Title: For a Glance
Series: The Serpent’s Throne Trilogy: Book One
Author: Dan Ackerman
Publisher: Supposed Crimes
Length: 211 Pages
At a Glance: In Ackerman’s mellifluous prose we learn of Lucifer’s failed marriage, his failed attempt at fatherhood to a daughter who is more devilish than the Devil himself, and that, by and large, he’s not the monster under the bed one would expect him to be.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: As the king of Hell, Lucifer’s role is mainly bureaucratic–sorting souls, managing unruly demons, and dealing with the politics of Heaven. A demon sneaks a human lover into Hell, leaving Lucifer conflicted, and with an opportunity for revenge against his enemies back on Earth.
Meanwhile, at a brothel, Lucifer meets Ira, a lovely gray demon. Starting a romance is difficult with his life in constant turmoil and when there are souls to save that don’t want saving. Mundanity and horror mix in a sprawling, alluring hellscape.
Review: The legend of the Fallen and how the angel Lucifer became the Prince of Darkness and the King of Hell is fruitful pickings for the imagination, so any time an author feels the urge to tread into the Heaven/Hell mythos, I’m there for it. The Devil, and the archetypical idea of evil, has provided for so many great stories over the centuries, one of the best known, of course, being Faust’s, who bargained his soul in exchange for knowledge and pleasure and which has become a lovely metaphor for the sin of avarice.
Author Dan Ackerman has placed their own stamp on the Satan mythology in For a Glance, and I enjoyed it immensely. This is a character driven novel, so the reader gets a deeper insight into the life and times of Lucifer rather than this being a story of action and romance. Lucifer is flawed, he is imperfect, he knows what his shortcomings are, and he makes mistakes for which he’s willing to try to make amends. Ackerman offers readers the sense that we’re meeting a Prince who wants more than he already has but isn’t quite sure what it is or how to get it, and, at times, I wondered if he felt he even deserved it. I loved this because it gives him a very human side and, as a result, he was sympathetic. This becomes particularly evident when he meets a young demon whore named Ira, with whom Lucifer becomes smitten. Is the Prince falling in love? It’s not outside the realm of possibility. The question is, will he give himself permission to?
In Ackerman’s mellifluous prose we learn of Lucifer’s failed marriage, his failed attempt at fatherhood to a daughter who is more devilish than the Devil himself, and that, by and large, he’s not the monster under the bed one would expect him to be. In fact, there’s a sense of ennui about him at times that coexists with the self-owned responsibility of running a functional Hell. That’s not to say he was without his intimidating moments, but overall, Ackerman has created a character in Lucifer who I felt a great deal of affection for as he goes about the day-to-day business of ruling the Underworld. He is merciful at times, and there is an ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ quest (a devil’s bargain) that becomes a side note in the story which allows him to show it. There is also a significant moment in the story where his mercy is brilliant and involves a particularly cruel and horrifying crime against a child, so be warned that this is not always a gentle novel.
The world building grounds readers in the story. Rather than nine circles of Hell, Ackerman has created districts, seven for the sinners and two which are home to the workers. Hell feels very much like a city, and its citizens go about their daily lives, working, creating mischief and havoc as demons will do, and we follow Lucifer as he oversees it all. This world is also not without threat to him, however, in spite of it being his kingdom, and one of those dangers appears in the form of a human woman, Mercy, who developed an interesting relationship with Lucifer, to say the least.
As this is a book one in the series, it doesn’t tidy up all of the various story threads introduced before its end, but it does introduce more than a handful of interesting characters—Hell is full of the most interesting folks—and I’m anxious to get to know them better. Sympathy for the Devil indeed. I have it in spades.
You can buy For a Glance here:
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