“The demonic is the one true universal across all human religious experience.”
There were so many things about this book that I liked: articulate, intelligent prose; it was well-researched and made me want to do follow-up research; the protagonist was emotionally-aware; and, it didn’t spoon-feed the reader. Thank you, Mr. Pyper, for allowing me to be a Smart Reader.
I am an agnostic, rather than an atheist. I don’t believe science has all the answers because science, as originally conceived and practiced, is the observation – and attempted explanation – of nature. There will always be more in nature than what we can explain, and our observations will change because we are viewing nature through our subjective lens. Just as we instinctively know there is more to being human than flesh and blood, there is more to nature than what we can see and explain through the scientific method.
I didn’t pick up this book because of my belief system, or lack thereof. I picked it up because I love Paradise Lost. And I love Paradise Lost because it presents a contradictory viewpoint: what if Satan was the hero? I love when art questions. It is the deeper probing into whatever everyone else accepts; why do people believe or don’t believe. This is where the heart of the story lies; this is where the truth lies. Perhaps I liked this book because I could be a demonologist. Maybe you could be too.
This book takes a man who loves his daughter and an academic career based on a poem that exalts Satan, and turns him into a man of faith. It isn’t about good and evil, it’s about knowledge and faith. The academic protagonist reminds us that, “[d]emonic power proceeds not from evil, but from knowing things.” The academic strives to have all his questions answered, and just when you think he has a handle on the motivation and the facts, it all veers. Just like knowledge, just like science. Comfort and closure come only with an acknowledgement of faith for both the protagonist and the reader.
If you are an academic, this book will take your questioning of the universe on a new adventure. It might make you want to read Paradise Lost and do some research on the world’s religions.
If you like the later story arc of Supernatural and its postulation of blindly obedient angels and demons with heart, you’ll likely appreciate this book.
If you are devoutly religious, especially with a Christian-based faith, you probably won’t like this book. Knowledge and questioning is evil, and this book is doing just that.