Hell Holes: What Lurks Below

Rated 4.00/5 based on 6 reviews
When an oil company sends a scientific team to investigate one of dozens of huge holes that have mysteriously appeared overnight in the tundra of the North Slope of Alaska, they discover a far worse danger lurking below, one that threatens to destroy us all... More
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Words: 39,410
Language: English
ISBN: 9781310431210
About Donald Firesmith

A 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's also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat by his fear that the term "distinguished" makes him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science-fiction, action and adventure 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, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.

You can learn more about the author by visiting his personal website:
http://sites.google.com/a/firesmith.net/donald-firesmith/

His magical wands and autographed copies of his books are available from the Firesmith’s Wand Shoppe at: http://magicalwandshoppe.com.

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Reviews

Review by: Brandy Mulder on April 18, 2017 :
I was really surprised by this book. The science is laid out well within the story so you don't feel bored or lectured, the story line is fast paced and intense, the characters are believable, and a little magic is mixed in for excitement. I like how the professors are capable and non geeky. It's all business till Hell literally breaks loose. And oh god the carelessness of smokers...... There is violence, no adult content, and I would say good for ages 13+
(review of free book)

Review by: Karen Smith on March 24, 2017 :
***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 non-scientific person that has worked on sites in a normal job where pipelines and oil are in abundance, all the staff 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 near pipelines!

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, it's just a long played out scenario of 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.
(review of free book)

Review by: Dave Robertson on Aug. 27, 2016 :
I enjoyed this action thriller. It had a unique premise, good action scenes, and the pace was generally steady. The only drawback was the author's tendency to "info dump" at times. All in all an enjoyable read. Looking forward to the second book.
(review of free book)

Review by: AJ Watson on July 10, 2016 :
I tend to prefer a full story in a complete book to a series of smaller ones over time. I however gave this a go as part of a trade deal with the author (honest review of my books for the same of his).

The story starts more in the mundane world, and moves into the supernatural about half way through. While I enjoy a certain level of scientific explanation, at times I felt there was a little too much focus on the science rather than the story. Its great that the author has done his research, but I did find a couple sections that were a little bogged down by it. Not a deal breaker however, and its coming from a scientist explaining what happened so it makes sense for the character.

Once the action and the supernatural section starts, the pace picks up a lot. The interactions of characters were believable and how they reacted to a new situation and using weapons for the first time was done well.

Overall I liked the premise. People didn't survive just because they were established characters. There are sacrifices and anguish, real reactions to horrible situations and mostly relatable people.

I enjoy mystical secrets kept from the modern world so am interested on where the author goes with this aspect.

I have part 2 as well so will continue reading the series.
(review of free book)

Review by: Karen Smith on June 25, 2016 :
***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.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ever Star on Feb. 16, 2016 :
So I read what the book was about and figured it was going about sink holes and maybe a new world down below. I have already read another book about sink holes so I figured let me see what this author is about. This isn't sink holes this is something far more than that. There is another world opening up but it is one you don't want to be around. So I got almost close to a half in this book and when I was thrown for a loop of the paranormal I was like what? Wasn't expecting that and even though it was neat I started wanting to see more action without it feeling rushed.

A team of scientist go out to determine what is causing these holes to open up near pipelines, but when they get there it is way more than they bargain for. Now it is a race against time to live and they have to put their lives in the hands of a reporter/mysterious person. We get to meet a lot of different paranormal entities in this book but this is where I felt it was rushed. We get it hit with one thing and we deal with that for a day or so (in the story they have to sleep some time), then it is like oh this is here and then this is here. It was like wow that was very quick. I have to say the ending left me wanting to throw my kindle (though I didn't) it is a cliffhanger. I have to get book two because I need to see where this is going.

Will humanity survive? Will this person who has an idea of what is going on give us more answers on how to possibly stop this? You have to read it to find out. Overall a good short story.
(review of free book)

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