THE DEVIL’S PRAYER: BOOK REVIEW

  1. Author: Luke Gracias
  2. Release: 19th February, 2016
  3. Pages: 369 pages
  4. Genre: Historical Horror, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery
  5. Publisher: Bee Books
  6. Language: English
  7. Audience:  Mature/Seasonal Reader comfortable with explicit content
  8. Good Reads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29225318-the-devil-s-prayer
  9. Buy Here: https://amzn.to/2M5f0Zz

Blurb

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? 

Review

Let me preface it by saying that Blurb of the book pretty much summarizes it all.

The small town of Zamora is usually isolated from rest of the world other then during the festival of ‘Semana Santa’ when thousands of tourists visit to witness the parade. Story starts by a nun sneaking away into a secret chamber while the crowd is busy celebrating this annual festival. She is then discovered and chased till she eventually commits suicide in front of thousand of people.

At the other end of the world in Australia, Siobhan discoveres that her mother, who suddenly abandoned her and her minor sister years ago, had been living as a nun in Spain and had committed suicide. In order to discover the truth behind the abandonment and her death, Siobhan travels to Zamora and discovers the diary of her mother’s confession.

Siobhan is overwhelmed by the horrors that her mother endured and the circumstances which lead her to make a deal with the devil to take revenge against  those who wronged her. But what her mother didn’t realize is she was getting more then what she bargained for and was a ‘bull taken for slaughter’. The Prince of the Darkness keeps his word but cleverly uses Denise for his own advantage.

Characters: Story revolves around Denise, mother of Siabhon and Jass. Denise initially is sweet and gullible character who sees the best in everyone. She trusts her friends and believes they only have good intentions at heart. Soon she discovers how people around, her whom she believed were her well wishers, had betrayed her and her character shifts to cold blooded revenge seeking monster. Throughout the book the only thing that remained constant in terms of her character was her undying and unconditional love for her children and how she would do anything to protect them.

I also feel like she had a spirit of a fighter and even in the worst of the circumstances won’t just give in to the situation and let fate takeover. She also is a woman of action. Even after enduring worst of conditions that she could possibly find herself in, she gets up and finds ways to improve the situation or try and find ways to solve it. Not at any point in the story did I feel like the character wanted pity or sympathy. Rather she displayed tremendous courage and strength of character till her last breath.

Language: The language used in the book is very sophisticated but even a beginner reader won’t find it difficult to understand. Description of the architecture of the places and historical events is very detailed. The author did an intensive research for this book and smooth transition from one topic to another is very natural.   

Narration:  The narrator of the story is Denise and the book is narrated in form of stream of consciousness of thoughts. Another narrator of the story is Siobhan, Denise’s daughter, and we can read thoughts and inner monologue of both the narrators throughout the book.

Plot-line: For someone who have read “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown or similar books, might not find the plot-line unique. The story revolves around the age old concept of wagering your soul with the devil for a favor. But the author have weaved a very compelling and unique story around this concept with reference to ancient texts and historical events. The diverse range of topics that are connected with the story is amazing and keeps the reader’s interest captured throughtout the book. I specially enjoyed reading the chapter involving discussion on “The thirteen Nag Hammadi Codices”.

Cover: The cover and quality of paper of the book is incredible. The cover have an image of the ‘Semana Santa’ parade and inner sleeves of the cover have images of some of the places mentioned in the book.

Parents Guide: (might contain spoilers)


Suitable reading age-18+

  • Sex and nudity: There are several intimate scenes describing sex and nudity in detail. 
  • Violence/Gore: Extremely violent scenes where people are 
    tortured and murdered. 
  • Profanity: Intense usage of profane language. 
  • Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: Some scenes where people are drinking. Few scenes where there are talks of a woman using cocaine. One scene where woman is drugged.
  • Intense Scenes: There are few scenes where rape and molestation of woman are described. A few scenes where people are inflicting self harm can be disturbing to few people.

Final Thoughts

This is a kind of book that will take you on a roller coaster ride. It has the qualities of a true thriller where it will capture your interest and hold it till the last page. But one of the noteworthy facts is the immense knowledge and research that went into writing this book and is reflected on each and every page. A surprising section where the author talks about environmental degradation due to human activities was a big reality check. I had to stop reading and take a moment to understand the true impact of the words that I read and sheer reality of it was like a punch in the gut.


If you are comfortable with the violence and explicit content, then this book would be a treat to read. A hidden treasure that I am so glad I discovered this year, I will definitely be re-reading it. I can’t wait for the second part of this book and would highly recommend it to all mature readers. 

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