Last year I reviewed the first book in Ronnie Schiller’s Infernal Stock trilogy. Click here to read the review if you haven’t seen it already. With the third book being released this past June, the trilogy is now complete! Book One, Dixon Breaks Loose, set the tone for this satirical story and introduced us to the character of Dixon. In a world in which Hell has gone corporate, Dixon is a demon living on earth, working for the Corporation by tricking humans into selling their souls. Dixon had some changing experiences in the first book, and there is plenty in store for him in Books Two and Three! I’ll try not to give actual spoilers, but if you want to be surprised, read the books first.
Infernal Stock II: Dovetail (2011)
In Dovetail, Dixon seems to be playing both sides of the good/evil dichotomy. He still works for the Corporation as a soul broker, and is assigned to a special task by his new boss. His mission is to round up demons who have “gone rogue” and left the Corporation. Meanwhile, Dixon is also serving the Council, an organization of angels, witches, and peaceful demons who work to maintain the balance between good and evil. Dixon’s girlfriend Julia is a demon and fellow Council member, and Julia’s sister Jennifer, an angel, is also on the Council.
Dixon’s cynical facade starts to crack as he deals with new emotions and tries to save an old friend who is in danger. Later he learns about The Apocalypse of Peter, a way through which he might find redemption.
Infernal Stock III: Deliverance (2012)
Deliverance shows a (slightly) more mature Dixon, still serving the Council but working for the Corporation as a casino floor manager. It is, after all, the perfect place to collect lost souls. Dixon’s world is turned upside down when he finds himself protecting a pregnant woman in his home. Julia’s sister Jennifer is pregnant with a child that might be part demon, and this unheard of event has caught the attention of many interested parties. Fearing that the child might be in danger, Dixon agrees to let Jennifer hide out at his apartment while the Council comes up with a plan.
Soon Dixon finds himself gathered with new allies and old friends he thought he’d never see again as he chooses to stand up for good and protect Jennifer’s unborn child.
Overall, I thought the Infernal Stock trilogy was interesting and original. It brings the mythology of angels and demons into the real world and makes it tangible, but with a humorous twist. I especially enjoyed Julia and Jennifer’s backstories that were detailed in the third book; it adds a lot of depth to their characters. The concept of a part angel/human/demon child is especially intriguing, and I laughed out loud at the subtle reference to the graphic novel Preacher, which also has a storyline about a half angel/half demon child.
Deliverance was the strongest and best written book of the trilogy, in my opinion. Unlike the first two books, it uses a third person narrative rather than Dixon’s first person perspective. This lets readers get inside the other characters’ heads and see events that are going on with other characters. I thought that the plot of Deliverance was the most compelling, although each book had an interesting storyline.
One thing I would like to have seen is some more continuity from Book Two to Book Three. The Apocalypse of Peter is introduced toward the end of Dovetail but not mentioned in Deliverance. The endings of both books felt rushed to me, especially in Deliverance, where an epic battle between forces is squished into one chapter.
If you like religious mythology and satire, and are looking for something different, definitely check out the Infernal Stock trilogy. Its sense of humor is similar to Buffy, so if you enjoy that you’ll get a kick out of these books. They seem to be rather popular in the Kindle store, and it’s nice to see indie books finding their place in the publishing world.