Author - Luke Gracias
Publisher - Bee Hive
Rating : 4.0
The first thing that struck my mind when I grabbed the book is Tej.K.Singh's one liner about the book "If you liked David Vinci Code, you'll definitely like 'Devil's Prayer'. Hence from the first page I started searching for the cryptic quest towards the truth. But once reading the book, I realised that the book is not what I expected. One that note, I would like to say that you have to keep your prejudice aside before reading the book.
The plot starts with a nun namely Sister Benedictine, who commits suicide inside a church in front of thousands of witnesses. Next scene is Siobhan, with her sister Jess and her grandmother mourning the death of Sister Benedictine who apparently happens to be her mother Denise Russo, who left them six years back without a word. While Jess hates her mother for leaving them and being selfish, Siobhan tries to find reason. On the funeral day a priest who introduces himself as father Jakub hands over a book, which he claims to be her mother's bible, which was handed over to him by father Zachary. In the bible, there is a secret message from her mother for Siobhan asking her to come to Zamora.
The trip to Zamora is eventful where Siobhan is being followed and scrutinised and more or less attacked by unknown people. However she manages to get hold of the secret diary confession of her mother Denise. A sordid story of a young Denise unveils thenceforth. The story is painful, palpable and realistic. The shift in narration from third person to first person by Denise has raised the graph of the book. Even-though the story that mother tells to her daughter is full of graphic details that are cringe-worthy for a normal reader, the disclaimer or something of that sort by the mother in which Denise tells her daughter that in order to make her understand why she left them, the detailed account of what happened to her is necessary. This neutralises the prejudice if any by the readers.
After what happened to her and her deal with the devil, the whole mood of the story changes and we are taken to a prehistoric era of occult religious endeavour. A secretive yet effective practise to conceal the Devil's prayer which otherwise unleashes irreversible destruction and chaos in the world. Now here we can see why the book was compared to Da Vinci Code. The detailed research and the extreme hardwork of the author is visible throughout the book. The first half of the book is a women's fiction with more focus on the relationships while towards the end of the first half there is fantasy. Towards the second half, the life-story of Denise takes a back seat and the focus shifts on the historical cum mythological fiction. How author zeroes in on several facts with her logical reasoning is brilliant.
However, the climax failed to impress me as a reader. The foray into the Devil's prayer, which is the focal point as well as the title itself of the book proves to be pointless unless it calls for a sequel. The target audience is a mix but the book is clearly demarcated into the two halves and hence it is a tricky situation to prove worthy for the target readers.
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