By: Dale E. Basye
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 15, 2011
As George Washington once said (supposedly): "I can not tell a lie…" This is the BEST book of 2011thus far, by far. Even if you have not been privy to the first three books in this series, Book Four allows all readers (new and old) to enter into the zone of the most creative imagination you’ve seen in a very, very long time.
Marlo and Milton Fauster have been stuck in Heck for a while now. In the last book, their souls were switched and put into each other‘s bodies: Now Marlo is residing in Milton, sporting her brother’s acne and geeky-boy look; and, Milton is in Marlo, struggling desperately to cross his legs and walk in horrific heels that only Satan could’ve created in the first place.
Marlo (in Milton’s body) has been sent to Fibble - which is the Fourth Circle of Heck. Fibble is the world of lies and FLIMFLAMMERY. She rides in a stagecoach pulled by horses called Night Mares, and she rides with a Mr. Nixon who flashes the “V” for victory sign every five minutes and speaks about his glorious life and his world of lies. He is a master, after all. When she arrives in Fibble, she is greeted by a huge clown and a three-ring circus that P.T. Barnum, himself, runs. Here in Fibble, the lies are told that will be meshed together in order to write yellow journalism (ruled over by Mr. Hearst), and false advertising and marketing campaigns that will make humans above, on the Surface, believe in just about anything. (Apocalypstick, anyone?) Marlo must team up with a Dr. Brinkley - a real “quack” scientist - to bring down Fibble in order to escape, find her brother (and her own body), and save the people on the Surface from Revelations coming true.
Milton (in Marlo’s body) has gone from his sister’s ex-job as being Girl Friday the Thirteenth for Satan, to running an exclusive television network called T.H.E.E.N.D. - a master plan that involves programming and airing shows like Teenage Jesus (starring the late, great Van Glorious); Allah in the Family; What’s Mayan is Yours, and a slew of others up to the Surface. These shows, of course, are causing religious-type riots on the streets of Earth and are making humans self-destruct (which - hello? - is the point, anyway). Of course, by doing it this way, there will be no need to have the glorious fight between Michael and the ‘Bad Guy Down Under.’ Humans are simply children whose toys have outgrown them…so they will bring the end to themselves, by themselves.
Every SINGLE page - every SINGLE word - is a true masterpiece of fiction. YA’s, adults - heck - even pastors, occultists, and atheists should be pouring over this book and enjoying the…HECK out of it. Add in a place called the Furafter, where the famous three-headed dog has…headed; a British boy named Zane who Marlo has a serious crush on; a boy named Damian who “talks” to his “Dad” with a Ouija board; and Satan’s newspaper - GYP - which is “the news that leaves a bruise;” and, you have the BEST book of 2011! Not to mention, the moral of the story that the author tells regarding the difference between truth and lies, is one of the best lessons that could possibly be taught to children, YA’s, (political figures), and adults everywhere!
Quill Says: Imaginative, creative, out-there, fantastical, illustrious, drop-dead (excuse the pun) funny - not enough words to describe this writer’s pure and effortless work!!! Thank goodness there are more Circles of Heck to visit!