Friday, 15 January 2016

REVIEW: Lisa Vasquez - The Anti-God (The Unsaintly Chronicles #1)

Genre: Paranormal / Demonic
Publisher: Lisa Vasquez with Burning Willow Press
Publication Date: 31st July 2015
Pages: 312


A copy of The Anti-God (The Unsaintly Chronicles #1) was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Lisa Vasquez in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Lisa in collaboration with Burning Willow Press.

I recently connected with Lisa on Facebook without even knowing she was a writer. After a short conversation she asked if I would like a copy of The Anti-God for a review. After reading the synopsis I fancied a look at this one. After reading some of the reviews I wasn’t so sure. I still wanted to read it though and as always, honesty is my best policy.

Isabel has had a troubled upbringing. Born into nobility, she decides to give it all up and follow God’s call to be a nun. God is not the only one who has been watching her throughout her life. The forces of evil, and others, have been paying close attention.

The forces of good and evil are finally coming together in a battle to end all battles. Now in adulthood, Isabel is a pawn in this battle with all sides fighting for her allegiance and Isabel fighting for her life. She must decide who to stand with and whether to give up everything to save the world.

OK so I would bill this one as not quite an end of the world horror but more a biblical horror, almost following Revelations and the good old fashioned good versus evil fight to the end. This, at times is quite a complex story but you only realise that after finishing a chapter. I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s complex but not difficult to follow.

Characters in this one are mainly a select few for the first half before all hell breaks loose. Isabel is the main one. She is a typical God fearing young girl who can see no wrong in most people and carries this into her adult life, just wanting to do her best by people. Watching her back are Marciel and Marco. They are both priests and both have dedicated their lives to protecting Isabel no matter what she faces. They have very different reasons for doing this though. Father Raphiel is one evil SOB. He has an alter ego that comes out in this story and he is evil personified. You are also introduced to Isabel’s brother, Louis, who loves his sister dearly and again, would do anything for her.

Once the big battle ensues in the second half of the book, you are introduced to a whole host of different characters who are too many to mention but all fit into their respective roles very well.

So how do we explain the plot in this one? It’s not easy to be honest. All I can really say is that Isabel is special in some way and everyone seems to want a part of her. They all want her on their side for different reasons. To be honest that doesn’t really come to light and I suspect it will be explained further in the next instalments.

So what was it like? There is no doubt that Lisa Vasquez has a talent for writing. The depth to this story is rather amazing. When it focuses on a particular character you get little snippets of their lives when they were younger and how they came to be where they are today. This helps in a sometimes complex story to explain why they are doing what they are doing and why they may be there.

This is a biblical story but not what I would call a religious book. It is a horror story and as such some of the scenes are not what you would probably be taught in Sunday School. There is no doubt again that Ms Vasquez has a very vivid imagination. You cannot come up with some of the plots and twists and turns in this type of story without that. I just felt at times that the story was padded out a bit too much. A couple of times I did find my mind wandering a little when a scene seemed to go on for a bit too long.

The only other negative I would have about it was the editing. This left a bit to be desired in places. For example, there are a couple of parts in the story where it is being told in the first person but the grammar changes to the third person in the middle of a paragraph and then back again. This happens a few times and to be honest, I would have thought this would have been an obvious error for an editor to pick up and fix. It doesn’t spoil the story to the point of making it unreadable but you would think, in this day and age, that would be rectified before it goes into print.

I did enjoy this story. It has a lot of potential to turn into something huge in the next book when it comes out. As I said before Lisa Vasquez has a great imagination and her writing style is very easy on the eye. I love her character building and she has a definite knack for setting the mood in the story and making you feel very at ease with her writing. I think this would have been a five-star book for me if it hadn’t been for the extra padding and the poor editing in places.

To summarise: a biblical story, in my opinion exploring the possibilities of Revelations. This is fast paced at times, building perfect tension and does get quite scary in places. If you pick it up, try and look past the editing issues and the extra padding and make sure you finish it. You will enjoy it.

General rating:

★★★★ let down by the editing and padding but very close.

Horror rating:

★★★ could be a bit more creepy.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy The Anti-God (The Unsaintly Chronicles #1) or any other books from Lisa. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Though she was born to a noble family, Isabel Augustus had shown a love for piety, humility and servitude at a very young age. In a world of darkness, her light far outshone those around her, attracting the attention of both Heaven and Hell. When Isabel's simple actions as a mortal catch the eye of God, who showers her in his blessings and attentions, Lucifer's jealousy rears its ugly head once more. The age old contention between father and son results in a tug-of-war over her very soul when Lucifer begins to show her his own attention. They will soon find out that there is another who seeks out the soul of their precious Isabel. Will Isabel's faith be enough to save her and those she loves? Or will she give up her immortal soul to keep the end of the world at bay?

Born and raised in Chicago, Lisa's love for horror began at a young age. Her father had a deep love for horror movies and science fiction, and took a keen interest in special effects. So that Lisa and her siblings could enjoy the movies with him, he'd sit up late at night painstakingly "editing" the explicit adult scenes. Afterwards, they'd sit together and discuss the magic of how the effects were achieved. When other kids her age dressed in cartoon-kid-friendly costumes for Halloween, Lisa created homemade costumes that paid homage to classics like "Bride of Frankenstein".

Thanks to her creative parents (her mother also having a talent for artistic expression such as homemade crafts, sewing, and interior decorating) Lisa was encouraged to read, write and to act in homemade skits to entertain themselves, family and close friends.

Lisa currently resides in Houston, Texas. She is the Publisher's Liaison for the Horror Writer's Association, and is also the founder of the HWA's Houston chapter. She is the owner of Stitched Smile Publications, a small independent publishing company, and is the author of The Unsaintly Chronicles, The Unfleshed, and several other short stories.

And for more about Lisa, visit her site or find her on social media:

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