Readers are given one of the most compelling stories yet within the Crow realm, by way of the well-informed and agile mind of A.A. Attanasio. The story works on the premise that we all have angels and demons in our lives. These creatures control us, though the majority of us have no sense of their existence. However, there are a few, like Amy Darien, who have the ability to see and hear them. The story of good versus evil has never before been told so wickedly and in such detail in a Crow story. Attanasio has brought great depth and knowledge to the tale, with a section at the end of the book devoted to a very detailed history of demons and angels. This informative section gives insight to a lot of the rituals and characters found in the story.
At first I was a bit leery about the story. The first forty or so pages focus on Dren, the demon trying to break free of Hell, and the demons who end up pursuing him. (The reason for so much detail comes into focus as the story progresses.) The non-traditional nature of the opening pages, as far as Crow stories go, foreshadows the unique story telling that is to come. The two main human characters, Billy and Amy, are wonderfully written; we are emotionally drawn into their story and truly feel compassion for them. This is a tragic love story that, with each page, has you pulling for Amy and Billy to overcome their plight and find happiness when it seems all hope is lost. I found myself being surprised and involved in the story to a depth unlike any of the previous Crow novels. I can honestly say that I have never before read a Crow story that defied all other commonly used themes and created its own world as well as HELLBOUND does. This story could very well be playing out, right now, in our own lives.
Hellbound is a continuation of Attansio's short story "Hellbent" which first appeared in "Shattered Lives & Broken Dreams," the Crow prose collection co-edited by James O'Barr. One of the best entries in that book has now become one of the best novels, if not THE best, in the Crow series.