Customer Reviews for

The Demonologist: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

What occurs when one is confronted with experiential proof of th

What occurs when one is confronted with experiential proof of that which one “knew” not to exist?  How to respond to a threat that is verifiably real, but cannot be seen, touched or admitted to by the majority of humanity to exist yet has caused damage to those you love...
What occurs when one is confronted with experiential proof of that which one “knew” not to exist?  How to respond to a threat that is verifiably real, but cannot be seen, touched or admitted to by the majority of humanity to exist yet has caused damage to those you love?  For David Ullman, professor at Columbia University and world renowned expert on Demonic Literature, specifically Milton’s Paradise Lost, the answer to those questions go from academic and rhetorical to vital and very much to be answered when his 11-year-old daughter whispers to him, as she falls from a ledge, seemingly while in the control of a malevolent spirit, “find me.”
At the time of his daughter’s “mishap,” Dr. Ullman was on a trip to access a mysterious phenomenon he was commissioned to witness in Venice.  What he saw was the apparent demonic possession of a man with a specific message for Dr. Ullman.  From the moment the book changes from a pedestrian thriller to an intelligent, frightening quest for enlightenment through self-sacrifice, struggle and Grace.  In his search for his daughter “before she becomes mine (the demon),” he must face why he has chosen to become an expert in an area that “requires” faith yet he has no belief in anything beyond the academic interest in the literature he teaches. In answering these questions, he discovers a truth that is painful, fitting, clarifying and helps him to make sense of his world.  The Truth this revelation brings is of more depth than what he has found in his “unknowing” teaching.
The psychological parallels and theological allegories to be found in this book are legion.  The damage done a child can be life-changing and its mending can cause that pain can reveal strengths unknown.  No one travels alone, nor is a single cord stronger than two wound together.  “Never tire of doing good” the Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians and that admonition is shown to be made of durable cloth in the life Dr. Ullman.
There are terrifying moments in this book.  I find little to fear in mythology or science fiction and my heart raced at moments.  There are also moments of graphic violence that can leave the reader with unwanted images. Perhaps a readership that reads “scary” novels needs a voice that speaks of things far larger & stronger than demons, Mr. Pyper has certainly given that voice a large microphone.

posted by YoyoMitch53 on April 27, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

This is a strange book, not because of content, but because of t

This is a strange book, not because of content, but because of the way in which the Author chose to write both the storyline and develop the character of the main protagonist.  The story is told through the words of the main character, and the settings in which the stor...
This is a strange book, not because of content, but because of the way in which the Author chose to write both the storyline and develop the character of the main protagonist.  The story is told through the words of the main character, and the settings in which the storyline takes places are experienced by the reader through the eyes of this character.  One trait the reader learns early on in the novel this character possesses is that of melancholy, and it is this trait that saturates every word, action and observation the main lead takes. This trait has a habit of making the book move at a much slower pace than I would have expected from a topic such as this, but it also serves the purpose of making the reader take time as they progress through the pages to ensure they don’t miss the meanings of anything covered.

The European location is very well written, and after having spent some time here, I could picture the twists and turns that were taken in this city.  The Author obviously thought long and hard when writing his book, as to which location would serve as the best setting for this portion of their work; by choosing this one I felt they had done an outstanding job, as it lends itself perfectly to this type of storyline.  It is apparent from some sections of the book too, that the Author did a great deal of research in Milton’s Paradise Lost, and comes up with some very well educated explanations for some of the verses which really added another dimension to this book.

Although I did enjoy this book, I found after a while the way in which it was written was becoming depressing and, although this may not detract from some readers enjoyment of this novel I felt like it kept me from liking this read more than I did.  I applaud the way in which the Author tackled the topics covered in this novel, but I don’t think I will be reading anymore of their work as their writing style really isn’t for me.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoyed The Historian and also lovers of the Supernatural/Paranormal genre.

posted by Amaranthae on December 9, 2013

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  • Posted April 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    What occurs when one is confronted with experiential proof of th

    What occurs when one is confronted with experiential proof of that which one “knew” not to exist?  How to respond to a threat that is verifiably real, but cannot be seen, touched or admitted to by the majority of humanity to exist yet has caused damage to those you love?  For David Ullman, professor at Columbia University and world renowned expert on Demonic Literature, specifically Milton’s Paradise Lost, the answer to those questions go from academic and rhetorical to vital and very much to be answered when his 11-year-old daughter whispers to him, as she falls from a ledge, seemingly while in the control of a malevolent spirit, “find me.”
    At the time of his daughter’s “mishap,” Dr. Ullman was on a trip to access a mysterious phenomenon he was commissioned to witness in Venice.  What he saw was the apparent demonic possession of a man with a specific message for Dr. Ullman.  From the moment the book changes from a pedestrian thriller to an intelligent, frightening quest for enlightenment through self-sacrifice, struggle and Grace.  In his search for his daughter “before she becomes mine (the demon),” he must face why he has chosen to become an expert in an area that “requires” faith yet he has no belief in anything beyond the academic interest in the literature he teaches. In answering these questions, he discovers a truth that is painful, fitting, clarifying and helps him to make sense of his world.  The Truth this revelation brings is of more depth than what he has found in his “unknowing” teaching.
    The psychological parallels and theological allegories to be found in this book are legion.  The damage done a child can be life-changing and its mending can cause that pain can reveal strengths unknown.  No one travels alone, nor is a single cord stronger than two wound together.  “Never tire of doing good” the Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians and that admonition is shown to be made of durable cloth in the life Dr. Ullman.
    There are terrifying moments in this book.  I find little to fear in mythology or science fiction and my heart raced at moments.  There are also moments of graphic violence that can leave the reader with unwanted images. Perhaps a readership that reads “scary” novels needs a voice that speaks of things far larger & stronger than demons, Mr. Pyper has certainly given that voice a large microphone.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    If you enjoy reading a dark thriller with supernatural elements,

    If you enjoy reading a dark thriller with supernatural elements, you will like this novel. It’s already being made into a movie, and it’s easy to see why. It has demons, apparitions using images of the dead, literature, and fast paced action. I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but if you are a fan of this genre, you should definitely read this book before seeing the movie. It’s pretty spooky.
    Michael Travis Jasper, Author of the Novel “To Be Chosen”

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2013

    it's a good read, but not as good as The Historian. Likable c

    it's a good read, but not as good as The Historian. Likable characters and an interesting supernatural story. that keeps you reading. The author references "Paradise Lost" throughout the novel, but no matter if you haven't read it, the author does a good job of explaining it's relevance. Overall, I do recommend this book. Enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    "The mind is its own place, and in it self Can make a heave

    "The mind is its own place, and in it self
    Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven."




    "The Demonologist" is a wonderfully literate, fast-paced, party-psychological/part-supernatural thriller. The plot and pacing have a distinctly cinematic feel. Author Andrew Pyper's smart and polished prose, creates a very visual and emotional narrative. 




    The plot centers around David Ullman, a professor and expert of John Milton's "Paradise Lost", who's drawn into an ever intriguing plot that's both religious horror and literary mystery: imagine if "The Exorcist" and "Da Vinci Code" had a baby. Ullman's daughter is drawn down into the literal depths of a lost paradise, as David travels from New York to Venice, and then across the U.S., finding physical and metaphysical clues and using Milton's famed poem as a guidepost to save his daughter.




    Battling psychological demons tied to a traumatic childhood and a widening gap between with his soon-to-be ex wife, David comes to terms with the more supernatural aspects of the mystery: "Why is demonology more common than reincarnation, more than sacrificial offerings, more than the way we pray or the houses of worship where we congregate or the form the apocalypse will take at the end of time? Because demons exist."




    Ullman uses his mastery of language to craft a beautifully nuanced story and set of characters. Ullman and his daughter are the most three dimensional of the small cast, and the relationship between the two provides the emotional fuel that drives the movement between plot sequences.




    The only thing holding me back from adding a fifth star to the rating is that Pyper didn't take full advantage of his writing skills to further flesh out key character backstories, and build a third dimension on the primary antagonist. He easily could’ve included an additional 150 pages to deepen the mystery and further explore the elements of horror. 




    The advance reader copy I reviewed mentions that the book has already been optioned by a high profile Hollywood production company, and with its’ elements of horror and mystery, the story will translate extremely well to the big screen. It's visual; it moves quickly, the characters are interesting and the deep affecting father-daughter love story is immediately relatable.




    I recommend “The Demonologist” without reservation. It’s a fun, deep, and rewardingly scary read.




    I received "The Demonologist" through Amazon's Vine program.

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