Donny's Inferno (Donny's Inferno #1) by P.W. Catanese
A novel about a twelve-year-old boy who must prevent the new kinder, gentler underworld from returning to its previous terrifying incarnation.
Twelve-year-old Donny Taylor was rescued from certain death in a burning building. His savior, a mysterious girl named Angela Obscura, seems to be able to walk right out of the flames. Although she appears to be a teenager, Angela is actually an ancient dignitary from the underworld who needs the help of a mortal. And she’s chosen Donny.
Hades, a bizarre, cavernous world that was once filled with pitchforks, fiery pits, and dismemberments, has recently become a kinder, gentler place where people can contemplate their transgressions rather than face eternal punishment. Now known as Sulfur, the underworld went through a period of reformation punctuated by a violent revolution that left the vicious old guard, the Merciless, defeated and imprisoned.
But it soon becomes apparent that the Merciless are plotting a comeback. If they succeed, they will reignite the long-extinguished Pits of Fire with a billion souls inside. And reformers like Angela and Donny will face Annihilation: the utter destruction of the consciousness and the soul, a nothingness more final than death itself.
With everything on the line and billions of souls to protect, Donny—a mortal and outsider—becomes the key to the underworld’s salvation and the only one who can save Sulfur.