“The Demonologist” by Andrew Pyper (Simon & Schuster, 2013)


In this new dark thriller, along with elements of horror, Andrew Pyper, author of The Guardians and Los Girls, presents a tale that is perhaps best described as The Historian meets The Exorcist, blending a world of history and symbolism and meaning with one of demons and sheer terror.  If Dan Brown were to pen an outright horror novel, it might look something like The Demonologist.

David Ullman is a college professor who specializes in Christian religions, myths and symbolism; he is also one of the foremost scholars on Milton’s Paradise Lost.  With a failed marriage, apart from his teaching all he truly cares for in his life is his wonderful daughter.  When he is mysteriously offered a free flight and stay in Venice to attend a certain meeting employing his expertise as a “demonologist,” he is very reluctant at first, but then decides to go and give his daughter a short vacation in beautiful Venice.  At the meeting with a stranger he sees something that shouldn’t be possible, that isn’t possible he tells himself.  Fleeing in terror he finds his daughter speaking in the voice of one he has read about and studied in many books, before she jumps from the roof of a high building.  Now he begins his true quest, to hunt down the origin of this voice and creature and with hopes to get his daughter back somehow.

The Demonologist is a balance between an interesting professor waxing about the greatness of Milton with plenty of quotes throughout and thrilling, terrifying action scenes as Ullman confronts what can only be called a demon inhabiting a human form, and he is on the run.  The symbols and meanings seem a big stretch to reach at times, but ultimately lead the character to where he needs to go.  As the novel progresses, things get a little uncanny, which might lose some readers, but Pyper brings them back to home in the end with an intense but satisfying conclusion.

Originally written on July 15, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Demonologist from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown (Doubleday, 2009)

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Dan Brown begins his third book featuring the symbologist Robert Langdon with a trip on a private jet to our country’s capital.  Readers will think Langdon has done pretty well for himself to be traveling in this way, when it is revealed that he is being flown to Washington DC after receiving an urgent call from a colleague to perform a lecture at the National Statuary Hall at the Capitol.  There he finds an empty room with no indications of a lecture to be performed, but instead a recently severed hand with the fingers posed in a specific way, the index and thumb tattooed.

And so begins The Lost Symbol adventure, as Brown takes readers on a ride they won’t soon forget.  Langdon soon finds himself forcefully helping Inoue Sato, the head of the CIA’s Office of Security as they attempt to track down the owner of the severed hand, Langdon’s close friend Peter Solomon.  Brown has taken his time with this novel, doing the research and creating a fuller, more rounded story over The Da Vinci Code, keeping the reader more entranced with what’s going on, but also making sure to inform them about the subject and history of Freemasonry and how it all ties in with the Founding Fathers.

The solution to the overall mystery becomes a relatively obvious one for any skilled mystery reader, but the story is compelling, filled with details and supposed facts that will have readers wondering about the founding of this very country and who these people really were.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on November 24th, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Episode 22 with Jeff VanderMeer

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In Episode 22 of BookBanter you will hear my third interview live from the World Fantasy Convention with author Jeff VanderMeer. VanderMeer writes his own books, edits anthologies, and even does writer workshops. His books include City of Saints and Madmen and Shriek: An Afterword, while some of the anthologies he has edited include Fast Ships Black Sails and The New Weird. He has two new books out: Finch, a work of fiction, and Booklife, a fantastic book on writing and how to become a successful writer no matter what level you are.

Featured in the episode are my reviews for Booklife, Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; to purchase any of these books, click on the covers below :

Canticle Lamentation Depraved Leviathan

This episode of BookBanter is brought to you by Angie’s List. At Angie’s List you’ll find thousands of unbiased ratings on services for home improvements, car repairs, and even doctors. Gain access to thousands of reviews on local service providers for Home improvement Auto Repair, Accounting, Animal Care, Health Care and even Weddings.  Let Angie’s List take away the guesswork. Find the service provider your neighbors gave the highest rating.  Join Angie’s List and use promo code “book” for 25% off your membership!  Just go to Angieslist.com.

I would once again like to thank Cheryl Morgan for getting me all set up at the World Fantasy Convention.

After enjoying this episode, why not check out the new BookBanter Blog, where you can find out about everything related to BookBanter, books, writing, and whatever else I feel like writing about .

I’ll see you next time, on January 1st, 2010, where I’ll be interviewing author Guy Gavriel Kay, who’s new book Under Heaven, is due out April 27th.

Until then, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander.