Tuesday, 7 June 2016



by Joshua Ingle

2 out of 5

For decades, Thorn has reigned as the most powerful demon in Atlanta, lurking in the spirit realm, whispering lies to unsuspecting human ears, commanding all other demons to do his bidding. But when Marcus, an old demonic rival, returns from exile to attack Thorn unexpectedly, Thorn finds his power ripped from his grasp.

Wounded, desperate, and abandoned by his allies, Thorn is forced to ask himself questions—forbidden questions about demonkind’s place in the universe. Questions that threaten to undermine everything Thorn and his fellow demons have believed for millennia.

With enemies closing in from all sides, Thorn grows ever more desperate for a way to escape his vicious life and to keep the people he loves safe in the process.

But Thorn is a vile, wicked demon who has committed unspeakably evil acts. He could never truly love someone. He could never become good.

Could he?

Thorn has established himself as the most powerful demon in Atlanta, but when an old friend comes to town to challenge that, things are bound to change.

I received a free copy of the first two books of the Thorn Saga from Netgalley.
I was enticed by the synopsis, it sounded like a demon turf war in Atlanta. I was expecting fantastic fights, betrayals and back-stabbings; and lots of generally demonic stuff. Excitement, action, intrigue...

The book was nothing like I was expecting. This isn't about monsters, it is about personal demons.
Ingle's demons are ex-angels, that all lost their wings and their corporeal form when they fell to Earth. They drift along as ancient shadows, jealous of the humans who can touch, feel and smell the world around them. The demons are driven by a need to cause death and despair to humans - it is almost currency amongst demons. A high-rated death can be of great value.

And how do they achieve this? They whisper. They sit on their victims shoulder and whisper their biggest insecurities and weaknesses until they crack.
The demons can't actually read people's minds, but for ones like Thorn with a millenia of experience, they know the best lines and most likely topics.

As Thorn hovers around his victims, I was both amused and disappointed with the things he was focussing on. I mean sure, logically a lot of suicides and murders etc stem from cracks in the foundation, but it was really quite mundane and human how Thorn pressed that "you're fat" and "you're ugly", "buying something expensive will make you feel better".
It was really very petty.
But at the same time I was chuckling away at it; every time Thorn was whispering, I had a little voice in my head "cake is the devil"
"sexy clothes are the devil"
"consumerism is the devil"
"drink is the devil"
"foreigners are the devil"

And what about when your personal demons have personal demons?
Thorn is the top demon in Atlanta. He is also a coward.
He hides behind his reputation and position, knowing that no one would dare touch him. But when they do, he shrinks away from pain and bemoans the injustice of it all.
Thorn knows that his old friend Marcus intends to drive him away and force the local demons to follow a new alpha. Thorn sees Marcus and his minion here and there, but does nothing. He shies away from ever confronting them, and spends his time musing over his past and the angels.

I just got bored, and even though it's only about 80 pages long I struggled to plow through. There's a lot of musing and reminiscing and very little actual interaction (beyond pulling the strings of his human puppets) or plot.
I have the second book, but I'm not in a rush to start it.

Goodreads link

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