Ivy Elisabeth Mann is having a hell of a time, no pun intended, coping with the consequences of opening a literal rift in the space–time continuum that happens to be actively leaking dark matter in to the world at a rate of knots. Dark matter that happens to manifest itself as black magic. It’s hard being a teenager when the rent is due and the world is about to end.
As a reader, you’re instantly flung headlong into Ivy’s world, up to your eyes in action with no choice but to rely on your narrator, Ivy herself, to ground you. Pearce knows what she’s doing with this device, as Ivy is relatable, authentic and resourceful – exactly the kind of person you want on your side on the brink of a zombie apocalypse.
But this novel is more than just a horror tale about teenagers and dark matter. Pearce uses the concept of magic to tackle deeper, more human issues, like death and grief, responsibility and guilt.
Raising Hell is fabulously gory and a lot of fun, and Pearce is clearly having the time of her life flinging nothing short of a zombie apocalypse at her characters. And these are fantastic characters. Cinematic, clever and very possibly destined for greatness, this is a must-read for any fan of horror titles with a sense of dark humour – and for anyone that remembers the glory days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.