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Friday, May 4, 2012

Demon Squad: Echoes Of The Past by Tim Marquitz (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author website
Read FBC's Review of Armageddon Bound
Read FBC's Review of Resurrection 
Read FBC’s Review of At The Gates 
Read FBC interview with Tim Marquitz 
Read the first chapter HERE and another excerpt HERE

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Tim Marquitz is the author of the Demon Squadseries, and the Sepulchral Earth serial stories. He is also an editor, a heavy metal aficionado, a Mixed Martial Arts fan, and is also a member of the Live Action Role Playing organization. When he’s not busy writing dark stories which catch his imagination he also manages to go about his day job. Tim lives in El Paso, Texas with his wonderful family.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Not when you're the Devil's nephew. An unexpected message gives Frank the answer he's sought for years--Where did God and Lucifer go?--but the knowledge brings its own dilemma as inter-dimensional war looms, threatening to engulf the Earth.

Tasked with the planet's defense, Frank scrounges for a plan and finds a piece of his past better left behind. If the aliens don't kill him, what he learns just might!

FORMAT/INFO: Demon Squad: Echoes Of The Past is 189 pages long divided over twenty-five chapters. Narration is in the first-person, exclusively via the protagonist Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg. This is the fourth book in the series and it would not make much sense for new readers to jump into the series with this book.

April 24, 2012 marked the e-book and paperback publication of Demon Squad: Echoes Of The Past and it was self published by the author. Cover art is provided by Jessica Lucero.

ANALYSIS: Nearly three years ago I happened to come across a book called “Armageddon Bound” and it proved to be a thrill ride with some ferocious wit that would make most people blush or chuckle depending on their disposition. It was a debut that marked Tim out among the many debutantes of 2009, since then I have kept an eye for further books in the demon squad series to follow the misadventures of Frank Trigg, Lucifer’s nephew and all-round screw-up. He’s a character that endears himself to you as much as hangovers do, but eventually one does manage to gain a soft spot because of his inherent goodness that might be found after some real deep soul searching.

Echoes Of The Past begins a bit after the events of “At The Gates” and past readers will know how it ended, so the reader is immediately clued into what is happening and the most primal of mysteries about this series is given a resounding answer, namely what happened that lead God and Lucifer to have a sit-down and then disappear to unknown places. Readers clamoring for an answer will get the desired explanation and then we get to see Frank as he returns to his home however another nasty surprise awaits him and this time it’s the government. And that’s just the beginnings of his troubles as remnants of the war to topple heaven make their way towards Frank as do alien entities that have previous connections to his lineage. This book basically deals with a lot of revelations and answers for Frank and the reader and finally the author manages to end the book with a cliffhanger that manages to upend the one featured in Resurrection. This book will leave you utterly hanging and clamoring for book V.

To begin with, in regards to the previous three books, Echoes of the Past is a vastly different book. It is more introspective and deals with a lot of revelations, secrets and intricacies of this universe. For a reader invested in these books, this is the payoff however be warned that this is not the penultimate book of the series and so akin to LOST, these answers while satisfying will lead to more questions gleaned from those very answers. Thematically this book is about identity and the quest to find it. Frank has always wondered about his past and recent events occurring the past books have escalated that need. In this book he finally gets an avenue to explore those needs however the answers he finds might not be the ones he thought they would be. If you didn’t emphathize with Frank before, you’ll definitely do so after reading this one.

This book also has more than its share of plot twists, I would go so far as to say that this one is the most twisted of all the Demon Squad books. While previous books did have the twists, none of them were so caustic as these to Frank. After all the recent deaths in the previous two books, the author does continue the trend not in number but in terms of important personage. I was very much surprised by the turns of the plot as the author constantly kept on switching tracks and thereby made the ending that much more unpredictable. Characterization-wise this book is the most accomplished of all however it focuses solely on Frank. With these books Frank has always been the sole narrator, but with the last two books, the focus was widened on the side character cast however with this one the scope is again narrowed down to Frank. This kind of narrative while having its plus points also makes it a problem if the reader doesn’t connect with the story. However with Frank, the reader is always left stunned with the amount and importance of information revealed and this just makes the next book that much more enticing especially when Frank reunites with those that have wronged him.

The only things that went against the enjoyment factor was that the book ends on a massive cliffhanger and combined with the expectation of things to come, that makes the wait for the next book hard. The second point would be that the book also has revelations that gives answers but further creates questions that will leave the readers perplexed. But both these issues are minor ones and wouldn’t affect the overall reading experience.

CONCLUSION: Tim Marquitz takes a new direction with the fourth book that showcases improvement on all authorial fronts. This is another great entry in the Demon Squad series, if you haven’t started it yet then you should definitely do so. This is one of those series that has almost been under most readers radar. Tim Marquitz continues his excellent run and makes this book another standout volume.

4 comments:

Nayan said...

There is one thing that I do not like about this book at all...without even reading it. Its only 189 pages!!

Ryan said...

Nice review Mihir. I just recently read At the Gates, and just need to carve out some time to write up my review.

Marquitz seems to improve with each installment of this series. I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on Echoes of the Past.

Mihir said...

@ Nayan

That's true but in this case, the low page count works and leeps the plot taut as ever.

@ Ryan

Thanks man, I'm looking forward to your review :) btw ask Tim about his upcoming short story featuring assassins and zombies. I think its something that you might enjoy.

Mihir

Tim Marquitz said...

Thanks, guys.

@Nayan: it's more an issue of tight formatting to keep the price competitive. Echoes is slightly shorter than the other books, but not by much.

@Ryan: Thanks. :) Waiting on your thoughts.

@Mihir: If I can think through my plot direction, you'll get Dirge pretty quickly. :)

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