By P.A. Minyard
24 December 2013
The premise is intriguing: Civil War in the between the Union and the Confederacy, and a spiritual war between angels and demons, both happening at the same time in the same place. The characters have potential: Daniel fights for the Union, but he’s “recruited” to help the angels stop the demons from winning their spiritual war; after he succumbs to the evil he’s trying to vanquish, his little brother Jonathan is his only hope at redemption. At the same time, Daniel’s best friend Duff begins courting Daniel’s sister Beth, who is weak in body but is (as Duff says) “a woman capable of putting me in my place.”
I really wish this had been as good a book as I was hoping for; the idea is a great one. However, it seems to me like a really good first draft: the characters and plot need more fleshing out, and Daniel seemed to go from “good eldest son” to needing Jonathan to save him more quickly than was really plausible. The thing about evil is that it’s not always obvious. If it is obvious, we resist it. But if if lures us, breaks us down slowly, then we might end up helping to pave the road to Hell with good intentions. With Daniel, he was good… and then he wasn’t; there was no slow burn there that made his succumbing to his own weakness seem internally realistic.
My favorite parts by far were the ones that focused on Duff and Beth—Beth’s character is the kind of woman I like—but that’s a little bit of a problem because they are not the main characters. I don’t know, it just feels like this book is missing something, but I can’t place what. Maybe more thorough description? There’s a previous novel about the Beloved (the group into which Daniel is recruited), but that wasn’t made clear when I started this book, so I don’t know if reading that book would’ve helped my understanding of this one or not.
In any case, I look forward to following this author’s growth and progress in her writing. She has a great story in Rogue; I only wish it was a little more complete.
DISCLAIMER: I received Rogue free from Smith Publicity for this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.