The Demon Code -- A Crime Vault Giveaway -- Review

The Demon Code (Leo Tillman & Heather Kennedy, #2)The Demon Code by Adam Blake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won this book in a Crime Vault giveaway back in 2013. I was only able to read 5 of those books before finally admitting that my reading comprehension ability wasn't coming back after brain injury. Fast forward to 2018 and Lindamood-Bell restoring my reading comprehension. And after years of almost daily practice, building back up by reading familiar series or easy novels, I was ready to tackle these books. I'm not rereading the first 5; I began the next 5 with You're Next, and this is the penultimate one of 5.

I gave this 3 stars because the diction, plotting, crafting, characters, and editing were good. Solid writing. No obvious holes that I came across (though I did skim after awhile here and there). I liked the characters Kennedy and Diema and Rush. But really, this whole Dan Brown-esque idea of some sort of distorted Christian-spawned myth makes me yawn, roll my eyes, barf. But since I won this book, and the non-cliched chapters that featured Kennedy engaged me, I kept reading. The whole secret society born out of early Christianity was like a cookie stamp. A prophet men follow unflinchingly. Stamp. Rituals. Stamp. Same old diction describing demonic-type rituals. Stamp. Murder as justified. Stamp. All a bit much.

I think if you like that sort of thing, this book will keep you reading. Otherwise, I felt the only redeeming value of it was that I spontaneously began reading chapter by chapter.

In Lindamood-Bell's visualizing and verbalizing program to (re)gain reading comprehension (for me after brain injury), you build up how much you can visualize before verbalizing the imagery. You increase from a sentence to sentence by sentence to a peragraph to a paragraph by paragraph to a page to page by page to a chapter to chapter by chapter. Even though I regained my reading comprehension in 2018, it's taken my years of almost daily reading practice to stabilize at the chapter level. Reading chapter by chapter may've occurred here and there but not spontaneously and not reliably. That happened for the first time with this book. It occurred in the section giving Diema's background, so it was easy reading as in cliche after cliche. But I was able to do it again in the next section. It helped that some chapters were barely over a page long; that was when I visualized 13 chapters chapter by chapter before I paused to verbalize. So satisfying! The best part is I've retained my imagery a week later as I write this and remember the plot.

The ending tied up all the loose ends but one. I'm not sure if Blake intended to write another book in this series, using that untied end as the starting point, or he ran out of ideas or he assumed the reader would figure it out or he wanted the reader to make up their own ending for that. In any case, it was a shame for that character.

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