Sin Path: Volume One, Banished
by J. Howard
Trafford Publishing

"Being human still confounded him. His success would hang on his ability to find a balance. As of yet, this wasn’t an easy task for the demon."

There have been countless fantasies of good versus evil. This author’s take on that perennial conflict flips things a bit. In this tale, both the protagonist and his major antagonists start out with a number of strikes against them. They’re already in Hell.

Remloc is a demon from the depths below. He is frequently sent topside to harvest the souls of evildoers. All normally goes well but his latest mission goes awry. Returning to Hades without the souls he was charged with acquiring, incurs the wrath of Satan. In addition, plots are afoot to change the demonic pecking order down below. Remloc is soon banished from the fiery depths and exiled to the very place he hates most—earth.

Revolted with most of the inhabitants he’s encountered in his earlier trips, he’s loathe to contemplate being among them forever. But as exposure to humans increases, he realizes there are at least some who are good and honorable. Making a real connection with a woman, a boy, and a dog—all exceedingly kind and virtuous—his views of humanity start to change. But then his demon brother arrives and—pardon the pun—all hell breaks loose.

Author Howard’s tale of sin, punishment, and potential redemption is told with intricate detail. His descriptions of the different layers of hell evoke thoughts of Dante, while his story of pilgrimage is virtually Tolkien-esq. He manages to write with religious fervor without promoting any particular religion. Fantasy buffs will likely find much to admire and readers not shackled by bonds of reality will be heartened to hear that this tome is only Volume One.

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