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What Lurks Below (Hell Holes #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Alternate cover edition for ASIN B012IUE14U

When hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, they threaten financial and environmental catastrophe should any more open up under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or any of the many oil wells and smaller pipelines that feed it. An oil company sends a scientific team to investig
Kindle Edition, 4th, 184 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Magical Wand Press (first published August 5th 2015)
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  • What Lurks Below by Donald G. Firesmith
    What Lurks Below (Hell Holes, #1)
    Release date: Aug 05, 2015
    Win a free autographed copy of 4th edition of Hell Holes: What Lurks Below, the first book in the series of modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic sci ...more

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    Availability: 1 copy available, 306 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 14 - Apr 14, 2017

    Countries available: US

    Format: Print Book

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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30)
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    Olga Miret
    Science,horror, fantasy, paranormal and plenty of action I received a free ARC copy of the book and I voluntarily decided to review it. I am also sharing this review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team.
    Hell Holes is an intriguing book and one difficult to classify. Set in Alaska, the prologue already gives us a hint about what is to come, but once we start reading the account written by Professor Jack Oswald, we get taken in by the mystery of the holes, and by the hypotheses suggested, sending u
    Lilyn G. (Scifi and Scary)
    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.
    Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)
    This is a great wee book! I read the blurb and though it would be an exciting, yet still scientific read and the author did not let me down.

    It was great to see science, adventure, exploration and a bit a fantasy. It's a very thrilling read as well. With all those bits thrown together, it is a book you are worried won't meet the very high expectations you have for it, but this book and author have done very well to hold up their end and really make this book everything it claims to be and a bit
    Dr. Jack Oswald is a geologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Just before classes are ready to begin for the semester, Jack receives an urgent call from Kevin Kowalski who works for ExxonMobil drilling oil. There have been a series of mysterious holes opening up around the drilling fields that are affecting operations. The holes are deep and perfectly cylindrical and just plain strange. Jack has been hired to investigate; he assembles his team consisting of his wife, Dr. Angela Menend ...more
    Dec 31, 2016 Frances rated it really liked it
    Hell Holes: What Lurks Below is not in my favorite genre. It is actually in one of my least liked. I tend to find a lot of SciFi-Fantasy gets bogged down with a lot of terminology I don't really know. In trying to figure things out, I tend to come to the conclusion that there are many other books that I could be reading. I decided to read Hell Holes because it sounded interesting and was set in Alaska. I wasn't expecting very much though. I ended up being surprised by a story that held my intere ...more
    Jan 08, 2017 Eva rated it really liked it
    Review of: Hell Holes
    Rating: 4 stars
    Reviewer: Amanda (

    Firstly this book was a lot shorter than I expected but I still really enjoyed it. Secondly this book was seriously researched by the author at the start we got a little too much information and thirdly it ends with a massive cliff-hanger.

    This book is a mish mash of genres, from science, to fantasy to horror.

    So the story is about a group of scientists who have to investigate large holes that haver appeared from no
    Ian yarington
    Sep 18, 2016 Ian yarington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Won this in the giveaways with another small quick read book and I have to say that I have enjoyed the smaller books because I feel accomplished when I get through them in a few days or in one sitting. I was impressed with the book and my only complaint is that some of it after the half way mark felt a little rushed but other than that it was a good read!
    Cheryl Earle
    Mar 19, 2017 Cheryl Earle rated it liked it
    I give this 3.5 stars.

    Well, wasn't this a complete surprise package! It just goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover.
    After reading reviews as to what this novella would be genre wise, I tend to disagree that it's science fiction. To me it felt more like a horror/paranormal/thriller and kept you on the edge of your seat as to what would happen next.
    Written rather like a journal from the male protagonist's point of view, the writing was smooth and the characters quite lifelike
    Kerstin Vollbrecht
    Mar 15, 2017 Kerstin Vollbrecht rated it liked it
    It's a story about a group of geologists that is called tho investigate the massive appearance of holes affecting the zone of the Alaskian oil pipeline. During their investigation, they are confronted with the loss of people of their team due to the surging of demonic creatures that emerge from these precise holes they're investigating.
    The book starts with the scientific development of the information about the effect that those holes could have on the environment, to soon develop the shocking t
    Hannah Ross
    Feb 26, 2017 Hannah Ross rated it really liked it
    What Lurks Below is an interesting cross between sci-fi/dystopia, horror and magical realism. Summary: out of the blue, great big holes open up in the ground in Alaska and vicious scary demons begin to pour out of some fourth-dimension version of Hell. What ensues is a fast-paced, action-packed, bloody and gory chase during which our protagonists try to escape to safety, heart-wrenchingly losing some of their comrades in the process.

    It is a relatively short, quick and entertaining read for thos
    Terry Tyler
    Dec 11, 2016 Terry Tyler rated it really liked it
    Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber's Book Review Team

    Mostly, I enjoyed this. It's very much escapist genre fiction, which could have done with a better edit to rectify repetitions and a few lazily constructed sentences, but I did like it. It's about geological scientist Jack Oswald who goes out to Alaska with his wife and two of his grad students, to investigate the appearance of mysterious holes in the tundra. Also along for the ride is enigmatic journalist Aileen O'Connor.
    Once at camp,
    Feb 23, 2017 Madame rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A rollercoaster ride filled with terrifyingly PTSD moments!

    There is a slow & somewhat technically detailed start, but stick with it. This methodical crawl pays off big. When the pace picks up it becomes fast & furiously action packed. Horrific gore, grotesque demon arrivals, unexpected situations and desperate life saving choices will keep the reader breathlessly engaged with each turn of the page.
    Nov 22, 2016 Brianna rated it liked it
    ***Received this book in exchange for an honest review***
    So you're trying to break into the world of fiction writing. You could write something unoriginal but popular in an attempt at a cash grab. Or you could write something novel and entertaining. Kudos to Donald Firesmith (cool name) for going the second route.
    This is a short book, so I finished in a couple of hours. If you dislike thick novels that you could use as a deadly weapon, Hell Holes is the book for you.
    The idea was brilliant, the
    Brian's Book Blog
    Jan 19, 2016 Brian's Book Blog rated it really liked it
    A modern day mash up of real science and the fantasy world

    A team of scientists is asked by Exxon Mobile to come out to do some research on a mysterious hole that has appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. The oil company wants to make sure that this hole and the ones like it won’t be affecting the Alaskan pipeline. The team is stumped by the creation of the hole and even its existence, but quickly realize that they are in for more than just a simple science excursion.

    I want to be totally upfront w
    Another Thyme
    Jan 05, 2017 Another Thyme rated it it was amazing
    I loved this book! It fits in the category that I like to call "quick reads", always a good find, and the story scared me silly! Although I must admit I saw the ending coming (I remembered the sorceress O'Shannon's warning that the demons could take on any form) it was still a satisfactory conclusion to a tale of horror which saw the cast of characters running for their lives. I particularly liked the author's introduction that made the story appear to be a real report of the events that transpi ...more
    R.W. Lang
    Nov 04, 2016 R.W. Lang rated it really liked it
    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 threat ...more
    Jan 21, 2017 Hap1026 rated it it was amazing
    The first time I picked this story up, I read it cover-to-cover for the sheer pleasure of settling down with a good story that had me holding my breathe in places. One of the best parts of this book is that although Jack Oswald is an interesting in his own right, he is surrounded by some seriously badass, gun-toting, demon-shooting, brilliant-as-hell women.

    Firesmith touches upon many themes in this book, and the story benefits from these many layers as Oswald and crew try to contain a sea of de
    Dave Robertson
    Aug 25, 2016 Dave Robertson rated it it was amazing
    I like action/adventure books so thought I would give this one a read. I found it to be an enjoyable and easy read (it's short). The premise is unique and the action scenes are well done. That keeps the book moving at a good, steady pace. There are elements such as the hell holes, the demons, and one of the main characters that are a nice change from the typical action stories out there. I look forward to seeing what happens in the future books.
    Jan 04, 2017 Lisa rated it really liked it
    Hello Holes by Donald Firesmith is an interesting story. "Sink holes" start occurring near oil processing sites. These holes start producing nightmare creatures. A geologist, his wife, also a scientist, two oil company employees, and a witch are forced to fight these creatures. I look forward to reading the next book. An interesting read.
    Sep 14, 2016 Roxanne rated it it was amazing
    This is a Goodreads win review. This is a most unusual book. The premise is a team of people are sent to Alaska to investigate holes on the tundra and close to the oil pipeline. Then it turns into a little sci fy for the danger that lurks below.
    Patricia Kaniasty
    This story was sooooooo good. Why wasn't it longer??!! Creepy, scary, kept me on the edge of my seat. I want more..................
    Angela Kay
    Jan 18, 2017 Angela Kay rated it really liked it
    Hell Holes: What Lurks Below is a quick, enjoyable novella. Donald Firesmith shows his talent in mixing real science with fiction.

    We are looking into Dr. Jack Oswald’s point of view for this narrative. Once the premise of the story gets started, it moves at a fast pace and I was able to finish it the same day I started. The book is shorter than you’re lead to believe. After the major cliffhanger at the ending, we’re fed information about the characters, author bio and what volume two is about.

    Jun 25, 2016 Kat rated it liked it
    ***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
    Apr 03, 2016 Gina rated it really liked it
    Hell Holes-What Lurks Below-(spoiler alert)
    Kevin Kowalski, Exxon mobile manager, has called on Jack Oswald, a geology professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, to look into the “sink holes” have appeared out of nowhere. Now they have appeared in the Northern Slope, too close to the oil wells and especially, the Trans-Alaska pipeline, for Kowalski’s comfort and he wants answers.
    Outfitted with his wife, two of his undergrad students and a reporter, who appeared at the last moment and to wh
    Gordon A.  Long
    Feb 07, 2016 Gordon A. Long rated it really liked it
    This will be a short review, because this is a short book. Just longer than novella length, at about 100 pages in the dead-tree edition. In my opinion, Amazon doesn’t give you enough information in this respect. eBook buyers beware.

    This book is a bit of a surprise in other ways. It starts out like any other action-adventure in which the scientific community is confronted by a could-be-real danger. In this case huge, symmetrical holes appear in the Arctic permafrost, threatening oil production an
    Feb 16, 2016 Autumn rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 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?
    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
    Amanda Showalter
    Jan 18, 2017 Amanda Showalter rated it liked it
    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 s
    Pavel H.
    May 04, 2016 Pavel H. rated it it was amazing
    I like scientific underpinnings of the book, similar to Michael Crichton style, reflecting author's computer science background, in a blend with magic of J. K. Rowling and an intelligent action style of Stargate SG-1.

    If you like this style (I do), you'll miss a lot if you do not read this book.

    Although the book ends in the most thrilling moment, like an episode of "24" TV series, the book contains a preview of the sequel, Demons of the Dalton (the Kindle version does). The sequel does not need r
    N.D. rated it it was amazing
    Mar 19, 2017
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    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 A ...more
    More about Donald G. Firesmith...

    Other Books in the Series

    Hell Holes (2 books)
    • Demons on the Dalton (Hell Holes #2)

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