Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book Review: The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 18, 2016
Publisher: Australian eBook Publisher
294 Pages

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?

Explicit Content Warning: "The Devil’s Prayer" is a historical horror thriller that contains brutality, rape, sex, drug abuse and murder. Readers may find its content offensive and confronting


Ummm...this one was kind of a mess all over.

When Siobhan learns that her missing mother has committed suicide, she begins this journey to find out why her mother disappeared many years ago. And how did she end up a nun in Spain under a different name? What or who was she running from?

When Netgalley sent me an e-mail about this book, I was intrigued. When other reviewers likened it to The Da Vinci Code, I was sold. The fact that it dealt with the devil was just a bonus. What I found was a book full of meaningless violence and revenge weighted down with historical facts.

And when I say meaningless violence - it just didn't make sense. It felt like it was there for shock value. Almost a 'how gruesome can I make this' crime. And they seemed to come from nowhere. For example, and this is a slight spoiler, girl wins lottery in front of group of friends. Group of friends then decides in a split second that they want to steal said ticket and suddenly have this elaborate plan that involves car crashes and kidnapping and escalates to rape and murder. This all happened in like 10 minutes. No, I just don't buy it.

It was such an interesting plot that just got lost. I didn't care about any of the characters. The only one who seemed likeable was Siobhan but unfortunately the only scenes we got of her were of her just reading her mother's diary. It also didn't help that there was so much historical info dumping that either didn't move the plot forward or we just dropped in such a random place that you ended up forgetting the main plot. The editor should have really helped smooth this over.

This is in no way comparable to The Da Vinci Code. And if you're looking for closure when reading this, you get none. The book doesn't have an ending. I feel that for a standalone there should have been some semblance of an ending. Instead, I was left just staring at the page, confused. Am I a little hard on it? Maybe. But I really wanted to like it and when I read adult horror/thriller, I'm holding it up to guys like Stephen King, Dan Brown, Dean Koontz, and Michael Crichton, and this just didn't hold up for me. 

<i>I received an e-copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.</i>

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