The Devil’s Gospel

(1 customer review)
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Biology Professor Kevin Ballard finds his quiet life rocked by a series of vicious mysterious events. First, his mother is slain in his childhood home. Then, his girlfriend (and research assistant) is kidnapped from their cabin, and he finds that the plant he’s studying is apparently being used in strange local rituals. To top it all off, the police think Kevin is somehow involved.

Who wants to wreck his life and why?

1 review for The Devil’s Gospel

  1. Alan Preece

    I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

    I had difficulty from the start with A. S Coomer’s The Devil’s Gospel, even Sean Duregger’s assured performance couldn’t breathe life the book for me. The opening chapter jumps between several concurrent – and to me all too similar – scenes, and none of them captured my imagination.

    The story did settle, thankfully, and the various scenes of the first chapter begun to tie together as we are introduced (we’ve already met him, but the choppiness of the first chapter makes it an unfulfilling “introduction”) to Kevin, our lead character, a biologist who quickly reveals himself to be a singularly unpleasant person.

    Still, thanks to Sean Duregger – a narrator I particularly enjoy – I persevered with it.

    Unfortunately Kevin has few redeeming qualities and I thought things might pick up a little when we met Kate, his girlfriend, but if anything I begun to dislike both characters even more. There is an amazing scene where they spend some time making fun of Christians where their lack of self awareness is rather stunning. Kevin and Kate show such phenomenal levels of unpleasantness I wanted to go to my nearest church and offer up penance for them; and I’m a life long agnostic!

    In the rare moments where Kevin and Kate are not (wilfully?) misrepresenting Christian theology to make fun of them the story comes together and A. S. Coomer writes quite nicely, and I think if the story wasn’t being derailed constantly by it I would have enjoyed the book a great deal more but it seemed that the story came second place to this main aim.

    Later Kevin, a university lecturer and botanist, shows an alarming lack of interest in the local tales regarding the use of plants. He seems unable to engage in perfectly normal human conversation with someone who has views that do not match his own. At this point I realise how much I hate these characters and by the books end I’d found I had completely lost interest, besides this the open hatred of religion I saw in the book made the ending fairly obvious to predict.

    If you don’t mind the impressive levels of Christian mockery then you might really enjoy this story, the characters are well drawn and the plot is complex enough to hold interest easily (even if you guess who the villain the first time you meet him). There’s also some very good atmosphere that draws really well on the location and people, but for me the truly unpleasant lead really spoilt what could have been a really good book.

    A more even handed approach that was more sympathetic with its criticism of religion would’ve server the story much better, nothing makes a character more sympathetic than when they show sympathy to others, so this would’ve made Kevin someone I would have cared for and it would not have telegraphed the ending quite so completely.

    Hopefully if you give this one a go you’ll enjoy it far more than I did, I do seem to be a minority in my view on The Devil’s Gospel so you’re far more likely to like it than not!

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