Gabe Christensen invited his date to the prom, because he had a weird psychic sense - something that he gets from time to time - that she needed help. But once at the dance, she ditched him for another boy... and another... and another. All alone, Gabe, gets that same sixth sense again, but this time, it's source, a mysterious girl in a red dress he's never seen before, is much stronger. What he doesn't know though is that Sheba isn't a girl at all, but a demon who has been sent to wreak havoc on their celebration. But when she finally meets Gabe and gazes into his eyes, all her evil plans may have been for naught.
"Hell on Earth" is roughly a novelette-length stand-alone story that fully takes place at a high school prom. The hero of the story is Gabe, who has a knack for making people happy. He also has a psychic sense when someone is troubled and an overwhelming need to fix whatever is wrong, and it was because of this sixth sense that he asked his date to the prom. However, she ditched him for someone else - several someones in fact - and meanwhile most of the other students are having an increasingly bad time. Left alone, Gabe starts getting that psychic sense again and it's far stronger than anything he's felt before. What he doesn't know is that those vibes are being given off by a demon named Sheba who came to the prom strictly to cause as much chaos and mayhem as she possibly could. But once Gabe finds her and she gazes into his eyes, all her best-laid, evil plans may fall apart.
So far, I've greatly enjoyed everything else Stephenie Meyer has written, so I was pretty eager to check out this story. But I'm sorry to say that it ended up being just an OK read. I liked it, but I didn't walk away with the same feeling I did when reading her other works. Gabe was a very likable guy, a real sweetheart who looks out for others and just wants them to be happy. Sheba on the other hand is unquestionably evil with her only goal to make everyone miserable. The romance here is pretty minimal with them not even kissing but merely gazing into each other's eyes and dancing at the very end of the story. However, up to the point that they meet face-to-face, Sheba is so terrible, I couldn't even think of her as a romantic-type heroine. If there had been more space to build her character in a sympathetic way, I might have been able to buy into it, but that didn't happen. Maybe that's why the author left the conclusion so open-ended, but in doing so, it also left me not entirely satisfied. There were also a few too many characters in the story, and I had a hard time keeping them all straight. Overall, this was a decent read, just not my favorite of Stephenie Meyer's works. "Hell on Earth" can be found in the anthology Prom Nights from Hell.
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