The Devil You Know, by Richard Levesque (40:00)

IOD-DevilYouKnowToday we are reminded that when demons abound, a little debauchery and excess is just what the doctor ordered.

What I gleaned about the story: Everyone knows that Hollywood is run by demons, but who knew they ran the party scene too? When Marie accompanies her friend Elise to a swanky Hollywood party in the Roaring 1920s, Elise gets tangled up in a world of debauchery, greed, and sex. So that leaves Marie, the shy church secretary, to do something about it.

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WTF #1: Wrong word

Analysis: The book has been refreshingly clean of the kinds of errors I usually encounter, so this one stands out all the more. Had it been a simple typo, I’d have passed by without bothering to flag it. But in this case, it’s an erroneous homonym, which made the sentence confusing. Most of the men wore tuxedos and would have looked staid and dower had they not all been laughing and joking.

The word “dower” is either a noun or a verb, related to bride price. But in this context, the word wanted was the adjective, “dour.” The erroneous meaning confused me for a moment, and broke me out of the story’s flow. Hence the flag.

WTF #2: Echoing headwords

Analysis: They never get especially dense, but I’m pushing my way past regular gaggles of them. Three “He”-headed sentences on a page, then two or three “The”-headed ones a bit further on. No one echo was enough to break me out, but the pattern of recurring clusters eventually did.

Despite these very minor issues, I’m intrigued by the premise itself. The somewhat sheltered church secretary forced to step into the world of sexual predators, hell demons, and Hollywood movers and shakers? That’s just too delicious to walk away from.

 

Project Fifteen: Rain of Ash, by Rachel Judd (4:52)
Damage, by Stephen Shea (40:00)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That’s why he writes.