When I looked at this book and the reviews I was surprised that several people did not like it. For what it is, I didn't think it was bad at all. In all honesty, I will say it may not be as good as The Hellbound Heart or The Books of Blood, which were all fabulous, but it did have one character that has fascinated me since I read The Hellbound Heart, Pinhead. Throughout this novel Pinhead shows the reality of how evil he really is, or maybe I should say how evil he was created to be. If we take both the novels revolving around Pinhead and the movies into consideration, he wasn't always evil.
In this novel, Pinhead has aspirations to take control over Hell, and for some reason he has chosen Harry to be his reporter. He wants Harry to see everything, and tell the world of what he has done. In the end, Harry and his friends, Caz, Norma, Lana, and Dale, are all drawn into hell to witness the fight between Pinhead and Lucifer, and see who comes out as the victor.
While this may have been unconventional, it doesn't involve several cenobites, just Pinhead and one other, it was an interesting insight into Pinhead, and had a good arc to his story. I feel as if the Pinhead story was finished with this novel, and it satisfied me.
I can't say I know much about Harry's character, but I did enjoy parts of his story and what he did in this novel. I think the more interesting characters were all of the sidekicks. Norma, who could see ghosts, and was blind. Lana, a strong and weak woman at the same time, who did what she needed to, even if it was something she was not looking forward to doing. Dale, a young man who saw the future in his dreams. And Caz, a tattoo artist who gave special tattoos that would warn the wearer of imminent danger.
Several people did not enjoy this book, and I get it. It isn't as suave or as well written as The Hellbound Heart, however, what it gave to Pinhead, the end to his story, was pretty decent, and I enjoyed it. It may not be the best book by Clive Barker, but I did enjoy it, and it kept me interested. I was interested, not only in Pinhead, but also Lucifer (I've been reading a lot of boos about Hell lately, and Lucifer), and the cohorts of Harry. Plus, people can't expect to read the same things over and over, I mean, how many people does Pinhead have to torture to prove how evil he is.
I think you, yeah you out there in internet land, should spend some time and read this. It isn't bad, and it closes some of the stories that Barker has written in a satisfactory manner.