“Yes. You see,” he said quietly. “You know. We can share now, between us, the secret of what I am.”
A demon tells a burnt out editor the story of his existence, fall and subsequent damnation.
DEMON: A MEMOIR
by Tosca Moon Lee
Horror, Christian Fiction, Christian Horror,
Personal Horror, Angels, Demons, God, Creation, Sin, Lucifer, Eden, Obsession, Fear, Damnation, Mankind, Book Publisher, Editor,
Clay is a burnt out editor, divorced and aimless. The demon called Lucian forces his way into Clay’s life with a peculiar demand: Clay will listen to the demon’s life story — listen and never be able to forget — and write down everything the demon has said to publish it as a memoir.
As promised, Clay cannot forget the demon’s words as it unfolds over many meetings. In fact it begins to consume him. Though he hates the story, he finds he cannot not write it. And it draws away energy and focus until Clay’s life, already in disarray, begins to crumble and fall apart completely.
The story Lucian tells is that of creation from the point of view of one of the angels that fell with Lucifer. The story begins with him still an angel, still praising God to his participation in Lucifer’s failed rebellion and subsequent fall. Then through the creation of man and the development of the fallen angel’s jealousy and hatred of the creature of mud, given gifts from God denied to the angels themselves.
As Lucian’s tale unfolds and Clay begins to know this unknowable, ever changing creature, he begins to fear — for what reason is a fallen angel sharing this story and what will happen once the story reaches its conclusion?
Despite my experience reading Left Behind (which clubbed me to death with Christian scripture and dogma) and what I’d heard about Christian fiction in general, I came to this story with high hopes and was not disappointed.
Tosca Lee is a very polished writer who does approach the story from a Christian perspective but doesn’t beat you over the head with theology or dogma.
Clay however, does get beaten by theology. Lucian is telling the story of creation and the story of Jesus from a demon’s perspective but not because he likes Clay. It is a trap, one that could destroy Clay or save him but Lucian knows his human very well . . . and harbors no doubt about the outcome.
There are no easy answers, no deus ex machina, no miracles and no unrealistic changes in character. Clay’s fate is ultimately left up to him and Tosca Lee does an excellent job executing the ending of her story.
Here is how I see this book: If you are a Christian, this story will reach out and slap you out of your complacency. Christians can become so familiar with the Biblical stories that they lose sight of that which made them so powerful and special. See the same story from alien eyes could jar you into looking at it again with fresh eyes.
Those who are not Christian will enjoy a very effective horror story that gave me chills. Days later I was still thinking about it.
I learned about Tosca Lee and her book while attending a writer’s chat. She was the guest of honor. Ms. Lee told us how she wrote the story and shopped it around to every secular press she could think because she believed no Christian press would touch it. No one took it. Then Nav Press expressed an interest in it and her next two stories.
If you like Demon: A Memoir, you should try Tosca’s second book: Havah: The Story of Eve.
Tosca Lee is the first Christian writer I’ve read and enjoyed. I really can’t think of anyone she writes like. Of course I haven’t read a lot of Christian fiction. So I will throw it open to anyone who wants to offer up suggestions in comments. What do you think? You know a good Christian writer who would appeal to a secular audience as well?
(This post originally appeared on my blog about horror books called Horror Books with the Undead Rat.)