PureHeart by Rita Hsu Syers - On a Saturday night in late October of 2005, four thirteen-year old girls performed an ancient ritual to raise a demon. It was just a lark to them. They never even considered the possibility that they were dealing with forces older than Christianity.
Their ignorance of the incredible power they unleashed that night raised a demon vomited up from the lowest depths of Hell.
And not just any demon.
Unbeknownst to them, they used an ancient invocation to undo the bonds of a demoness so terrible she could not even be free in Hell.
Chained for all eternity by four mighty Archangels, she slavered and howled and gnashed her teeth but could not get free.
She threatened and warned and shrieked her hatred of anything and everything that was good, but she could not get free. The Archangels knew only too well what would happen if this particular demoness were freed. She paced back and forth, back and forth, dragging huge silver chains that were heavier then a mountain range, stronger then all of Nature at the height of its fury, and longer than the distance between Heaven and Hell.
She screamed and screamed her frustration.Born in darkness, she embraced it and made it her own. She was the Terror of the Night, red fire of hatred, slime of all things dead, decomposing and putrid, lover of blood and disembowelment and gouger of eyes and heart. Mother of Madness and Mayhem, daughter of Horror and Hopelessness, she waited. Bound by chains of pure silver, blessed by the Archangels and God Himself, she could not break free.
Unless the ancient ritual of words and sacrifice were performed. And then Satan himself would shudder and hide in Hell.
And once freed, there wasn't a human being on Earth that could stop her.
But a little dog, sent from God, would change all that. Taken from Bronwen Publishing Website.
This is a multiple POV book, with at least eight different characters who we follow through third person narrative, or get to speak through first person. I found this book very difficult to read in the beginning; it doesn't seem to flow very well, sentences not seeming to link. It jumps from third to first person, with someone telling their version of things the reader already read about that seem pointless. A lot of the being is the reader being told things, rather than us seeing things in action, and there isn't a huge amount of explanation as to how or why such things are known.
The book picks up after a few chapters, though. After page 76, everything flows, and the characters are more believable, but it still takes a hell of a while for things to get going. About three quarters of the book go by before the demoness has been released. On several occasions, things are repeated a few times. This can be understandable if the reader knows things certain characters don't, but after reading something four or five times, it gets a little irritating.
Another factor that annoyed be a little was how quickly everyone was able to accept and believe that Jack, the dog in the book, is sent from God. In the real world, a lot of people find it quite easy to believe in a higher power, but this is a fictitious book, and it just feels a little off how quickly all things are accepted without much questioning.
Despite it all, PureHeart isn't a bad book. It's a fairly enjoyable read if you can look past the few faults and be patient with it. Some scenes are quite disturbing, and more than once it's quite gruesome, but it fits the story. I was a little disappointed with the end, it felt a little anticlimactical after the build up throughout the book. Still, all in all, it was an enjoyable read.
PureHeart may seem a little controversial to those with a strong Christian faith, as a dog gives birth to two puppies after being neutered, and one of the puppies has the power to heal.
Would be a good book for those who love their pets as children.
Thank you to Bronwen Publishing for a review copy.
Published: 1st June 2009
Publisher: Bronwen Publishing
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Bronwen Publishing Website