04 November, 2017

#BookReview :: The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her mother, Denise Russo, who disappeared six years ago. 
In search of answers, Siobhan travels to the isolated convent where her mother once lived. Here she discovers Denise’s final confession, a book that details a heinous betrayal that left her crippled and mute, and Denise’s subsequent deal with the Devil to take revenge. In the desperate bargain Denise made with the Prince of Darkness, she wagered Siobhan’s soul.
As Siobhan discovers the fate of her soul, she learns that hidden within the pages of her mother’s confession is part of The Devil’s Prayer, an ancient text with the power to unleash apocalyptic horrors. 
And now her mother’s enemies know Siobhan has it. 
Can Siobhan escape an order of extremist monks determined to get the Prayer back? Can she save the world from its own destruction? 

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What does the suicide of a nun in Spain have to do with an Australian girl named Siobhan Russo?

When Siobhan receives a Bible, little does she expect to hear about her mother’s death; a woman who had vanished six years ago leaving behind a family. Curious about her mother’s life and whereabouts over the last few years, Siobhan takes on a journey to discover the details for herself. As she finds her mother’s ‘confession’, she really discovers the horrors that her mother faced one night, few years ago and how it leads her to making a deal with the Devil. Discovering her mother’s secrets and the repercussions of that deal with the Devil that may change her life as well was more than what Siobhan could have ever bargained for…

I was fore-warned about the ‘trigger’ points in the book and as such I thought that I was prepared for them. But the author has done a tremendous job with certain scenes that are detailed, gruesome and horrifying. There were moments when I just HAD to put the book down to digest what I had read. This book is certainly not for the faint hearted.

The plot folds in history and religion along with action and drama. There moments that focus on relationships, on history and on the presence of Devil alongside God. So, in a manner of speaking, the plot is multi layered and has quite a bit to offer to its readers. The characters are well developed. I liked the way the author portrays the fact that there is both light and darkness within all of us. What did not click for me was the narrative. It felt a bit disjointed because of the way information was provided in the story. There are places where it felt like the author was simply ‘dumping’ the information that the readers needed to know. It was jarring and really messed with the rhythm and flow of the story. Also, the climax of this book just did not work for me. I understand that this is the first book in a trilogy, but I was hoping for some more answers in this book.

There is additional information available on the author’s website for the readers who would like to look them up. Overall, it was quite a shocking read. I am interested in seeing Siobhan journey and would like to pick up the next book in the series.

Review Copy received from the Author

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