I once got caught red handed by my Science teacher in my fourth grade for reading Archie's while she was teaching. (Yea I live on the edge like that.) A friend had brought her book for me to read and I wanted to finish it before the evening. No wonder I stood without feeling guilty and in fact I was proudly standing when she called out me. Now that I think about it, I realize she didn't scold or punish me; she just forbade me from reading during class hours. Thanks to teachers like her, my love for reading has not burnt or faded out, like everything else in my life.
You know what, I still am the same, I love Archie's and I don't stop reading even when I am reprimanded or scorned upon. Yet, I can't think of the last time I picked a book and couldn't put it down until I finished it. Thanks to 'The Devil's Prayer' by Luke Gracias, I stayed awake up to the wee hours to complete this one.What makes a novel un-put-down-able?
Is it the fast-paced and well-knotted plot? Characters that you can relate to or intrigue you? Or crisp and engaging narration and language? Or just the fact that it has the name of an author that you like? Well, I can not hold it anymore. This book has it all, erm, except the last one. I hadn't heard of Luke Gracias before I picked the book and now I can't wait for the sequel. Says much about the book and his writing, read on to know more.
Author: Luke Gracias
Genre: Fiction - Historical Thriller
Characters: Siobhan, Denise, Jess
Rating: 3.5 /5
Disclaimer: Thanks to the Author, Netgalley and Writer's Melon for the free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
The story begins with Sister Benedictine's suicide leaving a group of monks on a trail in Spain. Siobhan watches the story on the television to realize that it was her mother who went missing six years ago. She begins her journey to the isolated convent her mother seemed to have belonged to in a quest to search answers for her questions. She is tailed by the mysterious monks when she finds her mother's confession and a mysterious key. What she learns leaves her confused about her mother's sanity and makes her start doubting her loyalty to her family. Whom would you choose to believe and trust - your mother who abandoned you six years ago or the person whom you have loved and protected until that moment?
The book takes us through two parallel stories from different realms, her mother's story leading to the suicide and the daughter who is trying to solve the mystery behind her mother's disappearance and the subsequent public death. Denise's story and her deal with the Devil had me engrossed and sleep defied me until I completed it. Of course, as always I rooted for the so called bad guy, the Devil and was waiting for him to get his share back. There are some graphic scenes of violence, so a word of caution for the faint hearted.
I loved that Lucas's storyline never dropped its momentum anywhere in the story. But I did find a difference in the writing between Denise's and Siobhan's stories, may be it was intentional - or not. The ending seemed to be a little bit hastened and cluttered though that did not affect the reading experience much. I repeat, I can't wait for the sequel. Even though the book did not leave a cliffhanger, there are too many answered questions.
Do you remember the frenzy that the number '666' created when the Omen came out, or the Mona Lisa garnered with the release of ' The Da Vinci Code' and somehow everyone wanted a piece of Da Vinci's history? That is how I felt about Genghis Khan and the solar eclipses. You might find the plots to be quite similar, an untimely death, followed by a family member frantically trying to make something sense out of the death and unraveling of the mysteries related to the religious cults supported by history and fiction. It is the execution that makes all the difference.