Armageddon Bound by Tim Marquitz

Rating 7.9/10
I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I expect the fun to continue in the future installments.

Half-devil and miles from anything resembling heroic, perpetual underdog Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg is the last man standing against Armageddon.

As the favorite nephew of the Devil, Frank has led a troubled life, but he'd always had his uncle's influence to fall back on. Now, with God and Lucifer coming to terms and leaving existence to fend for itself, his once exalted status of Anti-Christ-to-be does little to endear him to the hordes of angels and demons running amok in the Godless world.

With help from the members of DRAC, an organization of wizards, psychics, telepaths, and low-end supernatural beings, Frank must thwart the pro-Armageddon forces and rescue an angel in whose life rests the fate of humanity.

Better luck next time, humanity.

Synopsis sourced from the authors website (http://www.tmarquitz.com/DS1.html)

Recently I have been hearing a lot that the creative process is best defined as taking two established ideas and mixing them together in a way that feels familiar yet refreshing at the same time. As someone who struggled for a long time trying to be creative, stuck on the belief that can only be defined by original thought, this simple yet elegant definition really revolutionised the way I looked at creativity and is now creeping into the way I am reading and reviewing books. Armageddon Bound by Tim Marquitz is a great example of this definition in action, with Marquitz taking established ideas from Christianity such as Heaven, Hell, God, Lucifer, angels and demons, mixing them together with the monster hunter genre, and then adding his own twist to create a unique experience that was loads of fun to read.

Armageddon Bound tells the story of the demon Frank, nephew of Lucifer, who had become quite accustomed to his life on Earth when God and Lucifer decided to up and go, leaving Earth to its own devices. As the angels try to come to terms with God's departure the demons, now free from Lucifer's rule, are already starting to play power games, vying for their own little piece of Earth and wreaking havoc in the process. This is the first novel from Marquitz and he has done a very thorough job of outlining a complete story arc told through a series of action packed scenes that entertains from start to finish. As I said before its a familiar story with a lot of familiar elements, but through the addition of just one twist, this story becomes quite fascinating with so many elements just begging to be explored. Unfortunately, we only get to explore a small subset of these elements as our main character has a very narrow vision and follows the well defined story arc with little variation. The elements that are explored are done very well, but I just want to know a bit more about this fascinating world and the dynamics that govern how it runs.

Frank is an interesting character, reminding me of the perpetual 17 year old who is defined almost entirely by his hyperactive sexuality. He also reminds me a lot of Nathan Drake from the Uncharted video game series, the happy-go-lucky hero who can never catch a break. While Frank has a number of other strengths and weaknesses that should define him as a very strong lead character, this one particular vice is so insistent that it becomes hard to see past it. Sex is on his brain all the time, to the point where Frank is making some sort of sexual reference on nearly every page. And when he is not talking about sex, Frank is trying to crack a witty joke, often by breaking the fourth wall and interacting with the reader. He is a character with so much untapped potential, and if Marquitz can just dial back the sex and jokes for future installments, I am sure we will see the rest of Frank start to shine through for the good of the story. While Frank more than steals the show, the supporting cast are fantastic and far from the copy and paste characters that seem to litter other books that have such a strong lead character. Each character is struggling with their own personal demons cause by the departure of God and Lucifer, and it makes for some fascinating conflicts and relationships between characters, notably the relationship between Frank and his angel cousin Scarlett.

The writing itself is pretty solid for a first novel but there were quite a few spelling and grammatical errors in the copy I reviewed. The pacing was just about right, the language was slightly verbose but seemed to be appropriate, and I rarely felt bogged down by infinite detail which allowed me to really become immersed in the story. These are issues that vastly improve as the author continues to write, and I have already seen the results of this improvement in Marquitz's recently released novel Skulls.

Armageddon Bound is all about the charm, all about the wit, all about fighting and winning against impossible odds, and all about the sex. There are some big issues here that Marquitz needs to resolve for the next book in the series, more world building and less of an emphasis on sex would be a good start, but he needs to be careful that he doesn't make too many changes that compromises the identity established by this book. I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I expect the fun to continue in the future installments.

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