The Good, The Bad and The Infernal

The Good, The Bad and The Infernal by Guy Adams, Heaven’s Gate Trilogy #1

One day every hundred years, a town appears, its location and character different every time. It is home to the greatest miracle a man could imagine: a doorway to Heaven itself. The town’s name is Wormwood, and it is due to appear on the 21st September 1889, somewhere in the American Midwest.

There are many who hope to be there: travelling preacher Obeisance Hicks and his simple messiah Soldier Joe; Henry and Harmonium Jones and their freak show pack of outlaws; the Brothers of the Order of Ruth and their sponsor Lord Forset (inventor of the Forset Thunderpack and other incendiary mode of personal transport); and finally, an aging gunslinger with a dark history.

They will face dangers both strange and terrible: monstrous animals, predatory town, armies of mechanical natives and other things besides. Wormwood defends its secrets, and only the brave and resourceful will survive.


I really wanted to read The Good, The Bad and The Infernal mainly because I enjoyed The Army of Dr. Monreau last year that was also written by Guy Adams. He has a clear and crisp way of putting down his words and turning both idea’s and his writing style in great, enjoyable story. The Good, The Bad and The Infernal is the first book in a planned trilogy called The Heaven’s Gate. The book is part steampunk and part western inspired. The second book, Once Upon A Time In Hell is due out January 2014.

The Good, The Bad and The Infernal starts of with counting down the days until the actual events surrounding the Wormwood happening.  In here you are introduced to three different storylines that you get to follow as the book progresses. First in the counting down of the days you see how they were mostly gearing up towards their track towards Wormwood, this is the legendary place where the gate to Heaven should appear. Only later when the prologue is finished does the zooming in start on each storyline. This narrowing down the focus to each band of adventures as they make their way to Wormwood, was a great idea. Be isolating the storyline in individual parts of the book it gave a nice grip on each individual.

The first storyline focused on, Elwyn Wallace, a banker who somehow got caught up in the middle of, a for him unplanned, travel arrangement towards Wormwood. He journeys together with a, yet unnamed, aged gunslinger. This part was told through the first person of Elwyn and how he is experiencing the perils of that come along their way. It was a good decision to choose Elwyn for this, as you already learned that the gunslinger had more understanding of the events surrounding Wormwood and approached it more “casually” it does create a certain sense of what his history might be…

The second storyline centres around a whole group of travellers, that of Lord Forset and a group of monks. It’s mainly by this introduction that the books gets the steampunk element in implemented. Lord Forset, a man of science, has invented some crazy stuff and keeps on inventing it when they also get into certain perils of their own. The coolest part his was definitely the train part! When you travel in the 1889, travel with some style!

The third part of the book lays the focus down on a band of freakshows and former performers; they travel together with a priest and a soldier. As they were thrown in different encounters of their own it was good to see that mainly due to their limitations and weirdness as freakshows they added their own touch to the solving the problems.

Just one general thing to mention about the weird encounters each party got as they travelled closer to Wormwood. I was pleasantly surprised with the richness that was introduced and also very much by not using a set encounter twice but making them tailored made for each way of travel they had. I was most impressed by the encounter of Elwyn and the town, pretty pretty awesome!

Each of these individual storylines of The Good, The Bad and The Infernal worked out well, and on the whole, when they converge in the end as they all gather near the supposed location of Wormwood it gave this well-rounded grip on the story. Using different perspectives to tell each storyline added a great pace to the story and using Elwyn character for the final part of the book might just impose that Guy Adams has larger plans for his character. 

When I first started reading The Good, The Bad and The Infernal, it gave me a bit of a so-so feeling, not now whether to truly like the book. However Guy Adams convinced my thoroughly that this is a great book. Like I said the writing is done neatly and whole the surroundings of the individual characters and even a part of the rich history that Guy Adams managed to introduce in to them worked greatly in adding more depth to the story. The ending of the book again completely pulled me over with introducing a cliffhanger moment. “This is where your adventure really begins. And in that he was quite right”. The Good, The Bad and The Infernal has some weird stuff going on, all working for the better of course, and allows an interesting entry into a new steampunk/western series.

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