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Nearly ten years have elapsed since Long (Year Zero) took us on an imaginative yet terrifying journey to the center of Earth in The Descent. Apparently, this is the second novel in a planned "Descent" trilogy. We are reunited with linguist Ali von Schade a decade after she reemerged from the depths of Earth's subterranean world following her capture and assimilation by the indigenous species known as Hadals. Now von Schade devotes her life to the study of the artifacts, language, and peoples of that underground realm. When groups of children suddenly go missing and ritualistic massacres start happening, it becomes clear that the Hadals are responsible. Rescue expeditions ensue, and von Schade is drawn to the depths, haunted by personal demons made manifest by Satan himself. More horror/thriller in the tradition of Clive Barker than an intellectual tale of linguistics and symbology, Long's novel is extremely grisly and gory. Recommended only for popular fiction collections where the author has fans.
—Laura A.B. Cifelli