Ladies and Gentleman (and you in the back) I present to you a plot synopsis of Declan Finn's Latest Book, Death Cult.
That sounds like it hurt.
That had to have hurt
I'm not sure that's physically possible
I KNOW that's NOT physically possible
You may all now return to your regularly scheduled lives.
And honestly, I don't thinking I've quite done it justice. There is a slight chance that I'm oversimplifying a bit. The book is after all, quite a bit longer than that so called synopsis. It's worth reading every word though, because Death Cult kicks ass.
In Hell Spawn Saint Tommy fought a demon. It was ugly. There was lots of fighting and many people died to death. It was quite horrifying. I loved the book, but I was a bit worried. Don't get me wrong. Finn is a good author. But when you're writing Christian fiction and you go up against a demon, what comes next? I mean, I didn't see Finn bringing Satan himself to Earth for a straight up rumble, although I'd buy that book. The threats need to get bigger if you're going to keep it entertaining. So what do you do and who do you do it with? You fight a death cult. (No, that's not a spoiler. It's the title of the stinking book.) It works. It's deadly dangerous and definitely something that most Christians in general, and Catholics in particular, would find themselves at odds with.
I will say this much: Some of the symbolism in this book is both funny and a little blatant. I'm thinking of one thing in particular which I'm not going to mention. It makes massive amounts of sense. It's pretty gross. It's kind of funny in a sick sort of way because of how well it fits. I enjoyed it and it works but it's pretty hard to miss.
Finn has built his world very well. We're treated to some old friends and some new acquaintances and they all fit together nicely. I really like it when a book stays true to the universe it is written in. Death Cult does so nicely. The internal logic is consistent, the characters stay true to their own motivations. I don't mean that the book is predictable because it's not. There is, however, a difference between logical and predictable and Finn has found his groove here.
Having said that, it's worth mentioning that not every saint was Mother Theresa. I mean Saint George slew the dragon and the Catholic faith has seen it's share of fights as well as saints that were involved in them. Tommy is no exception. Yes, he's a nice guy when he can be. That doesn't mean he's always a nice guy. My pastor (who admittedly is not Catholic) just did a sermon a few weeks ago about the sixth commandment and talked about how it's not wrong to kill in the defense of life. Trust me when I tell you that Tommy has plenty of reasons to fight God would approve of all of them.
In a way, part of the reason I think I liked this book so much is because Finn picked a villain that made sense in the context of that selfsame commandment. The villain is the kind of person you just want to slap and can't. They are evil personified (and I'm guessing that's intentional) and hide behind a facade of providing a useful service. They really boil my butt. It did me heart well to see Tommy after them.
Finn has always (or at least as long as I've been reading his work) been able to write an awesome action sequence and Death Cult gave him a chance to show off his skills. You start to feel bad for Tommy after awhile because of all the crap he is going through but that doesn't mean it's not fun to "watch". I will say that I have no intention of ever getting on Finn's bad side though. It would appear to be a bad idea. If he can conceive of violence at this level, he might just be able to get the drop on me. That would be a bad thing.
The politics in this book work for me. I have no trouble seeing a liberal mayor cover for an unmitigated evil within his city if it fits his ideology. Finn does a good job of displaying things in a way that would not please the mainstream media, but fits with the beliefs of roughly half the country. It is presented in a manner consistent with religion (his main character is a saint in the making after all) but without being overly preachy. There are conversations I've had with family members that cover some of the same subjects. I'd like to get some of them to read Death Cult specifically, but since they don't really do horror...
Let's face it though. Family or not, if you can't enjoy a Declan Finn book you pretty much suck at life and your opinion doesn't really matter. Seriously, you all need to read this book right now. I'll wait to finish the review. Hie thee off to Amazon and purchase the thing. The link is down there somewhere. Okay, okay. If you haven't bought the first book, Hell Spawn then I'll wait for you to get back after buying both of them. Go ahead.
Back now? Did you put your credit card number in right? Actually, I don't really care as long as you didn't use mine. I bought the Indiegogo with the ARC and the autographed copy so yeah... I dished out the loot already.
Ok, so maybe I talked a bit of trash there, but this is a really good book and I'm seriously looking forward to number three. I think he announced a title, but if so, I'm pretty sure I forgot what it was going to be. That's okay though. I'm gonna read it anyway.
Bottom Line: 4.75 out of 5 Hail Marys
Silver Empire, 2018
Death Cult is available for purchase at the following link: