From Author’s Website:

A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world—Hell itself.

Joe was in hot pursuit of his family’s killer, drug lord Filippo Argenti, when both were killed, and isn’t about to let a little thing like death slow him down.

So, with a healthy dose of New England stubbornness and the help of a mysterious guide, Virgil DiMini, Joe must evade angry demons, and search ever-lower through the rings of the original Dante’s Inferno in hopes of finding justice for his wife and children.

However, Joe will soon discover that behind every sin lies a secret and each secret revealed could land Joe in an eternity of hot water… VERY hot.

My Review:

Dante’s Journey follows the same story arch of Dante Alighieri’s poem Inferno. Joe Dante travels through all nine circles of Hell to discover who he is and to reach an understanding of who murdered his family.

J.C. Marino does an excellent job of telling the story. He masterfully broke up the chapters about Joe’s journey with a back story as to how Joe ended up where he was and how he know some of the others he comes across.

I feel that if I knew the poem better, I might have enjoyed the story more. Marino does a good job describing Hell for those who have not read the poem. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if I had read the poem first. I did do a lot of reading on Dante and his Divine Comedy, the group of poems that include Inferno, while I read this book. Marino stuck to the original concepts nicely.

While reading the book, I did wonder if Marino was going to follow up this book with Joe’s journey through the seven Terraces of Purgatory and the nine Celestial Spheres of Paradise. But I am hoping he doesn’t. I don’t know how he can take the character growth that Joe has gone through and grow it more through those stages. But I still wonder, especially since Joe’s wife’s name is Beatrice, which is the name of the Guide Dante had in Paradise.

I give Dante’s Journey a 4 Horseshoe rating!!

I did have one issue with this book review. When I received the book, there was a letter accompanying it. The letter was from the author, JC Marino, asking the reviewer to post their review in multiple places. That part didn’t bother me. What bothered me was the request that a negative review not be posted. If an author is not willing to accept an honest review of their book and request that the bad ones be suppressed, they should not be an author. Negative reviews, if done tactfully and well, can be a learning experience for the author. Not everyone is going to enjoy the same book. Inflated ratings do not help the author or the publisher. It ruins the credibility everyone involved.

Publication Details:


JC Marino

Dante’s Journey
Number of Pages 366
Publication Date February 22, 2010
Publisher Star Publishing, LLC
ISBN 978-1-93518-809-4