Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

Title: The Devil's Prayer                          
Author: Luke Gracias
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Australian eBook Publisher
Price: Rs. 295/236 (Kindle)
Pages: 294

The Devil’s Prayer, written by Luke Gracias, is a book set in Europe, around the theme of Religious Fiction – of which there have been exemplary books in the past decade or so. This is yet another in that line – and is sufficiently different from the standard template for it to an eminently readable book. The setting of the book, the overall storyline, the trends and the writing style are all  quite engaging, at times fascinating, making for a book that is a good one overall. 
THE PLOT
If you value a good surprise, stop reading at this point. Anything I write in plot section of the review will reveal too much; it is that kind of a book. Let it be a surprise – and go directly to the short Analysis Section of this review. I mean that.You can at best read this first paragraph. The story starts with the Suicide of a Nun at a Convent in Spain. A woman in Australia recognizes the Nun as her mother – and visits Spain, setting off a chain of events that lead from nation to nation, and murder to gory murder.  A chain of events involving a heady concoction of a tragedy, unbridled anger, and deep intrigue of the sinister variety.
The Nun leaves something for her daughter – which opens a pandora’s box, so to speak, setting off a chain of events that threaten apocalypse almost. It opens a chapter of the Nun’s life to the daughter, and the harsh history she had; and her mistake. What is the connection of a suicide to a series of murders? What was this mistake? And why did the Nun commit suicide in the first place? Why are people hunting the daughter of this Nun? What did this Nun leave her daughter, that carries so much import that it places her life in danger? Read the book, please.
THE REVIEW
First, the negative. I am an Indian; the setting of this book is totally alien to me. The backdrop – of Christianity and Western Thoughts on Religion, is also alien – given that this topic deals with the more complex or, shall we say lesser-known aspects of these two. That made connecting with the content a small challenge. Unlike Dan Brown, whose themes were on better known aspects, this book deals with things not fully known to me at least. The book I can compare it with is Inferno, which was also based on little known aspects, making full appreciation hard.
Second, connected with the first, is that the premise seems unbelievable. That could be due to my cultural proclivities, so take it with a pinch of salt. While that does not take away from the positives of this book; it did make the establishment of a deep connect with the plot, the story slightly challenging for me. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, I didn’t like; there was plenty I did like – but there was nothing that I connected to. This might seem a minor point – but from the readers’ viewpoint it is mission-critical. This connect differentiates between a good book and a book that is one of a kind, a great book.
Now, the positive. The plot is well-developed, rapid and fast paced – in fact, you will be tempted to skip pages to see how it turns out, but the pace draws you in. This racy pace has been maintained right from the first page to the last page, which is a feat of tremendous skill. The plot, as I said above, is well-developed, and flows logically, with no needless side-tours and examinations. The author has remained fixated on the core story, which is a big plus.
Next, the character development. This is adequate – which is to say, to maintain the pace, the level of development of the characters is just good enough. Since this is a multi-part series, some characters, including the main character has been left under-developed – which seems to be done on purpose. Developing her here would have spoiled the pace – which is the USP of this book. The only  character that stays with you after you shut the book is this one – the under developed Siobhan, which is excellent – it will ensure I wait for the next part! The story also climaxes at a most unopportune point, leaving you angry for leaving out the most vital part! So, all in all a fast paced, well developed thriller.
RC Rating: 3.5/5.
Grab a copy here:
Vishal Kale has an MBA in Marketing with 16 years of experience in Sales, Marketing & Operations across various industries, with end-to-end specialisation in telecom sales and marketing. 

He is an Indian Top Blogger {on ITB Website} for the past 2 years and counting; Nominated in top 5 Political Bloggers by Blogadda in Win-15 & Among the top 200 bloggers worldwide on Invesp. He specialises in deep politico-economic analysis; Books off the beaten track, and a value & fundamentals-based approach towards the Indian Economy, Corporate India - And Especially Indian Colonial History"




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