Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Demon Cross: Book Review

The Demon Cross, by Nathan Shumate

I love this title-especially in light of the cover.

Originally a serial in 2002-03 (I believe) explains the chapter breaks-this is a quite a page turner, I read it in one sitting. We are looking at a good novella length here.

I planned on reading a section, stopping and coming back the next day but it wouldn't let me, I had to see what happened next. It opens with a occult ritual and sets an eerie mood for what is to come...

This is the first in a Avalon & Company series. We follow Ms. Rennie Avalon, closely, this is first person POV. She is a private investigator extraordinaire, moving us along at a good clip, introducing her family and living situation. Her daughter is plagued with nightmares (this will be developed more in future installments I'm sure) and the elderly sisters who babysit while Rennie does her work.

A mysterious job offer comes from an elderly German gentlemen, Vielstich, who has had an unnamed antique magical tome stolen. Those of you familiar with the Necronomicon or Book of Nameless Cults will have an idea of what to expect. It seems a group of neo-Nazi's are behind the theft and mean to summon a demon beyond description.

The only thing in the story that had me wondering was the mention that this was a book the Nazi's once had during WW2 but even Himmler was afraid to summon the Demon, considering the dire straits they were eventually in toward the close of the war, I had to wonder if there was anything they wouldn't have attempted-BUT that's a paltry thing in comparison to the way the rest of the story grips you.

Besides the suspense and action, Shumate also reveals some depth with his characters, even the turncoat neo-Nazi Castler (yutz that he is-I kept picturing Danny McBride), got a wee bit of sympathy from me toward the end. I'd like to see Vielstich back in the coming series too, if possible.

I'll definitely be around for the next installment-this series has a lot of places to go. You can get a copy here or at the usual suspects.


Charles Gramlich said...

Gotta love it when a story just seizes you that way.

Th. said...


Soon as I get an ereader I'm getting this story. In the meantime, at least I'm in charge of editing his Monsters and Mormons story. Because that thing is awesome.

David J. West said...

Exactly Charles.

Th. I'm really looking forward to that collection.