Cain Pseudomantis leads a miserable life. Bound to the mortal world by a powerful spell no demon could hope to break, he must obey his human master’s every command or face harsh punishment. He finds solace in the rock music which he listens to when he isn't running unsavory errands for his master. Then everything changes. While on a mission in a seedy section of 1980s Los Angeles, Cain impulsively buys an electric guitar and discovers an unusual talent for music, a talent that catapults him to hair metal stardom. With three superpowered human band mates and his beautiful girlfriend Michelle by his side, his life starts to look a lot better. But Cain soon finds that even rock stars have troubles. The crusading televangelist Nathaniel Breen—who happens to be Michelle’s father—accuses him of turning the city’s youth to Satan worship. Meanwhile a mysterious killer known only as the Engineer terrorizes the Los Angeles rock scene with a series of brutal murders. When Cain and his friends attempt to unmask the killer, they discover a deadly secret that could cost Cain his hard-won freedom, and possibly his life.
Cain is a demon on Earth, bound to serve a powerful Warlock Mr. Warwick. Cain is often abused by Warwick and his older son, Lance. Warwick sends Cain on an errand to Los Angeles to bring back a girl that Lance thinks he has fallen in love with. Cain has a difficult time in L.A., and falls on using his skills to kill rats for people, until a woman tells him to go buy a guitar. Cain lands himself in a Metal band with some strange characters. The rest of his band mates have all been taken by a strange man called The Engineer, they were experimented on and given different powers. Cain also finds the girl he was sent to get, Michelle; only Michelle is now Cain's girlfriend and Michelle's father, Breen believes Cain's band turns people to Satan worship. Instead, Cain and the band would rather take down the Engineer.
This book had a very unique premise that got me interested and made me want to figure out what the heck was going on. It did take me a little while in the beginning to overcome the initial confusion with everyone's relationships and abilities. The explanations of demons, warlocks and magic usage come later and are leaked throughout the book. I also wanted to know why everyone thought a demon roaming around was so normal, but I guess for the music scene of Los Angeles in 1982 with plenty of drugs going around, some of this was normal. For a demon on Earth, Cain is not what I expected. He is a slave and tormented by his master and older son, but still can use magic of his own. Cain's personality is also affected since Warwick can delete his memories. It was interesting to me to find out about Cain's past and see the world through a demon's eyes as well as how the use of magic was built into the story. The driving factor of the story for me was the Engineer and how he was tied to Cain's band mates; however, at over 500 pages the story had a lot of rock-band shenanigans and took a while to get around to around to finding the Engineer.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
Carly Orosz lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband. She graduated from Kalamazoo College and went on to earn an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry has been published in Wavelength Journal and SpoutMagazine. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, weaving on a hand loom, and studying the art and cultures of pre-Columbian Mexico.
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