Bruce Hennigan,
The 12th Demon: Vampyre Majick
(Synergy, 2008)

I wasn't quite sure what to think when I encountered this genre. Most Christians tend to eschew vampire fiction, but here Bruce Hennigan is writing about both vampires and demons. The concept of Christian dark fantasy intrigued me enough to pick up this book.

Our hero is Jonathan Steel, a Dallas-based demon fighter who has already dispatched the 13th Demon. In Steel's theology, Satan unleashed a baker's dozen of demons to counteract Christ's disciples. Steel seems destined to take on all 13 of them.

In this second book of the series, Steel now has a sidekick, teenager Josh Knight, who lost his mother in the previous book. We cut right into the action when an assassin goes after them. If that isn't enough, Rudolph Wulf -- the 12th Demon -- is on the loose and set to unleash a vampyre army on the world.

The Twelfth Demon is an interesting and mostly stand-alone read. Dr. Hannigan (a radiologist by trade) writes very well and does a decent job of integrating demons and vampyres into his fantasy landscape.

While I enjoyed the book, the series may be a one-off for me. While I admit I am a series reader by preference, I'm not sure I'm up for a 13-book commitment of any kind. If I were, I'd definitely start with the first book in this series. Hannigan presents an interesting world and a different theology from what I grew up with. It's well worth looking into if you are interested in fantasy, but not wishing to deal with books and authors that are outside of the realm of Christian doctrine.

review by
Becky Kyle

31 October 2009

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