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review 2017-04-01 16:24
The Devil's Prayer - Luke Gracias

A woman has been horrible betrayed by trusted friends, so in order to seek revenge she concludes a pact with the devil.Well, the first half of the book is quick paced  ( and although the descriptions and details of the revenge killings are unnecessary gory and after the second killing have lost all their necessity) it reads well, barring numerous platitudes such as " more people have died in the name of religion than any other disease ".And then, not only is the devil implicated but also a lot of  ( not always accurate ) historical facts and myths.In this case the Nag Hammadi codices, a 13th century Benedictine manuscript, red monks and to top it off, climate change is brought into the whole lot.The writing doesn't get any better and frankly it feels as if the emphasis lies on writing a blockbuster. And the end is a complete disaster, as a matter of fact,there is no"end".

This book is often compared to Dan Brown 's work, but unfortunately it has the same flaws and pluses.Not very well written, dubious historical data, a certain artificial flavour and yes, it is fast paced, horror and mystery merge and it is an easy read. But just not good enough....

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review 2017-03-10 15:00
The Devil's Prayer Review
The Devil's Prayer - Luke Gracias

I don’t feel like the blurb for The Devil’s Prayer does it justice. But I also think it would be really hard to do a blurb that really did tell you what this book was about. Some of the book is fairly typical fare. Deals with the devil, prophecies, and the possible end of the world. Then there’s the historical fiction aspect of it. Which, if you’re someone into religious history, provides enough actual facts to make you happy. For the horror hounds, there’s some of that too, around the second quarter. So, there’s obviously a lot going on.

 

The first three-quarters of The Devil’s Prayer were awesome. There was the mystery, the horror, the clues all coming together. We got the beginnings of an answer to a question that was asked early on. Once I really sat down to concentrate on the book, I read through 50 percent of it in one night. And the last quarter was good, too. But in a very different way. Unfortunately, the last quarter doesn’t really match with the first three in any way other than covering the relevant subject matter.

 

It felt like Luke Gracias got almost done with the book, and then decided to turn it into a history paper at the end. The material he covered was fascinating, and stuff I’d definitely look up in my free time when I was in the mood for it. However, when I’m three-quarters of the way through a fiction book, I’m not in the mood to come to a full stop for a preachy, hand-holding history lesson. My interest in what I was reading swiftly fizzled. Instead of getting the climax and story resolution I was hoping for, I was suddenly just hoping it would end soon.

 

The way The Devil’s Prayer is told is a bit flip-floppy. It’s told journal-style, interspersed with present-day action. My one problem with journal style – and I’ve had this thought with a couple other books – is that it feels unrealistic. No one is going to be as detailed in their journals about every little interaction as they are in these types of books. (And I know this is partially on me, for not being able to completely suspend reality, but it bothers me.) I was able to push it aside, for the most part, and just enjoy what I was reading. Luke Gracias does a good job of giving us a character we can care about in Denise Russo, even if we know she’s already dead when we start to get to know her. Siobhan is pretty much just an audience substitute in this book.

 

Overall, The Devil’s Prayer isn’t a bad read by any means. But it’s not exactly the smoothest read with the way it ends. Luke Gracias is talented, though, and obviously a religious history enthusiast. I think we’ll see some great work from him in the future. Also, I would be shocked if The Devil’s Prayer doesn’t have a sequel already being written. The book ends, if not exactly on a cliffhanger, without a feeling of plot resolution.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the author for review consideration.

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/devils-prayer-review
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review 2017-02-12 16:57
The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias
The Devil's Prayer - Luke Gracias

The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias is a powerfully written book about the devil answering prayers. It has strong female characters that are intriguing. I was surprised that a book about a desperate nun's bargain kept my attention from start to finish.

 

There is disturbing violence but it contributes to the advancement of the story. Because it was a page-turner, I gave it five stars.

 

This book was well-researched and filled with esoteric information.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Australian eBook Publisher and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Prayer-Luke-Gracias-ebook/dp/B01BXR4838

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review 2017-02-01 00:00
The Devil's Prayer
The Devil's Prayer - Luke Gracias DNF at 53%

I hoped to read a religious thriller a là Dan Brown, but...forget it. The readers who compared this book in their reviews with Dan Brown's works probably never read them.

Ridiculous plot, flat writing, weak characters, with a lot of senseless violence.

I honestly won't recommend it to anyone.

I normally don't rate books I didn't finish, but WHAT I read was not more than one star rating for me.

***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
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review 2017-01-30 22:32
Several books in one and all compelling and gripping.
The Devil's Prayer - Luke Gracias

Thanks to Net Galley and to Australian eBook Publisher (the author?) for offering me an ARC copy of this novel that I voluntarily choose to review.

As I do sometimes I checked some of the reviews of this book and I found that most people were really positive, and, interestingly, people who didn’t like it gave as reasons some of the same ones that made others like it. We all know nothing rules over personal taste.

The story, that it’s not straightforward to categorise (it has elements of thriller, of historical novel, of horror story with paranormal elements, even with religious undertones), is told in an interesting way. The story we start reading, after a brief prologue that hints at things to come, of Siobhan, a young woman who is given her mother’s Bible and a strange message after finding out she hanged herself in Spain, frames the main story, the confession by Siobhan’s mother, Denise. Siobhan follows her mother’s instructions and soon realises that many people seem invested in keeping hidden the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. For much of the book, Siobhan is just a stand-in for the reader, who gets hooked on the book her mother has left her as an explanation of what happened, and as we later learn, as a way of recruiting her into her mission. Siobhan experiences similar emotions to the readers, at times thinking the story is not possible, that her mother must have been unwell while at the same time finding it impossible to stop reading, in her case even when she’s in serious danger.

Denise’s confession is fascinating. What starts as the story of a single mother quickly turns into a thriller, where Denise is the victim of a conspiracy and with some paranormal help (yes, the devil of the title comes to the rescue, of course at a price) manages to get even. This part of the story, of greed, jealousy and friendship gone sour would make an interesting novel in its own right, although there are details that require some suspension of disbelief. The story eventually takes a moral turn and things get more bizarre (yes, even with the devil already on the scene). The nature of Denise’s family life comes into question and she has no option but to leave her loved ones without a word of explanation. She is recruited for a mission and as part of that we are introduced to a number of religious texts and historical facts of the XIII century that show a good research used in a very compelling way (although some readers did not enjoy it so much, but I’m sure others who love books such as The Da Vinci Code would appreciate it).

The writing is fluid and compelling, with some descriptive passages and some that offer moral lessons (especially about the role humanity has in destroying our environment, and about the cost of our wishes and desires, exemplifying the fact that actions have consequences) and a deep understanding of the texts and the religious questions discussed, without becoming preachy. At some points, especially when describing the texts, there is more telling than showing, but that can’t be avoided (and considering that according to the blurb, the author turned one of his scripts into a novel, it’s very well resolved). I’ve read some people who found the repeated used of long names (of monasteries and convents in particular) tiresome, although in my case, as a few of them were Spanish like me, I didn’t have much of an issue with it.

The story of Denise is completed within the book, but it ends up at the point when Siobhan goes back home and has to decide what she will do from now on. So there is some sort of resolution, but we are left at the beginning of another story.

Denise is an understandable and totally human character, who makes mistakes, who sometimes is confused about her emotions, who wants to believe the best of people but is sorely betrayed. She is faced with terrible decisions and if one tries to put oneself in her shoes, is not easy to know what one would do. Does one really always have to choose between two loves? Perhaps. We don’t have much chance to get to know Siobhan, other than as an ersatz reader and a girl who, like her mother, will pursue the truth even at the cost of her own safety. I hope we’ll be given a chance to get to know her better soon.

I enjoyed the book, both the intriguing and gripping story, and also the background of history and the fascinating documents described. I didn’t find it scary but it is a book that makes one think about one’s decisions, about the world and about what we would be prepared to sacrifice for those we love. And it’s impossible to put down.

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