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The Demonata: Hell’s Heroes by Darren Shan

on March 6, 2014

Hell's Heroes    The Demonata: Hell’s Heroes by Darren Shan

Hell’s Heroes is the tenth and final book in the ten book series The Demonata, his second major Young Adult horror series, after the Cirque du Freak series (also called The Saga of Darren Shan, for anyone outside of the U.S.).


There’s always a whole lot riding on the end of a series, particularly ones that are considered long, like The Demonata.  When someone spends a bunch of time and money invested in a story and characters, they want the last time they encounter them to be memorable, right? Sometimes they can fall flat, like the ending of The Pendragon series, and sometimes they can be spectacular, like The Infernal Devices series. However, they often times just kind of end up in the middle, much like the ending to the Harry Potter series (which some thought was a nice ending, but others found to be a little too fast and a little too flat).

I felt like I had more expectations with this book than I normally do going  into a final book in a series, because this series was introducing some really big themes in the last couple books, such as how far should you go to help people before it becomes too big a sacrifice, and just how far should one go before it becomes a pointless effort.


The series centers around three teenagers: Grubbs Grady, a magician who has voluntarily fallen under the family curse of lycanthropy, Kernal Fleck, who has the mysterious power to see magical lights (the remnants of the universe that existed before The Big Bang) and can put the pieces together to create windows into the demonic universe, and Bec McConn (I apparently forgot to write her name in the past few posts), a priestess who sacrificed herself to save the human race the first time the demons tried to cross over to her world.  They are all part of a ancient weapon called the Kah-Gash, which is the conscious leftover of the universe before The Big Bang. They originally thought that this weapon could destroy the demon universe, but it was revealed in Dark Calling that it can actually put the universe back to how it was before The Big Bang, which would keep the demons in their separate universe, unable to harm any other creature.

Unless the demons achieve their goal, which would put the original universe back in place, but would allow the demons to become all powerful and destroy the other creatures. It is up to Grubbs, Bec, and Kernal to band together to save what is left of life in this universe and activate the Kah-Gash, thus putting the universe into a state of peace.

The problem is that Grubbs has decided that Earth is the only planet that needs saving and refuses to work with the Ancient Ones, and has blinded Kernal and forced him to help him, while Bec seems to have stopped caring about the human race entirely. Time is running out, and the demons are becoming more powerful by the day. The only chance of survival comes from Grubbs and Kernal convincing Bec to rejoin them, but first they must fight their way through mountains of demons to the center of Lord Loss’s kingdom.


I talked earlier about the importance of the final book in the series, and I feel that Hell’s Heroes ended on a very good (and surprisingly positive) note. I feel like it properly tied together all the threads of the series, while providing a good ending to the main characters. And I’m going to be honest, I was getting worried for a bit. There just didn’t seem to be a happy way for this series to end.


Rating: 8 out of 10.


About Darren Shan’s writing as a whole: I bought the Cirque du Freak series and The Demonata series at the same time, because I thought The Demonata series sounded super interesting, but I had also heard good things about the Cirque du Freak series.  I decided to read Cirque du Freak first because Shan wrote that series first.

That may have not been my best idea.  Cirque du Freak was a really… simple.  I did an in depth review of that entire series last year, so I don’t want to go into it too much, but I had problems with it as a whole.

Though I could see some of the same problems in the first couple of books in The Demonata, the series as a whole seemed better and more thought out. I don’t know if it’s because the different characters narrating the story or if it comes from a more experienced author, but I consider The Demonata miles better than Cirque du Freak.

Of course, that’s my personal opinion. There are many who love Cirque du Freak, and there are good things that come from the series.  There was a snippet from the next book Darren Shan wrote after The Demonata ended, called The Thin Executioner, which has gotten good reviews.


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