Daniel learn this important principle as they once again journey through the afterlife. God sends them on a divine mission, literally going through Hell – from Hades of Ancient Greece to the Egyptian Underworld where souls are judged. The two friends must face tormented souls, angry gods, untold danger, and learn to accept the differences that have grown between them – now that their secrets have been revealed.
The action in Hell builds on – and surpasses – the battles and conflicts of Heaven. Kate’s freshly repaired soul struggles to remember its past while Daniel fills in her missing memories – a conveniently entertaining way to fill in readers who may have missed the first book. However, there are still questions he isn’t ready to answer. Though Hell is told through Kate’s eyes alone, Daniel’s side of the story slowly unfolds as she discovers what he did while her soul was damaged and where their ultimate destination lay.
Kate’s personality changed dramatically since the first book; something Daniel comments on when she shows reverence for God. Her direct exposure to the Divine changed her on a fundamental level. While Daniel is angry and bitter, she provides compassion that tempers his rage. Her painful past, her intimacy with the Divine, and the purity of her soul help her guide and shape Daniel’s conscience, even though he seems to know what ultimately lies in store for them. They balance each other as they fight demons and save souls together.
Readers who enjoy mythology, epic battles, and Armageddon will love this book. The themes that made Heaven such a popular story continue throughout Hell, though with a conclusion that’s both satisfying and heart wrenching. Just as all things must end so others may begin, so Hell concludes to move onto the next book, Earth. I’m halfway through it already.