cover image Dark Exodus

Dark Exodus

Thomas E. Sniegoski. Ace, $5.99 e-book (344p) ISBN 978-0-698-18552-4

Sniegoski’s second Demonists novel (after The Demonists) is ambitious but uneven; it has enough blood and guts to satisfy horror fans but is slow to reveal its lofty goals. The inhabitants of hell are fashioning a vessel for a mass exodus toward Earth. Leading the project is the Cardinal, a demon possessing a nonagenarian woman, and its servant, Fritz Gorham, a psychic vampire. Television ghost hunter John Fogg and his wife, Theo, whose body is possessed by thousands of demons, vow to stop the Cardinal. Traveling among Chicago, Pittsburgh, and a nursing home in Ohio, they ally with FBI agent Brenna Isabel; demon hunter Griffin Royce; Griffin’s pyrokinetic daughter, Cassie; and Nicole, who communicates with animal spirits. Sniegoski interjects ominous angels and the deceptive Messenger, a captive of Demonist leader Elijah Covington. After a lengthy introduction of the many characters, the mayhem proceeds with gusto. Well-drawn characters with much at stake face emotional and supernatural challenges, and Sniegoski explores themes of sacrifice, pain, loyalty, and betrayal. (July)