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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Demon Squad: The Best Of Enemies by Tim Marquitz (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Author website 
Order the book HERE 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Armageddon Bound 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Resurrection 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of At The Gates and Betrayal 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Echoes Of The Past 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Beyond The Veil 
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of From Hell 
Read Fantasy Book Critic interview with Tim Marquitz

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Tim Marquitz is the author of the Demon Squad series, 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: Power comes at a price. For Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg, that price is everything.

Lost and alone, Hell closes in until Frank can't take it any longer. He ascends to Old Town to find a new overlord has staked his claim, but Frank is having none of it. He goes to war against the usurper. Collateral damage mounts, friends turn their backs and foes unite, but it is the ones he least suspects who make the best of enemies. 

FORMAT/INFO: Demon Squad: The Best Of Enemies is 167 pages long divided over twenty-five chapters. Narration is in the first-person, exclusively via the protagonist Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg. This is the sixth book in the series and it would not make much sense for new readers to jump into the series with this book.

December 4, 2013 marked the e-book and paperback publication of Demon Squad: The Best Of Enemies and it was self-published by the author. Cover art is provided by Carter Reid.

ANALYSIS: What a long journey it has been for Frank Trigg, when we were first introduced to him and his world. He was a lowly denizen of hell that had refused his uncle Lucifer’s offer to ascend to the mantle of the Anti-Christ and then had taken an ignominious fall. He served his time on Earth in a city called El Paseo where he did a penance of sorts (for all his actions as Lucifer’s nephew) by helping DRAC (Demonic Resistance And Containment) an organization that is trying to hold together a world coming apart at its podes. Since God and Lucifer came together and called a truce and then left for universes unknown, both heaven and hell have been shaken.

Through the first five books in this series, the readers witness Frank’s growth as a person and serious revelations about Frank, his parents and the real reasons for God and Lucifer’s departure. Over the last couple of books, Frank’s personal life has been through the wringer but he has gained crucial information about his lineage and also gone up on the power scale. With this book, we find Frank back to his old hell (in this case, Hell actually). He’s reminiscing about the events featured in book IV and V as they have literally changed his life and the lives of people around him. Bored about his wits, Frank decides to return back to El Paseo and face the wrath of his friends. True to his inklings, Rahim, Katon and Scarlett are there to confront him as well as certain characters from the previous books make their presence felt. However there’s a crucial difference this time around, Frank’s no longer the bottom bitch and he intends to let everyone know that quite viscerally if need be.

With the sixth volume, the author tries to keep it fresh and exciting and makes Frank even more headstrong than he’s ever shown to be. Perhaps it is assumable that this was how Frank was when he held his status quo as Ant0-Christ-to-be. It’s an ugly picture but Frank still manages to entertain the readers and keep them on his side. He’s also trying to get Rala the alien to decipher the contents of the strange book that Lucifer passed onto him. Lastly his search for El Paseo’s newest head honcho is quite darkly comical and action-packed sequence with golden delights such as a Were-Panda screaming “Wu Tang” and the re-appearance of a certain governmental agency.

What the Panda is up to and what happens to him will have to be RAFOed by the readers, suffice to say, it showcases how Tim’s dark mind works  and this perhaps is a cool riff in regards to a certain beloved Panda. With this storyline, the action sequences are again brought to the fore and we see Frank relaxing in all his new power. The author never has had any problems with action sequences and in this one, he continues in the same vein. The story doesn’t have that many plot twists as its two predecessors; I felt that was due to the nature of the storylines espoused by those books and so in this one, we get a solid twist in the last one-third of the story and story also ends on a cliffhanger, which makes book seven another must have immediately. 

Readers who have enjoyed the previous five volumes, will definitely enjoy this addition to the series as they will get to see Frank like never before. For newer readers, I would caution against starting Frank’s saga with this book as there are several major spoilers for the last two-three books and in fact the identity of the main antagonist also is a major reveal from a preceding title. It would be best to start with Armageddon Bound and enjoy the train wreck that is the life of Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg. Lastly for drawbacks to this title, the only sore point for me was the presence of a cliff hanger in the climax. After doing so for the last few books, I was hoping to not experience it again but I was  not completely disappointed in that regard. However the author is also known for his speed and so I’m not too concerned for the wait until book seven which might be in 2014.

CONCLUSION: The Best Of Enemies is another solid entry in the Demon Squad series, for all lovers of Frank Trigg, Tim Marquitz doesn’t disappoint with this one. Focussing on Frank who is a different version of himself, the author paints a vivid and dark story that will surely keep the readers entertained and hooked on till the very end. Get ready for a darkly comic thrill ride, ladies and gentlemen, Frank Trigg is in the control seat and it’s going to be a wild one.



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