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No Shadow Without Light by Luke Gracias

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No Shadow Without Light by Luke Gracias
UK Publication: Oct 2021
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Author’s Upfront (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Great read for October

Synopsis from Netgalley: I have edited this to remove spoilers for those who have not read book 1 The Devil’s Prayer. On 06/06/06, the world’s population crossed 6.66 billion. Any further increase could only occur at the cost of other species and future generations.

This triggered the Devil’s Game. A Treasure Hunt for the twelve missing pages of the Devil’s Bible, which hold the Devil’s Prayer. A game designed for XXX, the daughter of the Devil, to unleash Armageddon. Each page XXX finds encourages people to be selfish. To hoard for themselves and theirs, wiping out every chance future generations and all other species have of survival. Only XXX can stop her, by finding the pages of the Devil’s Prayer hidden across the globe before XXX does.

When the bells of Amalfi Cathedral toll twelve repeatedly one night, Inspector Luca Reginalli races to find four ancient frescoes and a note in a jade sarcophagus. The cryptic note offering the Twelfth Page of the Devil’s Prayer in exchange for XXX goes viral. The treasure hunter XXX becomes the hunted.

From the Templars of Tomar to the Doomsday Chest in London, from the Tomb of Amir Temur to the Shadowless Pagoda of Wuhan, XXX and Reginalli follow the trail of carnage left by each page of the Devil’s Prayer.

Can they save the world from its own destruction?

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed The Devil’s Prayer when I read it years ago and then life happened and I totally forgot that it ended with what can only be described as sequel bait so when the author emailed me to let me know book 2 was up on Netgalley well there was no way I was missing out on that!

This book is a delightful mix of Dan Brown’s books and the Indiana Jones movie franchise. The reader is taken on a quest that began with a bet between God and the Devil regarding the noble nature of mankind (yeah right). Add into the mix Medieval history, the Knights Templar, the current environmental situation and the dreaded Covid-19 panic and you have an epic tale of the battle between the selfish and the selfless (not good and evil).

I love the painstaking historical research that has gone into the creation of this story along with the numerous photos of the places our protagonists visit. I also appreciated the afterword where the author explains that not everything is black and white. Yes throughout the book there is a strong message that humans need to do better to save the planet but how can we do better when each action we could take has consequences not everyone will have considered. I appreciate that the author has already looked at the world and seen that to do X could cause Y and understands that there is no simple answer.

That said while I enjoyed the story there are certainly a few criticisms that can be levelled at it.

  • I loved the historical detail but it doesn’t try to fit in with the narrative, the reader is removed from the main storyline for a lesson in history.
  • The save the world message can come across as preachy and not everyone appreciates being preached to.

Who would like this? If the points above don’t bother you and you want something a little different from the traditional horror of Halloween this could be the book for you.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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