[This is among my earliest book reviews. It is a bit raw and unrefined. I've kept this one to remind myself of how art grows and matures at a pace with the artist.]
The first Damnation Book I read was Tim Marquitz’s Demon Squad: Armageddon Bound. For the events of this review, I will refer to it as AB. The second book I read from Damnation Books was Tim Marquitz’s Demon Squad: Resurrection, which for this review I will call DSR. I am going to read the third one when it is released since I’ve enjoyed both books greatly.
I must give you a fair warning, this is dark fiction at its darkest. It is also dark humor at its funniest. If you are afraid of the dark, Tim’s book just might kill you.
How dark is dark? If your life ambition is to be more like Rick Warren, you might want to skip reading this one. But, if you think a succubus making out with a severed zombie-head is funny, these are the books you’ve been looking for.
I was in love with Tim’s idea by the time I’d read page 6 in AB. AB was a gruesome and gritty read from the very beginning. Neither of the stories gives the reader too many time outs, the action is always moving. Tim Marquitz weaves an action packed occult/fantasy tale with no comparison that I’ve yet read. I suspect as I read more of the Damnation Books there will be other daringly similar projects, but this tale is truly unique.
The premise of Tim’s idea is after eons of dispute at man’s expense, Lucifer and God call a truce. They leave the universe to another dimension to sort out their ills, but life here on earth continues as the status quo. The hierarchy of demons, without the strong rule of Lucifer, begins battling over who gets what.
Triggaltheron, or better known as ‘Frank,’ is a half-demon who resides on earth. He likes it here and he is content that Armageddon has been put on pause. He has even decided to help humanity by associating with a group of psychics, wizards, and a couple angels and other similar misfits that don’t want to see the world end or overrun with demons. They call themselves D.R.A.C. short for Demonic Resistance and Containment. Hence the name – Demon Squad.
But some angels from the Angelic Host – the servants of God– have gone mad in the absence of their loving creator. God’s last standing order before he left was to see to the end of the world. Hence the name – Armageddon Bound.
These stories are very fun as long as all the taboos that are broken don’t make you faint. Although some spots had me sweating bullets, I felt the story appealed to me personally. Tim has proven to have balls of steel in crossing as many lines of social acceptability as he did in writing AB, it compelled me to purchase the second book in the series which crossed even more lines than I thought even existed. It certainly stretched my imagination.
My only real complaint is DSR took a while to arrive from Amazon. I wonder if they had run out and needed to order more prints. That is good news for a writer, but sucks for the reader. When I got the book, I was saddened, the book was smaller. (Honestly, I think they figured out a way to fit more words on each page, because the story was packed.)
If you read AB, but you are an art snob, and didn’t think the quality of the writing in AB was good enough, there are evident advances in Tim’s storytelling ability in DSR. I didn’t think there were too many gaps in the first one; it was everything it promised to be – daring, violent, and dark. But the second one steps up to the next level, and I’d bet the third one will also be a little better than the second one.
The humor, which was great in the AB, is even better in DSR. Here was one of the spots in DSR that had me chuckling and telling my wife . . .
“My life flashed before my eyes and I realized I was doomed. In brilliant colors, everything that ever meant anything to me ran across the screen of my mind. Not surprisingly, all I saw were boobs. Life had been good.” (page 74)
She wasn’t as impressed as me, but then, she isn’t quite as cultured in male priorities as some of us are. I would hope that before I die, like Frank, this could be my final revelation as well.