Publishing Date: April 2018
Publisher’s Description: It’s been 15 years since Michael LeClaire defeated the Devil in a swordfight high above the rooftops of Milan. Since then, he’s been content to lead a quiet life in New Haven with his wife Maggie and their son Gabriel. But Gabriel is no ordinary teen. When he saves a bus full of passengers in Aachen from a terrorist attack, he draws the attention of both sides in a new Crusade for the soul of Europe. Does he have what it takes to face down the Prince of Darkness?
Review: This novel has some good moments but was plagued with a few issues. One of the first things that jumped out at me was the lack of story line consistency. Mostly, you are expected to be on board when the story shifts into “not believable” mode. For instance the whole idea that your family goes on a trip to Europe , meet a bunch of Angels whom collectively decide to overthrow every European state leadership and successfully complete this task in a week or so, is……..ridonkulous. Add to this: sending your 14 year old son and his two buddies to kill Satan, and you have a recipe for boredom.
The other issue, just touched on, was the characterization. Micheal, Gabriel, Maggie and Vanessa are just too perfect. Take for instance Micheal and Maggie. They come off smug and all knowing which is a testament to the author’s lack of voice in the characters. They are flat and patterned after most of the novels you read in the romance genre. There is nothing interesting about them. The same holds true for their son, Gabriel, who at 14 years old is almost 7 feet tall, a sword master that gets perfect grades in school, subdues jihadists and saves drowning little girls in his spare time. Vanessa is uber smart with a photographic memory and Satan is portrayed as Super Evil-y with definite issues where self-control is concerned. You would expect a super natural being to be highly intelligent and instilled with a sense of subtlety. What you get is a bombast with bulging eyes and a domineering persona.
So as we wend our way through the story I found that the political observations were spot on and that the plausible outcomes, for Europe in particular, are getting pretty close to reality. The author does a good job relating the inherent fallacies that reside within the progressive movement by calling to attention the trampling of opinion, especially if it does not align with their agenda. This may be a call to arms where free speech is concerned and is of relevant concern where religious zealotry is embraced in lieu of common sense.
So, while the author’s voice was lost in some areas, namely the story line and characterization, her religious/politico voice was loudly heard. I laud the author’s courage to laugh at being politically correct but am still disappointed that there was a creative slide into the patterned.