The Devil’s Deuce (The Barrier War #2)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Devil’s Deuce

Series: The Barrier War #2

Author: Brian J. Moses

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 612

 

Synopsis:

The battle to prevent Hell from breaking loose onto the earth continues. Betrayed from within and without, the Paladins struggle in a completely unequal battle against the demons.

Only, several things that most humans assumed to be true might just not be. Not wrong, just slightly skewed. Big things, like God and the Devil.

 

My Thoughts:

This book continues the great story begun in Hunting the Three.

First, the negatives.

Moses could have done with a story editor. The grammar, etc were spot on but there were several places where the descriptions were almost Dickens’esque in their loquaciousness. I just skimmed several pages at times and didn’t feel like I had missed a thing. Also, the info dumps and theological expositions were a little heavy at times. They would have been better served in smaller portions.  Other than that though, I was still impressed.

On to the positives then.

This was a 600+ page book. Roughly half of that was the battle to contain Hell. In some ways it reminded me of Sanderson’s battle writing for the final Wheel of Time book, not in its intricacy, but in its ability to keep me interested for so long. When I realized this was happening, I was delighted.

The whole revelation about God, Satan and Mephistopheles was quite unexpected, interesting and utterly opposed to my theological outlook. I can appreciate a well done Dualistic theology and when you throw in ambitious underlings into the mix, well, it makes for a rather large set of possible options 😀

The ending completely threw me and made me realize that this trilogy is nothing but a game. Probably the card game that the author describes in great detail in the appendices. Rather fun actually.

 

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Hunting the Three (The Barrier War #1)

cover This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: Hunting the Three

Series: The Barrier War #1

Author: Brian J. Moses

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 467

 

Synopsis:

In a world where Hell has literally touched Earth a millennium ago, Knights of the Prismatic Order end their service by riding through the Barrier and fighting whatever Hell holds. Not one has ever come back.

Now one Knight has returned. Only he can’t remember exactly what happened. He and his nephew Danner head off to the Central Authority of the Prismatic Order, Danner to join and Birch to see if someone else can figure out what happened.

Problem is, not only Birch returned from Hell.

 

My Thoughts:

First, I had super low expectations for this book. An unknown Indie author [and if you’ve been following me, you know the baggage I carry about those ‘indies’] with a book that is almost 500 pages long, it didn’t add up to expectations for a super read.

Second, I absolutely loved this! I was wicked, pleasantly surprised. It started out a bit rough, as I wasn’t sure of the theology, ie, fantasy or sometime in our future and hence something to take seriously.  But once it was established it was fantasy, I really liked this. The world was pretty fleshed out and satisfied me. The characters were ok and reminded me of a well done Forgotten Realms book.

Third, the length wasn’t an issue at all. To be honest, it didn’t feel like a 400+ page book at all. A good editor could have cut some of the scenes and pared down some stuff, but it never dragged for me.

Finally, this definitely borders on the Y/A, in that things are easily dealt with and not gone into in either graphic or great detail. An example of this is the rape scene. It happens, is described, but in such a way that I wouldn’t feel a qualm about letting a young teen read it. I really like that. For those who glory in books of degradation like the Broken Empire books by Lawrence, this is probably not for you. And if you’re in the mood for intricate characters, you’ll have to satisfy yourself with the game that Moses has created. In fact the addendums in the back about the rules of the game remind me of when I created a Lego game in my teens. Fleshed out and fully realized.

Definitely have moved the next 2 in the trilogy on top of my TBR pile.