Saturday, October 27, 2012

Devil's Gate by F.J. Lennon

Astral Fountain is on the brink of big success and Kane Pryce is planning to ride the wave as far as he can. As the lead guitarist with the band, he stands to profit big time if rumors of a record deal become a reality. But when his old friend and ghost hunting partner, Ned, turns up at a show with an interesting proposal, Kane finds himself pulled back into a life he thought he'd left behind. A wealthy heiress has hired Ned and Kane to exorcise the spirits of an old California bridge. She claims her motivations are altruistic -- one too many suicides and she's tired of the whole thing -- but Kane and Ned soon find there's something bigger going on. With almost 200 deaths to its name, the bridge seems to be connected to a long and dark history of occult practice. If Kane persists with the job, he could find himself the latest victim. 

I really enjoyed the ghost busting portions of this book. In truth, it makes up about 3/4 of the story. The history of the bridge and the job Kane and Ned are hired to do are interesting and make for a unique read.

The other 1/4 of the book concerns Kane's band career. I know that it's all character development as far as Kane is concerned but the bickering and the rock and roll lifestyle didn't mesh well with the rest of the book for me personally. To be honest, I couldn't wait to get through each part about the band just so I could get back to the real meat of the story. The continued conflict with the lead singer also started to really get on my nerves. I wanted Kane to just deck the guy and move on!

The band Kane was more than a little bit of an asshole. The ghost busting Kane was still a bit of a jerk, but definitely much more appealing -- especially paired with the soul trap and the spirits, the mystery of the latest suicide victim, and the Crowley occult stuff.

I didn't dislike Devil's Gate by any means. I didn't love it either. It was a good read but I couldn't fully enjoy it simply because I felt this constant sort of disconnect -- like I was reading two books at once rather than one cohesive story.

Devil's Gate is F.J. Lennon's second book to feature Kane Pryce. Although I have not read the first installment, Soul Trapper, it seems that Devil's Gate stands pretty well on its own. There's enough backstory and recap material present throughout the book that someone unfamiliar with Kane's previous story quickly catches on. That said, I'm curious about Kane's first adventure and the soul trap as well. 

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