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Thursday, January 18, 2018

**Book REVIEW** The Demon Within by Josh Gagnier

This book takes such a novel approach to themes of Good, Evil, and Judgement. While reading the story, I was fascinated not just with the characters and plot, but with the author's unique approach to the subject matter.

My limited edition advanced copy on the right!
This book by Josh Gagnier is The Demon Within. It's Book One in his The Last War series.

This novel has everything - angels and demons and the battle for a soul - but with the feel of a war game.

Here is how the plot is summarized:
Joe grew up listening to the voice in his head. It helped him through school, helped him gain wealth in his career. 
The final temptation of power was too much. He hadn't considered the cost. 
Now he must find a way to defeat The Demon Within. 
Little does he know, his every move is being recorded. Every misstep is being judged. As he gets ever closer to winning over his demon, heavenly eyes watch from above. Some root for his success while others hope he'll fail. 
While Joe fights his demon on the battlefront, the angel Michael fights for his Soul.
Doesn't that make you think of the crisis we all face? Well, don't be fooled. This is not the typical take on the angelic-vs-demonic warfare theme. You can tell from the first pages that you're in for some twists on the usual perspective. 

While the plot is really good and I like the creative way the author thinks, there are a couple of rough patches. In more than one place, I found myself jarred by the change in scene or point of view. Because the story is interesting, it was easy to get back into it without much difficulty. I raced through the first pages as the plot was being set up, but then I had to slow down and pay more attention. The story is deliciously complex and tricked me into thinking I might have figured it all out.

I love when a story catches me off guard and veers away from my expectations of the plot. I don't want to give away spoilers, but I will warn that there will be more than one surprise as you read this story.  And the ending is... not really an ending because you will be waiting for Book Two. 

Usually, I gulp down books in large bites. With this story, I found myself having to stop at various points so that I could give some serious thought to an idea presented. It was like the difference between fast food and a thoughtfully prepared meal meant to be savored and discussed. That's the best way I can describe the experience.

This story resonated with me because of my religious beliefs about life (and the afterlife). I think that there will be readers who connect with the characters on different levels. If you check out the author's bio, you will understand what I mean. He's writing not just from a place of creativity but from insight into himself. I found this very interesting. Make sure to go over and check out the author's Facebook page.

Remember when I said that there were some rough patches? Let me add this: this is a work put forth by an author without the aid of a publishing house. I'm glad to see writers breaking the traditional mold of exposing their talent. I really liked this story and am looking forward to Book Two in the series.