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The Devil's Rose

by Brom

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1156192,747 (3.77)1
From the creator of the celebrated Plucker comes a frightening glimpse into hell and the afterlife. Escapees from the fiery underworld fill the richly illustrated pages of this novel set in modern-day Texas. They terrify and slay the living while trying to elude the guards who have been sent to round them up. Cole, one of the undead, has been sent to reclaim these souls in flight and return them to the fiery depths. But one escaped soul is not like the others: Rath, who in fact wants to return to hell. But why? And why does Cole, a tormented soul from hell, strive to capture his fellow hellmates? It has to do with a woman named Rose--a woman he has wronged--and a pact he made with the devil.… (more)
  1. 10
    Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis (storyjunkie)
    storyjunkie: Two takes on a similar theme, with similar trappings of storytelling.
  2. 00
    Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (amanda4242)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
The artwork was better then the story. I love Brom's artwork, but this story wasn't as good as The Plucker or The Child Thief. A Ranger from Hell, Cole, is collecting escaped souls to return them to the underworld. It is a quick-paced travel across Texas as Cole seeks out the most deadly soul, Rath, who unleashed all the souls. We get Cole's backstory and there are some interesting tie-ins to him being in Texas, but overall it was just ok. The horse, motorcycle and demon artwork is great! Fans of Brom will still find this a must read story. ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
The artwork was better then the story. I love Brom's artwork, but this story wasn't as good as The Plucker or The Child Thief. A Ranger from Hell, Cole, is collecting escaped souls to return them to the underworld. It is a quick-paced travel across Texas as Cole seeks out the most deadly soul, Rath, who unleashed all the souls. We get Cole's backstory and there are some interesting tie-ins to him being in Texas, but overall it was just ok. The horse, motorcycle and demon artwork is great! Fans of Brom will still find this a must read story. ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
I thought I would like this a lot more than I did. It was fun and most of the art was great, but it really didn't good for me until the end and then it kinda dropped off. I get why he ended it the way he did but I definitely didn't expect that. It made the book more about the main character's transformation than a "quest". ( )
  ragwaine | Sep 29, 2015 |
The Devil's Rose by Brom (Book Review)

"...Cole hit the brake and skidded to a stop. He booted the kickstand down and dismounted.
He kept his eyes on his gun as he walked toward her. She was trying to get to it before he got to her, but her legs were mangled, maybe her spine as well. She screamed through clenched teeth as she dragged herself along the hot pavement on raw flesh and bone.
Stop, he thought, just give up. It's over already.
But she wouldn't stop. She hauled herself to the gun, reaching for it even as he placed his boot on it, trying to claw it free from beneath his weight.
'NOOO, NOOO, NOOO!' she screamed. 'NO YOU SON OF A BITCH! NO YOU DON'T!'
He pulled out his sword. It was best, he'd learned, to make this part quick.
At the sight of the sword she drew back. 'You don't understand. I had to do what I done Had to.' She was bawling now. 'My husband would've killed me. I'm a good Christian. You hear? God, oh Jesus Christ, please save me! PLEASE SAVE ME!'
How many times had he heard this? They all had a story, and they all wanted to be saved by Jesus.
There came a swish of air, and her head rolled along the faded stripes of Highway 163..."

Cole is one of Hell's Rangers. An undead soul sent by the Devil to round up the damn who have found a way to escape from Hell and find their way back to the living world. He's on the trail of such of group of escapees, but one of them is different from the rest, one of them is more than just the damned.

As Cole hunts the escapees down he is reminded of how he came to be. Of his own damnation and the sins he's committed. As he gathers the heads of the damned, he realizes that one of them, the one who orchestrated the escape is missing. He realizes that the one called Rath was using the others as a diversion and has headed back into the pits of Hell. To cross the river Lethe.

"...I killed over two thousand Christians: men, women, and children,' Rath said, speaking more to the mountain of grinning skulls and empty eye sockets than to Cole. 'I wish I could have killed more.
I burned their churches, crucified their priest, raped their women, and fed their children to our beasts.' He said this as though describing nothing more than a holiday table setting.
He took a step into the water, watched his feet fade into the murk.
'I wish I could have done more, more to protect my people. Alas, I was but a small god..."

Cole must face down a forgotten God on the banks of a cleansing river in Hell. Lethe, the rive of oblivion, where souls can be free from Hell's grasp.

This is the fourth book by Brom I have read and devoured. His vision and scope of the worlds just beyond our own are dark tales of Gods once known and forgotten. Except for those terrible nights when the darkness creeps in and all our technology and modern faith can't keep the old gods at bay. These are the stories that Brom tells. Along with illustrations that would make Franzetta squeal. This is the better done version of those old pulp magazines like Creepy and Eerie.
Brom doesn't rely on the violence and nudity of those pulp mags to tell his story, nor does he let it get in his way. Instead he tells a story of regret and longing. Both from the anti-hero and the God he chases. Both looking for their own brand of redemption and knowing in truth they may never have it. The Hell Brom paints is an underworld of depraved suffering, that leaves you sympathetic for the damned. His description and artwork work seamlessly. This is not a graphic novel. It is an illustrated novel. Like the picture books we read as children only they would never let us have one like this.
Brom is a visionary, had I mentioned that? And the dark worlds he brings into the light will leave you wishing they had stayed hidden. But then, what is the fun in that?

A good read. ( )
  agarcia85257 | Dec 24, 2014 |
The Devil's Rose doesn't do anything new, but it does what it does very well. A traditionally masculine construction, the story is served by the whole of text and art being more than their sum.

Following a jailbreak from Hell, the story centers on a soulhunter, Cole, in Texas, and the effect on him of hunting these particular fugitives. His character motivation stems entirely from his relationship with the woman, Rose, of the title, and the consequences of his relationship with her. Brom fleshes out the woman-as-motivation stereotype a little by having more than one woman involved, and particularly the two chapters told from Becky's point of view, and populates the world with a host of characters that possibly have more going on than we see. Most of the emotional weight is carried by the trappings of stories-that-came-before, and the sheer atmosphere surrounding events.

The art is gorgeous, as expected, does most of the heavy-lifitng for atmosphere, and adds to the world-building. ( )
  storyjunkie | Jan 31, 2010 |
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From the creator of the celebrated Plucker comes a frightening glimpse into hell and the afterlife. Escapees from the fiery underworld fill the richly illustrated pages of this novel set in modern-day Texas. They terrify and slay the living while trying to elude the guards who have been sent to round them up. Cole, one of the undead, has been sent to reclaim these souls in flight and return them to the fiery depths. But one escaped soul is not like the others: Rath, who in fact wants to return to hell. But why? And why does Cole, a tormented soul from hell, strive to capture his fellow hellmates? It has to do with a woman named Rose--a woman he has wronged--and a pact he made with the devil.

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Damnation is a road littered with pain, sorrow, and regret. None know this better than the man who rides that track everyday: Cole McGee, a once proud Texas Ranger, now condemned to hunt Hell's fugitives across the plains of both the living and the dead. But today Cole's luck might've changed. Something has escaped the deepest pits of damnation. Hell wants this something back at any cost and had offered Cole redemption in exchange for its apprehension. Sounds like a good deal to Cole, but as he closes in on his quarry he begins to realize you should never bargain with the Devil.
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