Title: The Devils Prayer
Author: Luke Gracias
Published: 18th February 2016
Publisher: Australian ebook publisher
A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognizes 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?
The first things that caught my eye about this book and subsequently made me want to request it on Netgalley was the book cover. It had an eerie, spiritual, demon-y vibe to it that I liked which sets the mood for the plot in my mind. Also the book cover can be interpreted in both ways where on one side it is just a picture of a few priests doing a march or something but when the picture is seen from afar it looks as if it is some kind of demon worship.
The next thing that made me really interested in the book was when the prologue started off by telling a story of how this one monk was sentenced to death by being sealed alive for breaking his monastery vows thus him in his desperation begged and prayed for help from Lucifer. Like hot damn! I would not think of anybody who WOULDN’T seek the help of the Devil if they were about to suffer through an excruciating death where they were left to die of dehydration and hunger after being sealed inside (or is it in between?) a wall. I mean what type of monastery vow the poor man broke for him to die such a painful and extremely slow death. Isn’t it better to just chop his head off and get it over with as fast as you could?
The main character of this book is Siobhan but I felt more connected to Denise rather than Siobhan because when it is Siobhans’ POV it is written in the third person whereas when it Denise’s POV is that of the first person. Also, when reading Denise’s story it is more compelling and interesting because she acts and reacts according to the situation whereas Siobhan for most parts of the book is just being chased around by these creepy ass priests. For example, in Denise’s story she makes a deal with the Devil whereby the Devil will give her full use of her limbs to enact vengeance on the people who betrayed her and if she does not complete her mission the payment will be Siobhans’ soul. I mean that alone is already intriguing enough for me to connect with a character, Siobhan on the other hand, most of the time when I am reading her POV she is constantly on the run so it was hard for me to have a connection with her as I did not know her character as well as I did with Denise’s character.
My favourite character in this book is actually the Devil because he is portrayed as someone who helps those in need and when I mean in need I mean desperation-I-have-no-one-else-not-even-God type of need and the Devil will provide. He does not back away from his promise and neither does he twist the deal to benefit him more. He will give you what you want exactly how you want it. Plus, it helps that he is a gentleman and would never force you to take the deal against your better judgement. So when you make a deal with him you are fully aware of what you are getting yourself into and in the end you have no one else to blame but yourself.
Even though the pacing of the book was fast I didn’t feel confused as to what is going on even though the POV’s kept changing between Denise and Siobhan but the ending annoyed me to no end man. I was so invested, so enthralled, so mesmerized and so absorbed into the plot and the ending is that nothing is resolved and I have to read the second book for me to find out what will Siobhan do is just so damn annoying.
How I feel when I get to the ending
In Sarawakian, I would say ‘sakit bena ati aku kenak tok’ which translates to my heart really hurts because of this. I swear it seems like a new book marketing technique but at least looking at the bright side the author definitely left the book at the best type of cliff-hanger for me to definitely read the second book because I have no choice if I want to know what Siobhan will do.
So in conclusion, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely recommend it to my friends and my favourite part of the book was when Denise enacted her revenge by slowly killing her betrayers and causing them to die a slow and agonizing death. Must be all that Saw movie I watched with my friends influencing me to be nasty.
*I received this book via Netgalley by the publisher in return for an honest review.