It is the prerogative of night, when thoughts, like relentless waves, break on the impressionable sands of the mind.
I had a slow start and a skipping finish with this book. Skipping, as in literally skipping a couple of chapters that included Father Zachary’s story from the 70s because I just… I felt overloaded with information and felt like I was reading a dry, albeit interesting, historical account from a school book. Yes, I said ‘dry’ and ‘interesting’ in the same sentence, because I have no doubt I missed some interesting information, but I was overloaded at this stage of the book and just wanted to go into the conclusion already. Impatience is my middle name. And this would be my only negative feedback on the book… everything else… the middle part, the majority of the book was just quality stuff!
Here’s the blurb:
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.
So, the start… there was a lot of Bible clutching and a religious event and ‘rushing through the tunnels and secret passages’.. while clutching a Bible, again. And it was necessary to start the story right. I was worried that I was going to end up reading a story set in a nunnery. With the priests, monks, nuns and some confession sessions and was wondering how the hell does the explicit content tie into all of this?
Quite quickly, I found out… I didn’t even expect what was to come once the intro to the story was finished.. And what came blew my socks off.
I remember once, on a day off from work a few years back I watched 6 parts of SAW, the movie… I sat on a chair, blanket around my shoulders, munched food (yup, I actually ate while watching the movies) and wasted my day away… By the time I got to the end of Part 6 I remember feeling strange, maybe there was slight rocking back and forth… apparently, the hours of gorefest had gotten to me. This book… kinda did the same. The explicit content warning is there for a reason, people. Graphic. Quite graphic.
Essentially this is kind of like a story within a story… While Siobhan reads about her mother’s ‘life on the road’ as a nun who has taken the vow of silence, Siobhan herself is found in quite a similar position- running, hiding… and trying to piece it all together.
As you can read from the blurb the Devil will be in the story. And where there’s Devil, there’s religion. The religion aspect of the book is more adventurous and took me on a true excursion around the globe to various monasteries and holy places with their holy scrolls and fabulous sceneries. The historical side of the book is definitely covered with plenty of detailed descriptions, historical facts and associated events.
The writing is good and, as I already mentioned, detailed showing that the author knows what he’s writing about and because I only had this one little issue with the ending dragging a bit, I can not fault the book. If you’re into historical fiction, enjoy reading religious themes, like the Devil as one of your characters, and have nothing against cliffhangers then do not hesitate to pick this book up. Of course, you would also need to have a strong stomach for explicit content because the horrors will make your spine tingle.
Here, listen to this pretty song to celebrate the book that is dark, yet holy. Full of sin and search for justice. [Also, I’m sorry if this makes your ears bleed!]