Damnable by Hank Schwaeble
Publisher: Jove (2009)
2009 Bram Stoker Award Winner for Best First Novel
After being disgraced and wrongly imprisoned, special military operative Jake Hatcher finds himself standing watch against an unimaginable threat to humanity. For he’s about to discover that the streets of New York City have become a secret battleground between forces he cannot comprehend.
Jake Hatcher is a man with a problem. A special military operative, he’s beenwrongly imprisoned, and on the day of his release, finds out his brother has been killed; a brother he never even knew existed. This mystery begins a journey for Hank that will take himinto the darkest heart of man, and beyond.
Damnable is a wonderful debut novel, and Jake Hatcher is mykind of hero! In a sea of kick ass, tough chicks, he’s a male hero to root for!Wisecracking, resourceful, and tough, I had a blast following Jake as he battled zombies, half-human, half-demons, and his owngrowing feelings for a certain beautiful woman. I loved the author’s uniquetake on heaven and hell, and the creatures that inhabit them. Add to the mix Demetrius, a truly nasty villainthat loves a good torture chamber, the mystery of Jake’s brother, plus a dashof romance, and you have a fun, fast-paced read! I couldn’t help thinking thatDamnable just about has something for everyone, however, with Schwaeble’s talent for description, the violence may makeyou squirm a little. That said, I never felt that anything was gratuitous. Ifanything, it appealed to the horror fan in me, and gave us a picture windowinto the villian’s twisted psyche.
The novel switches from third person view between Jake andDemetrius, and the only complaint I have is I would have loved to have Jake’spassages be first person. Although, Schwaeble makes up for this with fun asidesof Jake’s funny, sarcastic train of thought.
Damnable won the 2009 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel, and it shows! It’s a testament to the author’s talent when he can make anover-the-top plot seem believable and make us sympathize with a hero that hassuch a shadowed past, but we do, and for me, that makes it a successful story.If you loved Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger, or Nelson DeMille’s John Corey,then you’ll love Jake!