Rating 3.5 out of 5
Recommendation: This book is perfect for those who enjoy chilling thrillers. It is good for those who enjoy delving into stories of the supernatural and unknown.
The 13th Demon by Bruce Henningan is the first book in the Chronicles of Jonathan Steel series. It follows the story of Jonathan Steel as he strives to aid those in need while he hunts for the truth to his past.
Something is happening at Thomas Parker's church. Wave of blood pours through the sanctuary, the baptism pool becomes a swirling energy field, there is an spiral eye on the ceiling. When Jonathan Steel comes into help spiders begin to attack the pastor and Steel. Steel in turn takes pictures of strange writing on the wall as well as the energy field and the eye on the ceiling. He calls in some help, a linguist and a physicist, to get to the truth of the matter. Meanwhile, he learns there is a businessman who is trying to buy the church for some reason. What is the connection between the businessman and what is happening within the church? When the physicist's son becomes a part of the mystery everyone treads lightly and strives to find the truth before it becomes too late.
I was slightly disappointed in this novel, for some reason I had high expectations on the alter of the spiral eye, and the 13th demon. There wasn't much backstory to the 13th demon other than a small snippet on it not being among the 12 "chosen" demons much like the 12 apostles. The story could have gone into more detail about what makes this particular demon scarier than others. I did however enjoy the archeological and linguistic aspects to the story. It added depth to the setting and images on the walls that Steel had seen.
I understand the reason for no backstory on Jonathan Steele because, well he doesn't even know who he is, so the scenes were he remembers or is given reminders of his past are well done and provide that needed backstory. His amnesia adds a complexity to his character as he simply doesn't remember anything before a specific time. So as a reader we don't know who or even what Jonathan Steel is because he doesn't know. That makes the reader want to try and figure this character out. The other characters are well rounded and play their roles perfectly in the story, personally I wanted more from Liz, the linguist but that is probably because that is where my own interest and passion lies. I enjoyed the idea of death being like a butterfly in a cocoon. It was an interesting metaphor.
13th Demon is a well written novel that leave readers wanting more, and from I've seen there is more (I bought 12th Demon just waiting to get a chance to read it). I look forward to what Bruce has for us in the future. With some of the other books I have read, I would like to see this one made into a movie, it definitely has the suspense factor.