“I am not a good man.
Wait, that’s a lie. I’m not even a man anymore. Signing away my eternity to the Devil kind of erased what makes me human. Corrupting and collecting souls is my job now. The perks are good—fun, sin, highs, sex, and climbing the demonic ranks of the lower kingdom.
Now, I’m only one soul away from becoming a crowned prince of hell. My goal for the past four centuries. The one soul I’m assigned to corrupt is Nephilim-born Maggie Westbrook—a shy, beautiful seventeen-year-old who has no idea who or what she is.
Easy as sin, right?
Wrong. She turns my world upside down and tears down walls I’ve been erecting for centuries, leaving me raw, exposed, and feeling—feeling things I didn’t even know I was capable of feeling. Ever again.
How can I get the only thing I’ve ever wanted without hurting her?
I am not a good man. It’s important that I repeat that. I am the demon Abraxas Shepherd. And this is my Testimony of the Damned.
Trigger Warning: Testimony of the Damned contains dark subject matter and may not be appropriate for all audiences. Reader discretion is advised. Contains cliffhanger.”
Who’s driving this thing?
Abraxas Shepherd. A demon on the verge of running his own legion in Hell, a corrupter of souls and shameless sinner. Writing a bad guy protagonist that the reader can learn to love is a huge challenge and hats off to K.G. Reuss for doing just that.
Brax has no trouble corrupting people into committing deadly sins and even less concern in getting them to throw themselves into the fiery pits of hell themselves. He is, by all accounts, evil. Yet by the end of the book, we are somehow rooting for him. It’s mind-blowing.
What’s this all about?
The devil himself has tasked Brax with corrupting one of the brightest and purest of souls: Magdalena Westbrook, born of angels and pure of heart. But her home life is a domestic hell in itself and Brax sees his opportunity to corrupt her and drag one of God’s most treasured souls down to Hell.
But the more Brax tries to corrupt Maggie, the more he finds himself feeling things he had forgotten long ago. Empathy, guilt, even love. When Brax’s biological half-brother and fellow demon, Corbin, joins the race to corrupt Maggie’s soul, Brax discovers that he is no longer competing with his brother, but protecting Maggie from him.
What’s so great about it?
Testimony of the Damned is a really well-written book that evokes some crazy, unexpected feelings towards the characters, but especially Brax. It’s pretty scary when you start empathising and sympathising with a character that behaves the way Brax does, and that’s the mark of quality writing.
The characters are well defined and distinct, the settings naturally eased into the narrative and a lot of exciting stuff happens throughout the book. This book really challenged my moral and ethics codes and had me thinking about how some of them can actually be quite ambiguous. That kind of self-realisation really startled me but it made the experience of reading Testimony of the Damned all the more thrilling.
Also, the twists at the end. Mind. Blown.
What’s not so great about it?
The only downside to this book is that there is a chunk in the middle in which some of the same things that have already happened, happen again. Brax deciding to leave Maggie for her own good, then returning, and struggling with the same lessons he’s learned twice. That repetition took away the impact of those instances and lost the plot its momentum for a while.
Should I get it?
100% you should!
This is an epic read for fans of magic realism and Christian fiction, but I still really enjoyed this book as an atheist.
Testimony of the Damned is available on Amazon in e-book format at a very reasonable price (as of March 2019).
Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this book? Let me know what you think!