Hell Holes: What Lurks Below

Hell Holes: What Lurks Below

by Donald Firesmith

Paperback(Includes photos of main characters)

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It's August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the Fall semester. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O'Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a wildlife expert hired to protect them from Arctic predators join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover that a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack's unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781987060928
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Press
Publication date: 08/03/2018
Series: Hell Holes , #1
Edition description: Includes photos of main characters
Pages: 166
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

A computer geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He is also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat worrying whether the term "distinguished" makes him sound more like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, and horror novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.

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Hell Holes: What Lurks Below 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Good foundation for fantasy The concept of this story was good, and the story was enjoyable. To me, it's a cross between sci-fi slash fantasy and horror. It had a long build-up but it was well written. It felt like it had a lot of different things that were going on, maybe a little too much. Firesmith writes a good story, and there were probably several going on within this one. It was a good read, very thrilling at times.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Jack Oswald is a geology professor and is asked to check out several large holes that have mysteriously appeared in Alaska that are threatening ExxonMobil’s operations. Jack gathers his wife, Angela Menendez, a climatologist and a couple graduates to investigate. Then you have Aileen O’ Shannon has heard about the mysterious holes and Jack’s investigation. She talks her way into joining the group but she has more to add to this little adventure. Of course there is death, very bloody and gory death, and a bit of paranormal. It seems these holes are a direct gateway to hell and all kinds of demons are coming out to rule Earth. This story is a bit slow to start with the world building and all the science that goes into the investigation. You can really tell that the author has done a lot of research. I was worried that I was going to get lost with all the science, but this just drew me deeper into the story. Things quickly go to hell, quite literally. This is a short read and ends on one heck of a cliff hanger. I didn’t want to leave this story but luckily I have the second book and can jump into it right away. I received What Lurks Beneath from Silver Dagger Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
SherryF More than 1 year ago
Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith was everything I had hoped for and more. They were asked by Exxon to come up and check out the Hell Holes that had become a threat to the pipeline. Stowaway photographer, Aileen O’Shannon, is quite a handful and so much more than she appears to be. Have you ever thought about not just climate change, but all the holes we punch into the earth? Could we be destroying the planet we live on…or is there something else happening, something so monstrously evil we cannot imagine. What had been a secret, which I love to have revealed to me, was on the verge of becoming Armageddon. Bloody, gory, slasher type horror. Demons rise from hell, hungry and I sure don’t want to meet them on a dark lonely highway…or anywhere else, for that matter. Characters fall, so be careful who you become attached to. I love when an author does that, leaving me wondering who will be taken out, how they will be taken out, and who will be left standing. I also love when an author can surprise me and I did not see the direction the story would go when I began. Nice job, Donald. I wasn’t ready for the ending!!!!! but end it did. Does not stand alone and I am left hanging…BUT This is a two book series, and Book II is out and ready for reading.
lauralovesreviewingLT More than 1 year ago
I love unexplained acts of nature. Makes for such a chilling plot. When holes start appearing in the Arctic Circle , a team of experts is sent to investigate. Once they arrive, things get worse as more holes appear. And then something straight out of Hell crawls out. A horde of otherworldly creatures that have only one thing in mind. Killing mankind. With nowhere to run, the team seeks shelter in an old station. But the horde won’t be denied, and like an octopus with a sealed bottle full of yummy bait, they will find a way in. I was almost rubbing my hands together in twisted anticipation before I started this one. Mysterious holes appearing. Something beyond imagining crawls out. The fate of mankind hangs in the balance. Oh yeah. I knew I had to read this book. There’s a mixed bag of character’s. Ones you come to like and respect and some not so much. The author doesn’t seem to mind killing off either one. Keeps you on edge when things get down and dirty. Which doesn’t take long at all. The story is strong and there’s a sub plot that makes things even more interesting. Also, the blend of science fiction and horror leaves the story wide open for the author to go in many different directions. The ending. Well, it’s an end, but also a cliff hanger. That’s because this is really the beginning of something much bigger. I’ll be grabbing the next one immediately. Got a good feeling about this series.
fcheavenly More than 1 year ago
Well this book definitely made me engage my little used inner geek, and honestly, I enjoyed it. At first, I was afraid I would get swamped trying to absorb all the new knowledge flooding my long retired brain cells, but the tale began to switch from educational real possibilities to the introduction of mythical creatures and demons and bingo.....I got roped in. I truly could picture a sci-fi channel made for TV movie being modeled after this. The ending was a bit abrupt but it did leave room for our own imaginations to write the ending. An entertaining read for those looking for a touch of reality with our demons and heroes
Amy_Hubbard77 More than 1 year ago
Called on an unexpected assignment to inspect unexplained opening up in the ground all over the world a group of friends encounter something they never thought in their wildest dreams existed! Will they make it or will they fail??? This is a new author to me. Loved the story.
Nurse4pets More than 1 year ago
This book hooked me from the start!! Dr. Jack Oswald and his team are called in to research these mysterious gigantic holes that are popping up near oil pipelines in Siberia. What they find is definitely not what they were expecting!! A gripping read, very detailed, you won't want to put it down!!!
Amanda_Kaye More than 1 year ago
This is a very interesting book. All of a sudden hundreds of very huge holes show up in the ground in the Artic Circle. As a result Jack, his wife, and others are hired by an oil company to investigate. The oil company is only worried about the stability of the Trans-Alaska pipeline but that should be the least of their worries. This book has it all, action, danger, and a steady stream of Demons. Yes demons from a version of "Hell" (aka a place of evil). I love the actual science mixed into the story and it allows the book to be more interesting. While this is normally not my cup of tea I actually found myself enjoying this short read.
Richie1 More than 1 year ago
Dr. Jack Oswald, a geology professor at the University of Alaska got an emergency call from Kevin Kowalski, an ExxonMobil manager. There were huge holes opening up on the tundra near Prudhoe Bay. Kowalski wanted Oswald's help identifying them as they threatened their oil wells and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Oswald, his wife Dr. Angela Marteniz, and two grad students, Mark and Jill Starr packed up their supplies and equipment, then flew to Deadhorse to investigate. What they found not only threatened the oil fields, but their lives also. Hellish creatures were coming up from the holes in an attempt to take over civilization as they knew it. Firesmith spins a devilish tale in this creative novelette.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't let the cover mislead you, this is a very good book. I was a bit vexed at what seemed a push for climate change agenda and a negative Christian in the beginning but that eventually stopped and the story exploded with fascinating and riviting adventure. I will be seekingthe next book and more from this author. Kudos and thanks for the entertainment! Dale M. Baranoski
katsindiebookblog More than 1 year ago
***Gifted in exchange for an honest review*** When I was contacted by the author to read this book I liked the premise, but wondered if it would be a bit too much science and not enough fantasy. I was right in my premise that it is more an action book rather than fantasy, so if you are after a full on fantasy novella you won't get it in this. But if you want a story that could actually happen then read on... who knows what is buried deep in the earth. The main characters are scientists along with a reporter, company and the Company Oil rep, not many will survive... which I liked, its a more true to life account of what probably would happen when all hell is let loose on the earth.... lots of people would die. When the group travel one of huge holes that have appeared in the Oil fields in Alaska. They hope to figure out what is going on before an environmental disaster happens when one of them opens up under an oil well or the pipe lines that feed from it. So I read it in one day, it was fast paced but there were a few things that bugged me - one Huge one was the first accident scenario... no spoilers but I as a simple person that has worked on sites of normal jobs where pipelines and oil are know that smoking is a no no, so I doubt that Real scientists or Oil Company employees would allow smoking anywhere where there were unexplained holes in the tundra! When the action starts up in earnest you are swept up on the journey to survive and I did get into the book storyline. But by the time I finished the story, I was left feeling that this book really should have been fused into the next book, its just a long played out scenario of the the first day of what is probably armageddon. I do have book 2 to read, as the Author has kindly sent them together, so I will try slot the book in while this novella is fresh in my memory, If you like serial book stories, and I can say I felt like I was reading a TV Serial script, then you will be fine waiting with the small cliffhanger, I have gotten used to them as they are everywhere but I still prefer standalone book stories, and tend to wait a while until more than one book is out before buying serial storylines. I know book 2 is out but if there are more and more parts then this is where I get frustrated with this style of drip fed story. I guess I will find out soon. I hope that the author will explain more how certain characters kept our human world safe until this catastrophe. As in this book its more action and escape than really getting deep into the world which the story is set.
224perweek More than 1 year ago
This story was sooooooo good. Why wasn't it longer??!! Creepy, scary, kept me on the edge of my seat. I want more..................
ScifiandScary More than 1 year ago
The cover is pleasingly stark. I didn’t even notice the little man scaling down the side until I’d opened it up to a non-thumbnail size. It quite nicely fits this story, which is an unusual blend of modern science (no, I didn’t forget to put the word fiction after science) and fantasy. Hell-Holes read quick and easy, and at 108 pages, for someone who reads at an average speed, it should give you a couple hours of enjoyment. I loved the premise and the way this book was written for the most part. The setting was perfectly described, the author didn’t use 100 words where 50 would suffice, and though I’m not at all versed in the science talked about, it ‘sounded’ believable enough that I had no problems with it. When the fantasy portion entered the story, there was only minor nose-wrinkling on my part. I liked that he did his best to keep the fantasy at a level that didn’t go into religious woo (which it could have easily done, given the premise of Hell Holes). This was a pleasing read that entertained me right up until the end. The end didn’t really blow it for me, but it definitely made my enjoyment fizzle out. The author had stated in his original inquiry that he was working on book two of the series, so I was a bit nervous about getting a cliff-hanger at the end. Yep. While this one wasn’t as bad as some that I’ve read, where it feels like the story cuts off halfway through the interesting part, it definitely gives you a TV episode feel. You are given a complete short story in Hell Holes, don’t get me wrong, but then the author tacks on a mini cliffie that is meant to entice you into reading the next short in the series. That bugged me because, while I don’t mind reading related stories, suddenly it made this ‘complete’ short story feel incomplete. Let me sort of going “erm…but…” but it didn’t serve the purpose of enticing me to read more. Overall, Hell Holes is worth the read, just keep in mind it does container a bit of a tease/cliff-hanger at the end, and if you’re not a fantasy fan, it’s got enough of that element that you probably won’t enjoy it. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this story free from the author in exchange for an honest review.