The Demon Rift
Just beyond the edges of our world there lurks a monstrous force, unknowable and sinister. It has an insatiable hunger for death and destruction; its greatest desire is to feast on our pain and suffering. And so it bides its time, waiting until its agent on Earth moves all the pieces into place to unleash this ravenous evil upon the world.
It is a plot that takes generations, and along the way there are those who discover this dark secret and seek to prevent the agent from succeeding. They all fail, falling by the wayside as the agent and its unholy master prepare for their moment of triumph.
And the moment is near. After over a century of plotting and planning, it will begin with a massacre at a shopping mall. Unless…unless three young people, bound by circumstance–their families steeped in loss, blood, magic, and past conflicts with the darkness–can put a stop to this great evil once and for all.
The Demon Rift is an impressively ambitious novel, detailing a slow-burn plan across generations, ricocheting across three different time periods and three different families, all deeply affected by the diabolical machinations of the agent and the demons he seeks to set free.
Moving back and forth across these time periods is a double-edged sword. It grants an epic feel to the story, exploring all the links between the protagonists and their ancestors, as well as building tension for the eventual showdown at the mall. But it also makes the first seventy-five pages or so confusing for the reader because it’s not immediately clear which characters are the primary protagonists of the novel. By the time you suss out the main characters, you may feel a bit cheated, having invested in several other intriguing characters, only for them to be stepping stones for the antagonist. This jumping across timelines also detracts a bit from the anticipation of finding out who the villain is and what he wants, since we learn this fairly early on.
That being said, the sheer scale of The Demon Rift more than makes up for any minor disappointments with a panoply of vivid detail, bringing to life a multitude of characters. For instance, softening a novel so steeped in darkness and pain with wonderful recurring threads like the spirits of those lost returning to the ones they love before death. It’s a subtle, heartwarming touch that really enriches storytelling that might otherwise feel too dour.
The antagonist combines so many classically creepy and unpleasant elements that you can’t help but loathe him every step of the way. There are several sequences in the novel where the villain earns his evil stripes with acts of heinous savagery, and Noble paces those scenes out brilliantly, teasing the reader with hopeful moments before snatching them away. By the time the final showdown looms close, you’re begging for the protagonists to figure out his plan and stop him once and for all. That’s the sign of a great villain.
The cover undersells the story a bit since there’s so much more to The Demon Rift than the sinister threat looming just beyond the dimensional veil. Just a few little tokens from the plot — the pearl broach, the prison cell, and maybe one of Madonna’s rings — would have encapsulated the multigenerational story nicely.
A personal battle between good and evil across decades…The Demon Rift is definitely worth your time.
|M. K. Noble
|Plain Label Books
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