January 05, 2018

Book Review: The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

The Devil’s Prayer
Author: Luke Gracias
Publisher: Australian eBook Publisher
Rating: 4.5/5

Strength does not come from physical capability but from the indomitable will. ‘The Devil’s Prayer’ is an absolute pot-boiler that has elements of consternation, hatred and dread. It reeks of archival fiction and forces the mind to brainstorm and leaves one with bated breath. With unambiguous narration and entrenched storyline, the author’s research and prior knowledge come into the light and it is worth the acknowledgement.

The story begins on a grim note with a sudden death of Sister Benedictine, who also happens to be the protagonist’s mother, Denise Russo. While the church mourns the death, Denise, though abhorrent to her mother’s cowardice, Siobhan decides to peel the layers of dust and get to the bottom of the truth. The day of the funeral brings along a piece of information that shapes the destiny of our main characters. The priest, who introduces himself as Father Jakub, hands over Siobhan’s mother’s bible that has a secret message locked within the wrinkled parchment pages.

A series of minor events lead Siobhan to Zamora where she is constantly on pins and needles. Being followed and attacked by strangers leaves her exasperated and apprehensive. But soon she gets her hands on her mother’s secret diary that has all the answers- why she left her girls six years ago and what happened to/with her. As the daunting yet pragmatic story of Denise unfurls, the readers can feel the jitters in their body. The actual horror begins then because we get to know about the Devil’s Prayer, a part of which lies hidden in that confession book.

The story paces with excruciating twists and turns and Siobhan’s battle with the dark energy occupies the stage. The description of events and the historical citation is heavy. For the ones who are not well versed in the primaeval supernatural rituals, the information might beat one’s brain out. But patience and active reading will help.

The climax leaves behind some unanswered questions and is not on par with my expectations. However, the plot impressed me. This is the first time I got a chance to read horror fiction and it turned out to be a great experience.

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