The 13th Demon
Bruce Hennigan
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Buy *The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye (The Jonathan Steel Chronicles)* by Bruce Hennigan online

The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye (The Jonathan Steel Chronicles)
Bruce Hennigan
296 pages
November 2006
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Meet Robert Ketrick - young and seemingly without a conscience. Already showing inventiveness at a young age in methods of revenge, Robert hooks up with a questionable sort by the name of Lucas. Various and sundry events occur, tempting the reader with indications of what may come.

Enter Jonathan Steel, a man who more than fulfills the promise of his name. Heís tall, strong, mysterious, and completely driven. A man who has nothing, he refuses to quit: he is the ultimate hero. He falls madly in love, typical of storybook heroes, yet author Bruce Hennigan parts from the usual fiction formula. Be prepared: life is not fair, and neither is Henniganís story.

Altar of the Spiral Eye is a story about a man who endures pain physical, mental, and deeply emotional. However, spun through the descriptions of the characters and their actions lies a more intricate story that beckons the reader to consider the spiritual side of existence. The reader is challenged with the concept that if one believes in God, in ultimate good, then one must believe in ultimate evil. Here the reader meets ultimate evil in the character of the 13th demon, a being which has plagued Jonathan, choosing him for some as yet unknown reason. The demon has also chosen Ketrick, making Steel and Ketrickís lives interwoven and predestined to collide.

Second, science and God do not conflict. God created science; science cannot exist without God. The author attempts to blend science and faith to illustrate how demons and angels exist in our world. He shows the extent of his research through backstory of Aztec mythology and physics (if you are wondering what Aztecs and physics have in common, you need to read the book).

Overall, this gritty story encourages the reader to examine personal beliefs. While some of the scenes are perhaps too descriptive, this may be attributed to the authorís attempt to pull no punches in discussing ultimate evil - it should be appalling. My personal religious beliefs make this story easily develop into a theological argument for the importance of both science and faith. However, the reader does not need a strong biblical background to enjoy the story. Hennigan still does a fairly good job of putting a story together that will captivate any reader.

I wish Hennigan had blended his transitions more smoothly. At times it felt as if material had been deleted to shorten the book, and I found myself backtracking to make sure I understood what was happening. Regardless, I am looking forward to the next installment in the series, The 12th Demon: The Blood of the Vampyr. I feel that any issues cramping the narrative of the first book will fade as the author continues to write. Well done, and hurry up with the next one!

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Tonia R. Montgomery, 2007

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