Meet the houseguest from hell.
Geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore only has one dirty habit: digging for fossils. One day, to his horror, his shovel strikes not upon a dinosaur bone, but a pit to hell—and out of it comes a devil. Specifically, the kind of devil who eats a lot of junk food, watches a lot of reality television, plays a lot of video games, and refuses to leave Max’s basement. But evil is still evil, no matter what form it takes. And Max has to find a way to comply with the demands of the big red menace, lest he lay waste to everyone and everything Max cares about.
With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max goes in search of a new abode for his unwanted guest. Finding a place where he can reside in luciferian luxury isn’t easy, but Max has strong motivation: his mother, whose terminal illness the devil promises to cure if Max gives him what he wants. Lore has her doubts about making a deal with the devil, but Max will stop at nothing to save his mom. And pretty soon, he’s doing things the good kid he once was would never dream of doing. Clearly, hanging around with a devil is a bad influence. But how can Max get rid of the guy without incurring the wrath of hell?
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Narrated by MacLeod Andrews
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books of 2015
Amazon's Best of the Year so far
Audible's Best of 2015 so far
✪ "Damico, who explored the lives of teenage grim reapers in her Croak trilogy, writes with wry wit and constant dark humor. She mixes in a bit of possible romance...also to great comic effect. Hilarious—all the way through." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Damico draws readers into this quirky novel with well-written prose, believable characters, and an evenly plotted story line...will appeal to teens who enjoy literary works with some humor and an exploration of the nature of evil." -- School Library Journal
"Damico’s blend of bleak humor and harsh reality lends itself well to Max’s social awkwardness and Lore’s biting cynicism, while Burg is outrageously appalling...a wild and unpredictable cautionary tale about ill-considered bargains and bad decisions." --Publishers Weekly
"A dying mom isn’t usually the stuff of great humor, but this novel is unapologetically funny. The snarky Burg (impeccably developed as a narcissistic ass with a tiny sliver’s worth of heart of gold), Max’s tendency to catch things one step too late but with wry humor, and the absurd piling on of events all work to make a quite amusing, if very dark, novel. Fans of Damico’s Croak trilogy will be right at home with the author’s emphasis on grim topics made sardonic, and horror buffs in general will find plenty of scary undertones to this multilayered plot." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books'
"At first, Max's beloved crosswords appear to be peripheral, but they provide order in an otherwise chaotic teen world. Damico even divides the novel into Across and Down sections. Besides, Max is soon confronted with the kind of problems that don't fit neatly into a grid. Hellhole has dark moments, but it's chock-full of snarky dialogue and pop culture references. Max eventually triumphs over evil. He just has to do a few disagreeable things first." -- GAMES World of Puzzles magazine, June 2016