H. A Goodman, has never been known to write boring novels. When he released his debut novel, Logic of Demons, in 2010, he took the literary world by storm.  Now, the former financial advisor and high school History teacher has released another fictional work, Breaking The Devil’s Heart. The Fantasy Book Review UK described it as brilliant, while Fiction Books UK averred that “to say the book is one of a kind is an understatement.” The Weekend Post in Botswana said: “This novel epitomises colourful writing and an equally colourful plot… The writer has used his very potent imagination to put in perspective, his own views about life, the afterlife and the heaven/hell realms… More than just a story, this is philosophy in fiction form.”

Why is Breaking The Devil’s Heart such a hit? The writer combines his love for fantasy, science, religion and philosophy to create a rollercoaster ride through the afterlife.  A fantasy novel, it takes the reader to an ethereal world, while still keeping the reader rooted to the earth. The reader oscillates between the spirit world and earth, following the characters through not just a plot-driven story, but also time travel. As the novel takes the reader through the labyrinthine story, they realise why conflicts, terrorism, war, genocide occur on the planet.

The novel tells the story of two lovers, Stewart and  Layla, who, after a barbaric death experience, must make a choice to be either angels or observers in the afterlife.  And whatever choice they decide to make entails a duty they must carry out. The lovers decided to be observers, which meant they must fight evil. Stewart and Layla take upon themselves the onerous responsibility of spying on The Company, a group of agents and salesmen that wreaks havoc on earth by selling The Formulae,  the cause  of all the evils perpetuated on earth. Though Stewart and Layla believe so much in their mission to rid the earth of evil, their faith is tested several times as they come across  demons who carry out nefarious activities on earth through thought control and manipulation. The book succinctly put is the triumph of good over evil.

What makes Breaking The Devil’s Heart so arresting is the uncanny manner the writer treats a topic so ethereal and yet so real. It simply tells a story that is inspired by the belief that whatever happens in the physical comes from the spiritual. There is never a dull moment in the novel. The characters are well developed, distinct and rounder. In the book, Stewart and Layla are portrayed as two lovers fired with the enthusiasm to rid the world of evil, while Franklin is cast as brash arrogant and self-righteous.

The novel, no doubt, is a groundbreaking work of a genius. Aside a few typos and grammatical errors the book is filled with suspense, romance and the magical.  It is an unputdownable novel.

—Nehru Odeh