Perfect Prophet

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

How could I not want to read a book that's about Satanism and metal? It's practically screaming my name. Sadly this book was so slow paced and boring that I found myself dazing while reading it. The characters were not interesting and it just lacked development for me. Just a 2 star for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and publishers for providing a digital copy of this book.
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What do you do when you don't believe in God but you find yourself possessed of an ability that can only be a gift from God? What happens when your father is also a religious zealot who literally wrote prophecies about you - prophecies that have a Satanic cult after you? That's what Alec Lowell is about to find out.This book was very well written. It had a lot of action, a lot of suspense, and included a plot twist that I never saw coming. Diane M. Johnson has crafted a tale of Satanic cult zeal and atheism that sparks an edge of your seat novel. The characters are well developed and they "show their hand" when they need to. For instance, you don't find out much about Mark until you really need to know about him, then you're surprised because he's more than you thought he was. Lucas definitely isn't who you thought he was the entire time. Those who like books with a slant on religion will enjoy this book, as well as those who are looking for a good suspenseful book. I think those of us who are metalheads will also enjoy the book because of the musical beginnings of the book.There is just one thing I wish I had - a story of Lucas's life after the end of this book.
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Rock and Roll and Revelations

I got really excited about this book. The title, Perfect Prophet, is loaded with different meanings, an illustration of just how deep the story is. Suspenseful, frantic, and fraught with menace, this was an excellent read! 

The central characters were likable and well-developed. Within a plot full of action and danger, their internal struggles were an important component and highly relatable. There were unexpected twists that made the novel truly original. 

*** Warning: mild spoilers are forthcoming!

A cult of Satanists are out to fulfill their mad leader's prophecy through the ritualistic killing of his own son, the guitarist and lyricist of a popular band. 

Even though their lyrics referenced the Satanic and their fans thought that he and the rest of the band were Satanists, Alec believed that the existence of either God or Satan was dubious at best. 

He had rejected the idea of himself as some kind of messiah completely. If anything, his music was an act of rebellion against his father, a religious zealot who had physically and mentally tortured him throughout his childhood. 

His father believed he was a Prophet, that beating and abusing Alec was in service to his God. He believed he was preparing his son for his portentous destiny. After Alec rejected that and left, his father's mental condition deteriorated until he was hospitalized. 

While Alec, his fiancee, and the rest of the band are in a race for survival as terrible deeds are done in the name of Satan, they also wrestle with weighty spiritual topics. The author explores personal spirituality and religious controversies without being preachy or overly simplifying them.

This treatment was thought-provoking in a way that is so relevant for our modern lives. As the number of traditional religious followers are falling, those who feel lost and are searching for deeper meaning in their lives are multiplying. This gives important value to a book that might only have been another apocalyptic horror story.  

The author seems also to have skillfully adapted real life events into the plot. In the attempts on Alec's life, I thought of the murder of Pantera's Dimebag Darrell by a crazed fan, for example. I picture Alec as a more metal-leaning Kurt Cobain (without a heroin addiction), sensitive, incredibly talented, but broken. I see sweet and saucy Cleo as the Mary Magdalen of their group, supporting them all in her own ways. I could go on… LOL

Perfect Prophet perfectly fulfilled my desire for an exciting, rock and roll thriller and an intelligent, philosophical read as well.
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First of all, the premise sounded amazing. Satanism and metal music, made for an 80's style horror tale. I was all in. However, the story never really caught fire for me, and seemed tepid at best. Some choices were great and some missed their mark. I did like Alec and his arc, but some of it seemed misplaced here. There is a great novella buried in here, and while I was frustrated I do believe there is more good than not and it is worth a read.
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Any book with the often-overlooked world of metal music is alright in my book. 
That is to say this book is just alright. The plot is interesting, but marred by fairly stereotypical characters, clunky writing choices, and unnecessary animal abuse. 
I was entertained throughout the story, but was left kind of "meh" when I finished it.
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Forgive any typos and rambling... Currently on vacation and on my phone.
2.5 stars.
I liked the cast of characters, particularly the secondary ones. I found the main character, Alec, to be a bit obnoxious and unsympathetic. I liked the themes explored in the story but thought the execution was a bit messy. Meaning, I think the plot could've been trimmed down and less repetitive. Even though the story had a lot of action and movement, with characters constantly in conflict, it wasn't that interesting to read.  She's definitely a good writer, and I did like a lot of the book, but on the whole I wasn't in love with it like I wanted to be. 
My copy was received from Netgalley and it was much appreciated!
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Satan against the good people. Very good story, holds your interest. I have to admit I found myself asking if this was a true story. Read this book!!!Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book. Although I received the book in this manner, it did not affect my opinion of this book nor my review.
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It was definitely interesting story to read. I don't usually read synopsis of books but i saw there was a metal band and i wanted to read. I don't like metal music is evil stereotype so i wanted to read how author wrote it. I liked the plot twist and how Alec wanted to change his life because of his son. It was creepy and a good read.
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This was a creepy and thrilling book. It is well written, sucked me in and kept a grip on me. I really enjoyed reading this book. Recommended.
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Took a while to catch fire this story but once it did it was a good enough read and you end up rooting for the lead player.
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Years ago a famous ad campaign that queried "Is it live or is it Memorex?" (Recorded on tape) That stayed on my mind throughout this novel, which in large part faces the question of "Is it Fake, or is it Real?" and the concomitant question, in essence asked of all its characters: "Do you really believe?" Also there's the Theological Conundrums:
"Does Satan exist?" "Does God exist?" "Do I worship, or trust in secular humanity?" read, you will witness the unraveling of conspiracies and ponder these questions for yourself.
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Key Take Away: "...Diane M. Johnson was dead-on with her narrative and ability to hold the theme, message, and spirit that I believe she intended."

Review: **SPOILERS**

Honestly, it’s been a while for me since I’ve had the chance to read a story that has involved the church versus the occult. Good against evil. The will of God matched against Satan.

Well maybe that’s not true, but it was refreshing to read through a plot such as that where it’s not completely muddled with humour and angst. Again let me correct myself in making clear that I absolutely love humour in a character, the more the better, but in Perfect Prophet’s style, I will say that any silliness added would have taken from the soul of the story. 

So no matter what I say below, remember that I truly believe in my heart that Diane M. Johnson was dead-on with her narrative and ability to hold the theme, message, and spirit that I believe she intended. Her words were not derailed with a misconceived notion that her reader needed ridiculousness.

The book sets out with the guitarist of a metal band, Alec Lowell, getting shot through the chest mid-performance. Through this commotion, we are introduced to the other members of his band. His “apostles” let’s just call them, although they are never referred to as such, but it's fun for me to do so.

I should add that for some reason when a music genre is usually written into the plot, I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth...I'm left with a feeling the author doesn’t really know their stuff. 

Here I did not. 

There weren't pages of lyrics (I’m not actually going to read those, you know that right?) And the bits of info I do get are enough to leave me with the normal coffee and cigarette taste that should be in there.

Cleo, the vocal, Paddy, the kid drummer phenomena, and Mark on bass (but also on the books, being the only one them concerned with the business side of things).

The band is the typical heavy-metal-stereotyped group. Drugs and alcohol are a must and the more satanic, anti-God and church message they can push with their music the better.
This adds some meat to the plot as all members of the band are, at best, atheists and must all come to terms with Alec's miraculous recovery from a bullet through the heart. Healing in record time, Alec is front page news, giving his band some much-needed publicity and also giving an ex cause to reconnect.

...“ohh btw, Alec, you’re the father of my son...” that’s not quite how it played out, but that’s the gist.

Lindy (the mom) is actually a nice lady despite her suspicious timing (suspicions from me, the reader, not to any character). Jake, his newly discovered son, is just a normal, sweet ol' kid.

Alec thinks Lindy is sweet as well, I guess, cause they hook up right away...telling Cleo to take a hike. In my experience with such situations there is much screaming, some possible threats, and definitely excommunication. By the end, Cleo and Lindy become good friends, Alec's genitals are intact as well, and I begin to suspect that beyond Alec's ability to heal himself, he has a godly ability to maintain peace among ex-girlfriends. Somehow there seems to be zero animosity in a situation that would at the very least leave the unholy presence of passive aggression. If this were reality, I am sure such a man would be blessed with a title of “Saint."

The Saint of “let’s stay friends," Alec Lowell.

Alec takes a reprieve from the spotlight and spends some time in his small hometown, living with Lindy and beginning his relationship with his son. Things seem to be going well for Alec, slowly dealing with the emotions and anxiety that should and do come with being shot through the heart (the "why me?" and all that) plus we start to see some decent character development in this new atmosphere of fatherhood.

Taking a side note here, I would like to thank Diane for how she took me through this bond. As the book progresses, we see Alec succumbing to the stress and fears of being responsible for a child, going from a carefree, don’t give a shit guy, to an "I need to protect this child, man" guy. In my opinion, it is written proportionally, not smushed in my nose. It is sincere.

As Alec deals, we realize he happens to be dead centre...or should I say in the “heart" of a satanic hotbed. I mean these weirdos are everywhere. It’s basically the whole town.

They are led by a young man named Lucas (cough, Lucifer...). Well, at least it’s not Damian. Either way, he and his deformed hand lead a group of robe wearing, orgy practicing, sacrifice making devil worshipers against the great Alec Lowell. There is even an entire black book in their possession that foretells of Alec's coming and the need to sacrifice him for their greater good. 

(Sorry, I shouldn’t explain, but I am concerned you didn’t catch that...I wrote: for the devil worshiper’s “greater good"...that's super witty.)

Also, I should add that this black book was written by Alec's estranged father. You can guess that such a plot would start to turn into a hybrid occult soap opera. It does not. I’m still good with it.

So the scene is set for Alec to grow, through trepidation and toil, spirit and sin. 

In a way, this is Alec’s coming of age story. His internal struggle with his own beliefs and with himself is as important as any of the external struggle we see as his apostles jump to his aid, ready to take a bullet or knife. If only one of these apostles would have pointed out the miracle of his new girlfriend and ex (that he abruptly dumped) becoming instant besties, Alec would have had the huge time-saving epiphany that he was, without doubt, the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

If you feel like me, and it has been a long time since you read or even watched a wholesome “saint vs. sinner" story, please take a look at this one...there’s something nostalgic to it.

You’ll get what you expect in a good way.

9 out 10 Hail Marys.

Have a nice day.
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Spooky, atmospheric and creepy. A great Halloween read. Kept me gripped from the word go and left me guessing.
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Rating: 3.5/5.0

Alec is the lead singer in a satanist band. One day on stage he is shot but he makes it and lives on. However, after the accident and his recovery, Alec changes a lot and tries to discover himself and make some amends regarding his family, his ex-girlfriend, father and sister. Through this rediscovering journey, Alec finds out many shocking things specifically about his father and his dark secrets.

I enjoyed reading this book, it is dark as I expected it to be and entertaining at the same time. The characters development I think could've been somehow more tuned. Two main things I have to criticize here though, one of them is the ending, it did not feel as satisfying as I was hoping it to be. I was expecting a stronger conclusion. The other thing is that I felt the drama and story were going over the top at many times. I usually prefer this kind of thrillers to be more subtle. The more subtle it gets the more chilling and horrifying it becomes. Perfect Prophet did not have this subtle plot. It had more action than necessary. 

Overall this book was an entertaining read and I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.0. I grabbed an advanced copy of this book from the Read Now section on NetGalley and this is my honest and unbiased review.
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I loved it tho! Its very interesting and it had me hooked from cover to cover

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It's been a long time since I've come across a really satisfying Satanists versus the good guys story and that is just what Perfect Prophet delivers. I'm not going to get into the plot too much except to say I wasn't convinced this death metal band was going to interest me much. I was wrong.
 Race With The Devil is mentioned in the book but I was already reminded of it before then. It also has shades of Salem's Lot and Let's Scare Jessica To Death. No there are no vampires but you just never know who you can trust and who is in league with the devil.
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This book begins when Alexander the Great, or Alec, gets shot while playing with his satanist band on stage. He is shot through the heart, but makes a miraculous recovery. The ex girlfriend is working far away as a nurse when she sees that Alec has been shot on TV. Belinda has not seen Alec in years but that does not stop her from rushing to see him. Upon arriving at the hospital, Belinda confesses to Alec that she has a child and he is the father. This is where the story really begins. 

The reader is welcomed to dive deeper into a dark world that argues theology at a personal and impersonal level. I have never read a book like this and I sincerely appreciate the uniqueness it has.  I loved the idea that finding someone to trust, even the police, is hard in a town like the one Alec lives in. It took me a few chapters to get used to the relationship Alec has with his son, but it grew on me towards the end of the book. Similarly, the only character I found to be relatable is Alec. The other characters seemed distant and far off to me. However, Alec seems down to earth in spite of everything he has gone through. This book is more than a typical thriller novel and it held my interest throughout every page.
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I am the Resurrection, and I am the Light

So says Jesus. And Ian Brown. But not Alec Lowell, lead guitarist in ‘The Great’ and the antagonistic protagonist of Diane M. Johnson’s second novel, an atheistic anarchist who finds himself thrust into the centre of the ultimate Light vs Dark battle.

This story plays out as a supernatural mystery, fantastical elements of black magic and miracles running alongside the classic ‘Whodunnit’ (or rather, Whoissit) of the true persona of The Man, Ashland’s satanic cult leader. The reader is taken on a journey of theological debate and personal struggle as Alec survives a bullet that should surely have killed him, returns home to his family and begins to uncover the secrets of his devoutly religious father.

I found the language and style of writing a little heavy going at times, and this novel took several evenings of perseverance to complete. The subject matter, as any type of theology, requires more than comfy slippers and a mug of hot chocolate to fully devour and appreciate, and I felt the great time leaps between Alec’s major life incidents confusing at times. The idea of an entire town being composed of Satanists, and not knowing who (including law enforcement) to trust came across very intensely, and had me ‘edge of my seat’-ing as if I were watching a Final Girl trying to survive the night in a classic horror film. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Perfect Prophet, if I could suspend my disbelief at the darkest of dark magicks taking place in a small town in Wisconsin, of all places. And The Great singer Cleo’s propensity to call everyone ‘hon.’ If you’re after something with a little more meat than your standard mystery thriller, I would recommend giving this a try. But keep a clear head and an open mind as you go!

I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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