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God's Demon by Wayne Barlowe
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God's Demon (2007)

by Wayne Barlowe

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175967,867 (3.95)8
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I finished this months ago, but the author's image of hell has stayed with me: souls used as building materials; people used as anything; always dark, constant storms, never-ending gloom, truly a dreadful place. ( )
  Tonestaple | Jan 6, 2014 |
If I were a believer in mankind's rendition of hell (and especially of one so artfully sketched by Mr. Barlowe), I'd spend the rest of my days on earth in fear and on a constant campaign to become a saint. Fortunately, the truth of spirituality and the cosmos in general is likely beyond my comprehension, while all the imaginings and myths of heaven and hell were formed to accommodate human understanding, and fears. This line of musing, some might call it a rationalization, served as a protective shield against a total freak out while reading God's Demon.

First off, the story is marvelous, for who and where could a character yearn most for heaven if not a former angel in the depths of hell? Nowhere else could a greater struggle for forgiveness and salvation be rendered than that of an angel in hell who knows very well what he has lost and understands his punishment to be justly deserved. Barlowe ensconces the reader in horror and gore, and I squirmed because he pulled no punches, yet never did the scenes nor situations seem over the top, because, well, this was hell after all.

For such a large work, the writing is very good with only a few falters. For most of my personal ratings, a 5 is a book I'd highly recommend to anyone and everyone. While the subject matter in God's Demon cuts to a deep part of the reader's humanity, I'm not certain everyone would find it comfortable, nor helpful. In fact, the story and characters are deliberately disturbing. If stories are a vehicle for readers to wash in situations outside their immediate grasp, then this story is a dunking with lots of salt, yet it has the ability, like Paradise Lost, to explore a great truth about the extremes of good and evil, as well as the tai chi symbol demonstrates that the greatest good touches the tail of evil - and vice versa. For those interested in such subjects, I highly recommend God's Demon (but I still dislike the title). ( )
  ChanceMaree | Mar 29, 2013 |
First, it is a 400 page book that would be a better book if it were 250 pages- it needs a editor.
Secondly, it is a book that has made me mull it over for several days after reading it. This is a good sign that the book affected me. It is an interesting idea of forgiveness- if a demon in Hell repented and asked for forgiveness, would God forgive hiim and bring him back into Heaven? This is what the main character, a major demon in Hell does, with the help of the damned soul of Hannibal Barca, the general with the elephants.
It is an interesting and novel concept, and I enjoyed the thinking involved in planning the story. However, the good idea of the novel is marred by two-dimensional characters and a stodgy plot.
  hadden | Dec 21, 2011 |
This was awesome. I actually finished it more than a week ago but I’m just getting around to reviewing it. I’ve enjoyed Barlowe’s Inferno books even thought I don’t think the art itself is amazing I love the concepts – how all the structures in Hell are huge, how the souls carry their essence in black spheres that protrude and move about their bodies. I love the glyphs above the demons heads. All that is brought to life with many more ideas that make Hell a very memorable setting.

The plot was original, there was plenty of action, and the “bad” guys (or this is hell so the “badder” guys”) were really freaking bad. Beelzebub was scary and I actually felt myself cringing at the helplessness of his victims. The addition of Lillith was definitely a cool touch and I could see any sequel most likely involving her as one of the main characters. The story also inspired me. One line inspired the entire plot of a short story – of course I would have to write it to prove truly inspired.

So I’m very curious what Mr. Barlowe will have for us next, though I’m not sure how well it will hold up to this amazing piece of fiction ( )
  ragwaine | Nov 13, 2010 |
The following review was written by my husband:

In the spirit of Milton, Dante, and Hieronymous Bosch, Wayne Barlowe, accomplished fantasy illustrator, makes his debit as a novelist by attacking a cyclopean theme with inventive unorthodoxy. Dare one ask the forbidden question? Can the fall be reversed and rebel angels--demons--condemned for all eternity actually be redeemed? Barlowe does dare; and in accordance with William Blake's maxim, decides to create his own mythology rather than be enslaved to another man's.

Sargatanas is a noble Demon Major (fallen Seraph), who rules his city-state, as much as is possible in Hell, after the pattern of the Above. In contrast is Beelzebub, the Fly (appointed by Lucifer, who has vanished), official ruler of Hell, who does all in his power to keep it a place of extreme evil and torment. In a moment of illumination, Lord Sargatanas seizes the wild aspiration that a demon might be pardoned and readmitted into Heaven, if only he could prove he has thoroughly renounced Lucifer's rebellion and re-embraced the Light. The siege of Hell's capital, Dis, becomes the path to a forgiveness desperately hoped for.

Be prepared for graphic grossness--this is Hell. after all. But the suspense, infernal intrigue, and phantasmagoric battle scenes (rivaling Lord of the Rings) will positively entertain readers once they have overcome their initial nausea. There are a few technical difficulties that should be excused an emerging writer of fiction; overall, it is the work of an imaginative artist who has done a fine job of painting his vision in prose. ( )
  KathyWoodall | Mar 13, 2009 |
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Ash fell from a sky of umber darkness, softening the jagged chaos of the world beneath his open windows.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765348659, Mass Market Paperback)

The powerful Lord Sargatanas, Brigadier-general in Beelzebub’s host, is restless. For millennia Sargatanas has ruled dutifully over an Infernal metropolis, but he has never forgotten what he lost in the Fall. He is sickened by what he has done and what he has become. Now, with a small event—a confrontation with a damned soul—he makes a decision that will reverberate through every being in Hell.  Sargatanas decides to attempt the impossible, to rebel, to win his way Home and bring with him anyone who chooses to follow...be they demon or soul.

He will stake everything on fighting all the abominable forces of Hell arrayed against him, when the prize is nothing less than redemption.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:56 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Lucifer's war, the war in heaven, which damned legions of angels to Hell, is an ancient and bitter memory shrouded in the smoke and ash of the Inferno. The Fallen, those banished demons who will evermore suffer the vast wrath of Heaven, have established a limitless and oppressive kingdom within the fiery confines of Hell." "The Demons Major, Heaven's former warrior-seraphim, are the ruling class. They are the equivalent of landed lords, each owing allegiance to the de facto ruler of Hell, the horrific Prince Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies - Lucifer, once the greatest of heaven's angels, has not been seen since the Fall. They reign over their fiefdoms, tormenting the damned souls and adding to their wealth and power ... and anguish." "There is one Demon Major, however, who has not forgotten his former life in Heaven. The powerful Lord Sargatanas, a brigadier general in Beelzebub's host, is restless. For millennia Sargatanas has ruled dutifully but unenthusiastically, building his city, Adamantinarx, into the model of Infernal metropolises. But he has never forgotten what he lost in the Fall - proximity to the Divine, the knowledge of Heaven's everlasting treasury of joy. He is sickened by what he has done and what he has become. Now, with a small event - a confrontation with one of the damned souls - he makes a decision that will reverberate through every being in Hell." "Sargatanas decides to attempt the impossible, to rebel, to win his way Home and bring with him anyone who chooses to follow ... be they demon or soul." "He will stake everything on fighting all the abominable forces of Hell arrayed against him, the prize ... nothing less than redemption."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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