ANNO DOMINI: a chilling, yet hopeful tale of Good and Evil, and the Advent of Ia.

Posted: July 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

The struggle between Good and Evil has been at the core of every self-respecting story that has ever been called compelling, because, in its essence, it is the one story that helps us, as humans, make heads or tails of the world around us.

Being the quintessential story of human existence, it is only natural that the story of the struggle of Good and Evil has been told in countless manners across the entire gallery of the arts.

One particularly thrilling example of how to tell this timeless tale can be found in ANNO DOMINI, the chilling, compelling debut novel by Mr. Robert DeAngelis.
The premise is simple, yet startlingly effective: what if, today, in our modern world, the reality of Satan were as tangible as possible. And what if he was everything we fear he could be…and more?

The book opens with a pair of chilling supernatural events which, wishing to give away as little as possible, made me vow to never look at jackals and tsunamis the same way again.
Then, the action moves to a small Wisconsin church, where a sermon by Father Tom Slouti is brutally interrupted by an assailant from the depths of the underworld.
His name: Ia(pronounced E-ah). His nature: the Fallen One. His aim: Becoming the One True God.

Ia is undoubtedly the most original take I have ever seen on Satan in fiction. He is scary, but eerily alluring, an eight-foot-tall with a bluish glow to his skin and a huge tail. His presence is intimidating and commanding. I could very well picture him voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. All over the world, Ia promises neverending prosperity to those who pledge their loyalty to him. Those who refuse perish in hellish manners. Mr. DeAngelis enlightened me regarding the symbolism behind the name Ia: it points to the ego, to „I”, whether resembling „I”, „Ich”, „Io”, or any other such forms, for the Devil most often clings to our ego.

Faced with Ia are Kalvin Sorenson, an investigative reporter known for his skepticism and bitterness toward religion, and Madeline McCoy, a faithful woman tormented greatly by Ia for her devotion to God. These two people get to know the terror of living in a world where Satan is not only a concept, and it is brilliantly shown through these pages. I felt the chill of his presence and the menace of his evil every time he was in a scene. I really enjoyed the story arc of Kalvin, the nonbeliever who is forced to accept the supreme supernatural force of evil and what he goes through while trying to prove the existence of Ia. His journey to the Vatican and his reaction to the skepticism of Catholic priests, as he experiences the evil of Ia firsthand are strong points of the book.
However, in my view, the strongest point is in the faith of Madeline McCoy. It is so simple, and yet so profound and respectfully represented, that I could not help but love it. In fact, the whole „backbone” of the book is the contrast between the evil of Ia and the purity of Madeline. As for the ending, without giving it away, I will just say it is the most hopeful ending for a supernatural thriller that I have ever come across. I am a better, more faithful person for having read this book that manages to thrill and inspire. Solid, solid 10 out of 5!
Though I am grateful to Mr. DeAngelis for the signed copy of the book he provided me with, the views herein are my own!Thank you, Mr. DeAngelis. Helluva job, if I do say so myself!

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