Nyx is Queen of Hell and ruler of the Angels who were banished there – the Descended.
And when the rest of the Angels are called home, Nyx finds herself stuck on the Earth with the Son of God. To her surprise, she learns that he is no happier than she. God’s son thought he was sent down to judge humanity. Instead, he becomes a sacrifice for a cause he does not believe in – their redemption.
After his mortal body dies, the Son of God makes Nyx an offer: a new paradise on Earth if she will help him destroy humanity.
With two of her fellow Angels by her side, Nyx launches a thousand-year campaign of violence, sex, betrayal and intrigue to bring down God’s people and have them worship her instead. From the back streets of Jerusalem to the palaces of Rome, from the temples of Egypt to the Pope’s bedchamber, Nyx and her companions work to destroy the worshippers of God.
But not all is as it seems. And the Son of God has bigger plans than any of them imagine…
Everything we think we know about history and the Bible is wrong. The first fallen Angel is Nyx, Queen of Hell, and she was the lover of Jesus. Who was not a savior, but a judge that determined mankind was corrupt and should be wiped from existence. God refused to carry out the sentence, instead leaving mankind to make its own destiny. This infuriates Tribunal (supposed real name of Jesus), and he sends Nyx to corrupt humanity against the rising Christian Church.
Several other bloggers I work with had been raving, so I figured I’d give it a chance, even though I passed on it first go round.
What I liked:
The book is well written, especially for a debut novel. The author certainly knows the craft, and the plotting is also pretty strong. It’s written in 3rd person limited, with some head hopping, but pretty well executed. The basic premise is certainly unique, and at once the novel’s greatest strength and greatest weakness.
What I didn’t like:
As I said, the premise … even knowing it going into the book, it still leaves a little bit of a sour taste. The spiteful, negative picture it paints of Christ is shocking, but moreover, it paints a negative picture of all humanity. Our protagonists conclude all mankind is vile and should be destroyed. No matter what your religious views, that’s a bit disturbing. Which kind of leads into the greater problem. Our anti-hero, Nyx, is, for the most part, about as likable as one would expect for the Queen of Hell. She continually rapes and tortures even those close to her, she is driven by reprehensible motives, and unlike most anti-heroes, is never really driven by motivations we can care about. At times I started to like her, as she began to come around. One can almost forgive twisted actions if they are done for understandable reasons. But she always swayed back to darkness.
One further warning … Nyx is given a thousand years to destroy the Christian Church. The vignettes of her doing so are often brief, jumping years ahead. So brief, in fact, that anyone not well versed in history might be unaware of the significance of many of them. It might have worked better to give more focus to fewer events (In fairness, some do get enough focus to gather your bearings).
Who I recommend this for:
This was a hard book to rate. I was never bored nor really tempted to stop reading. At the same time, reading it didn’t leave me too eager to go further, save for the semi cliff hanger ending. Obviously it’s not for any one likely to be offended by the basic concepts. For those not bothered by such things, it does have some strong points.
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