I’ve been following Tim on various social media sites for a while. His offerings seem pretty popular and he’s a prolific dude. I wasn’t sure if they’d be the kind of thing I’d enjoy, but when I saw this book was available for $.99 I took a chance. Is this book devilishly clever or does it deserve to be thrown into the outer darkness?
Half-devil and miles from anything resembling heroic, perpetual underdog Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg is the last man standing against Armageddon.
As the favorite nephew of the Devil, Frank has led a troubled life, but he’d always had his uncle’s influence to fall back on. Now, with God and Lucifer coming to terms and leaving existence to fend for itself, his once exalted status of Anti-Christ-to-be does little to endear him to the hordes of angels and demons running amok in the Godless world.
With help from the members of DRAC, an organization of wizards, psychics, telepaths, and low-end supernatural beings, Frank must thwart the pro-Armageddon forces and rescue an angel in whose life rests the fate of humanity.
Better luck next time, humanity.
The Goods – There’s a load of very dark humor here. That appeals to me quite a bit. When you have a protagonist like Trigg, who’s very in touch with his demonic side, it can be a lot of fun. The protagonist’s nature isn’t what fascinates me most, though. This is a universe where God and Satan just threw up their hands and left humanity and the angels/demons to their own devices. The forces who are aware of what’s happened are fairly sure this means there is no longer an afterlife. Since hell, and I think heaven, are still places you can go, I’m not sure why that’s the case. Some demons/angels believe they can bring about the end of the world and it won’t be the end of everything. That’s the crux of this particular book. Essentially, all bets are off. I want to see more exploration of this.
When you’ve got characters like angels and demons running around, it would be all too easy (and an amateur mistake in my opinion) to make them all live up to their reputations. Instead, Tim has some angels and demons working together. Some demons are looking after mankind (albeit for their own reasons). There are angels who’ve seriously gone off the beam. Trigg and his, literally angelic, “cousin” Scarlett butt heads and also manage to work with one another. In short, he makes these characters more multi-dimensional than others might. I like that a lot.
The overall plot is strong enough, though it’s mostly a rollicking action piece. Tim does action pretty well. There are some minor issues here and there, but overall once things get rolling, they don’t slow down.
The Bads – This is, if not a first novel, a very early novel by Tim. It’s also independently published. As a result of both of those things, there are problems. The characters run fairly shallow. Minor mistakes are made regarding gun terminology and their operation. I didn’t catch any spelling or grammar mistakes, but I was reading at light speed thanks to the pacing. None of these were enough for me to be a deal breaker. I spoke with him about my concerns and he’s addressed them in future books in the series.
The Verdict – This is a fun read. The humor runs a little crude. The protagonist is a jerk in the same way that many fantasy/noir protagonists often are. He’s a bumbler and thinks with his dick. All of that said, there’s something about him that appealed to me. He wants to do the right thing, but doesn’t quite know how. He’s surrounded by people trying to show him the way. Sometimes he even listens to them. My hope is, the things which hurt this book will indeed improve as the series develops. I had a good enough time to risk the full price on the second book. If you like Butcher, you’ll probably enjoy this. I give this book three and a half rounds of out five.