The Descent, by Jeff Long. What if hell is a very real place directly beneath us, ruled by a very real person named Satan? Such is the premise of The Descent, a 600 page military, sci-fi, horror, action-adventure novel. It is a global tale, that reminds me of such books as Swan Song and The Stand.

The story begins with three characters who all begin to encounter a deadly, brutal civilization that is directly beneath our feet in caverns and caves that stretch across the globe.

The reader has to suspend disbelief (wouldn’t any of the geological digs, explorations, whatever have already found signs of this civilization?). But once you get past the initial disbelief, Jeff Long develops a world that works within that reality.

The momentum is quick, grabbing the reader from about page 10 and never really letting go. The blurb at the back outlines Jeff’s background as a journalist…and that journalist background actually helps the writing when he’s talking about the far reaching consequences of discovering an entire civilization, on the military, on science, on the economy.

Of course, I’m leaving out the eviscerations, the torture, some of the beautiful language to describe a kill zone…the characters who are butchered, sliced, diced, and crushed.

I give this book four skinnings out of five.