5 Stars: Unleash the Hounds
Donald G. Firesmith impressed me with laying out a relatable world told from Dr. Oswald's perspective a geologist that doesn't speak in over the head technobabble that usually keeps me away from reading Sci-Fi or Fantasy. "Hell Holes: What Lurks Below", starts out with Dr. Oswald, his wife and colleague Dr. Angela Menendez ( climatologist ) along with newlyweds and grad students Mark and Jill Star tasked to investigate suddenly appearing holes in Alaska's North Slope.
The mission request comes from Kevin Kowalski, an ExxonMobil manager who tags along during the field study along with a field biologist, Dr. Bill Henderson, and reporter Aileen O'Shannon. Chapter one sets up "What Lurks Below" for the reader to ask questions about what is creating these holes, is it dangerous for the planet does it have to do with climate change? Who is this Aileen O'Shannon she doesn't seem to be a real reporter and why does Kevin Kowalski come off as incompetent? I get shades of John Carpenter's The Thing with Ennio Morricone playing in the background as I was trying to guess what and when the twist was coming. Without giving away too much away after tragedy strikes "What Lurks Below" turns into fun fast-paced sci-fi / paranormal story. While the characters do depend on magic and bullets, it's their intellect that shines and sometimes hinders which makes them realistic and refreshing.
During the chaos of this book, it ends on a cliffhanger; it is a short read with twist and turns no need for a request to review the next book "Demons on the Dalton (Hell Holes #2)" it's already on my TBR list.