Saturday, August 10, 2013

Light of the Wicked by Frederick Hurr ARC Review


Light of the Wicked by Frederick Hurr
eARC, 352 pages
Published by B&H Books
Published on November 1, 2013
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


Synopsis: In a small Victorian seaside town where nothing significant ever happens, evil takes up residence in the form of Lord Rimmon and his powerful demons.

The town is suddenly enveloped by catastrophe after catastrophe, the trend of evil beginning with the horrible death of a young clergyman. The local detective cannot explain the death but begins to believe, even with his skeptical mind, that supernatural forces are at work.

The night of Halloween is mayhem in the town; grisly murders, violence abounding, children suffering at the hands of dark forces. The police are perplexed and out of their depth, so the chief reluctantly goes to a Christian celebrity for answers and is shocked by what he learns.

A spiritual battle ensues, and humans become intricately involved; Christians recognize that demon possession and evil influences are everywhere and that the Prince of Darkness is taking over. As the veil between the normal world and spirit world is torn, the local bishop and curate fight back using prayer and direct confrontation with evil. Heaven’s angels descend to face the onslaught, but Satan, Lord Rimmon, and his army of devils are not going to give up the town without a desperate and furious war.

Thank you to Netgalley.com, B&H Books, B&H Fiction, and B&H Kids for my electronic copy of this ARC.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this novel on Netgalley. Light of the Wicked is about the classic war between angels and demons. It's a mainly a religious book about humans who have either strayed from God's grace and the others who's life was transformed by it. I am not religious by any measure but I found the interlocking plot lines of all the characters very interesting. Although, this novel is centered around angels and demons, this novel is a story of love, satire, comedy, angst, war, homosexuality (not in an entirely hateful way), and faith.

Strengths/Likes: 

1) The best way I can describe Frederick Hurr's writing style is classic. What I mean by classic is that his voice feels like it's from another time. His charming lines with extremely high diction, reminds me of authors like Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, and Chaucer.

2) I was surprised by how much action there was in this book. The angels and demons were described as being in army ranks, and there was constant war planning and tactics used. And even more surprising is that it was all well written where I could easily picture everything in my head.

 3) Generally, everyone understands that angels are good, demons are bad, but Frederick Hurr's characters were written as having likable and dislikable qualities. I found it easier to deal with all of the religious aspects of this book because the angels were not too righteous and the demons weren't just plain despicable. Each side had distinct personalities, feelings, desires.

Weaknesses/Strengths:

1) There was a lot of tell and not enough show in this book. There were a lot of characters in this book, and I felt that the author thought it best to tell the reader all about them instead of the developing each and every one of them as the story went on, and he did so successfully. At the same time, I think it would have been much better if the author has chosen to cut a few of his characters and focused more on showing us their personalities and actions instead of telling us. By telling us so much about each character, I feel that it's hard to feel attached because the reader does not get to feel their thoughts and emotions.

2) As I previously stated, I'm not religious at all, but I felt that this book pushed the envelope with it's religious actions. This book makes it seem that any person can ask God for something, and if they are truly pious, God will answer their prayers. For example:

"To Sarah's surprise, Richard jumped to his feet. Standing tall, and theatrically throwing his arms aloft, he cried out, 'Lord! We want to see the most amazing shooting star cross the sky right there..' He pointed to a high point in the western sky. 'And we want it within the next thirty seconds.'

Sarah had scrambled to her feet, and was standing expectantly at his side as he started to count aloud. 'One, two, three, four…'


He got as far as fifteen when a light suddenly appeared above the horizon, flaming brightly, streaking across the night sky, accompanied by a sound like the roar of a great wind. Whoosh!" (153).

Growing up, religion was pushed on me, and that's probably why I pulled away, but from what I remember is that God doesn't answer every prayer and not everyone gets what they want just because they asked. I think that this was the most unrealistic part of the book.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) "His voice was like that of a ponderous bell tolling a funeral dirge, and it held the listener with an occult power that could not easily be denied. The sounds that issued from the mouth of this creature were like dark waters tumbling over a hellish waterfall. Every syllable commanded attention, and each phrase resonated deep within the black hearts of his servants" (23).

2) "'You're right, as usual.' he said tenderly. 'What would I do without you?'

'Probably sink into oblivion.'

'And which oblivion would that be?' he joked as he dug his fingers into her ribs to tickle her" (239).

3) "'I'm not sure if I like you as a human female.'

'I am not sure I like it myself,' replied Ganymede, inspecting himself in a full-length mirror. 'Though I think I could get used to it, except for these things.' He cupped his hands under his full breasts. 'As appendages, I can't imagine why mortal men drool over them.'

Gathan looked at Ganymede with an expression of disgust. 'Then why didn't you choose a masculine form like we did?'

'I thought it might be fun, Gathan--a concept that you simply cannot comprehend.'" (248).

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