A demon forges an unlikely relationship with the human soul he's supposed to tempt into damnation in this bold re-imagining of Dante's Divine Comedy. Several thousand years ago, a routine temptation goes awry when Mona - a young Hopi woman - saves the life of a snake who happens to be the adored pet of Old Testament demon Astaroth. The encounter sparks a crisis for Astaroth when he breaks a cardinal rule of Hell. Across Mona's multiple incarnations on the Purgatory (Earth), Astaroth must prove to his fellow demons that he still has what it takes to be part of Hell's inner circle ... but his solution will change the afterlife forever.My Thoughts: This was an extremely engrossing read. I admit to having a bit of a soft spot for demons and Astaroth intrigued me. His growth as the story progressed was what kept me hooked. Well, that and the depiction of hell. The acres of paperwork/forms/red tape Astaroth has to wade through/process/etc to keep Hell running smoothly is one of the most HORRIFYING things in the history of forever. Seriously, I think I could handle a lot of the other levels of Hell but the sheer drudgery involved with being a Hellish corporate drone makes me shudder.
Now, this book isn't all about Hell. It's about redemption and trust and finding something you didn't know you were capable of in the most unlikely places. Mona stood out for me because she wasn't beautiful the first time Astaroth met her and yet her actions made him take a second look and that second look (and third and fourth) planted the seeds that began to change him. I really liked the continuity between her soul lives -- the gold jewelry, the genuine kindness within her, that she remembered Astaroth in a hazy sort of way.
It really all comes back to Astaroth with me. I like the guy. I mean, yeah, he's a demon and he can be kind of jerky sometimes but... he's changing. He's learning from Mona and her lives just as she is. And that's pretty fabulous.
Fascinating and compelling, I was hooked on this story. The only spot of sadness I have is that book 2 isn't out yet. I want to see how things change with the events that happened at the end of this book. I want to see what's next. I want, I want, I want. Astaroth and Mona's journey is not even close to being over and I can't wait to see where it takes us.
Books in this series
1. Discordia - Kindle
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Discordia was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.