||Dec 1, 2011
Book 3 in the Demon Squad series. Dark urban fantasy.
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A revolt in Heaven, angels fighting angels. Who better to mediate a peaceful resolution than the Devil's nephew, Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg?
Don't answer that.
When Scarlett arrives at his door, beaten to within an inch of her life, Frank finds himself in the middle of a war as the Nephilim arrive to finish the job. With only Eden still standing, the battle for Heaven spills over and ravages the Earth with deadly storms. Amidst the chaos, Frank must find a way to end the war before the battling hordes of half-breed angels, vampires, and lycanthropes reach Eden and bring about the end of existence.
It had only been two weeks since I’d helped to raise the Anti-Christ, so when my cousin Scarlett showed up, beaten to within an inch of her life, telling me Heaven had fallen, I can’t say I was happy to see her.
Tim Marquitz continues his fine form
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Tim Marquitz's Demon Squad series. There's a perverse sense of humor which prevails in these books and almost exclusively at the expense of Frank Trigg, the series protagonist. In the previous two books Frank has had a rough ride of sorts however he's finally getting settled at the end of the second book and the world does seem to be safe when the peaceful interlude is interrupted. His angel cousin Scarlett returns with news of a new war in heaven and if something isn't done about it, then the repercussions will be felt in all planes of existence.
The book begins right of the bat and picks up probably seconds later than the moment wherein book II ends. Scarlett's sudden appearance along with news of massive disturbances in Heaven unsettle Frank but before he can comprehend the facts, he has to deal with the folks following her who want her silenced. Frank doesn't get much time to be friendly as they are deadly serious about acquiring their quarry. After effectively dealing with them, he learns more about the heavenly shenanigans and has to intercede to save Earth one more time.
The story again hinges on the premise of the world ending however this time around not only does the Earth's future hang in the future but also all other planes of existence. Scarlett's short story Betrayal details some of the reasons as to the happenings in heaven and it will be helpful for readers to read it before they read this book. The cast of characters is also widened this time around as not only are the DRAC (Demonic Resistance And Containment) around but also other organizations come into the picture. However their agendas differ wildly from those of DRAC. The story is hinged on these events and then in typical Tim Marquitz fashion explodes and goes on to an action packed climax which also includes an epilogue cliffhanger to leave fans awaiting the fourth book in the Demon Squad series.
Tim's prose skills have definitely improved after the first volume in the Demon Squad series. The twisted humor is still present however one can say that it is properly contained within the story. The last book focused on the nether regions of existence and so this time around the plot focuses on the reverse plane. The plot is a twisted one wherein the explanation is built amidst the events which occur. The pace again like its predecessors, is of the express variety, often things occur alongside the action and this way there's no downside. The exposition is also better handled and is much smoother in delivery this time around. One of my complaints for the previous books was that the action was often concentrated in El Paseo and rarely left that specific environment so this time it was heartening to notice that certain sections of the book occur in different locales than the usual American ones. This I feel is a certain growth on the author's part. This book also manages to give the readers a curious look into Frank's lineage and more questions are raised regarding Frank's sire and his past. This also helps to deepen the mystery regarding Frank and perhaps point a future direction of the series.
The book's shortcomings are the same as the previous ones, these books are of the action-oriented variety and there's not much of a difference here. They are primed at a certain type of reader and for those ones, it does entertain wildly. This is not to say that those who read these stories with an open mind, will not enjoy it. Readers should not go on certain things like say the cover which is a bit of a disappointment especially since the last one was such a terrific piece. The book's ending again follows its predecessor's pattern and this can cause consternation amongst readers as they are again left waiting to see what happens next.
CONCLUSION: Continuing the trend begun in the earlier volumes, At The Gates manages to carry the tempo as well as provide enough surprises to keep readers entertained. Tim Marquitz again shows why the Demon Squad series is his best work and hopefully he shall continue to write and excel with this series and gives us more of Frank, the incorrigible rogue who is on the side of angels even if they aren't so sure of his presence among them.
This series just keeps getting better
With his newest novel "At the Gates," author Tim Marquitz continues his saga of Triggaltheron, also known as Frank Trigg, nephew to Satan, failed antichrist, and general wise-ass as he tries to keep the world safe from the chaos that has become of Heaven and Hell. Ever since I read "Armageddon Bound" over two years ago, I have been a fan of Tim Marquitz's Demon Squad series. These books combine non-stop kick-ass action, complex and well-executed plots, and an irresistibly sarcastic main character all set against a bleak but fascinating backdrop of a world abandoned by God and Satan.
"At the Gates" has it all: violence and danger, edge-of-your-seat suspense, humor, emotion, and even a touch of sex (go, Frank!) all rolled up into an inventive and entertaining package. From the first page - the first couple of paragraphs, even - the sense of tension and danger hooked my attention, and it builds steadily from there on until it reaches almost overwhelming urgency.
This is a darker and more intense story than its predecessors. Although Frank's sarcastic humor remains as entertaining as ever, "At the Gates" also has a few moments that can only be called despondent, and I found myself tearing up a number of times as I read. No more about that lest I give away the plot; just be prepared to be taken on an emotional journey along with the characters.
The main character, Frank, is wonderfully appealing in his own snarky, self-deprecating, badass way. Over the course of this story, he unfolds for us more than he has before. Sure, he's still a bit of a dog (and proud of it, too) who thinks with his little head almost as much as he does his noggin, and he'll swear to anyone who is listening that he only ever thinks of himself; however, in "At the Gates," Frank proves that he also has a huge capacity for feeling and sacrifice. He uses humor as a shield, but his innate decency shines through.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this series is how the usual roles of demon and angel have been mixed up. This is not a black-versus-white world. In "At the Gates," Mr. Marquitz gives us demons who stand for good as well as those bent on destruction; he gives us angels who are as evil as antagonists get as well as those who will fight to the end to protect the sanctity of Heaven. I also enjoy the way that character allegiances morph over the course of this series, so that we're never really sure who will be an antagonist and who will become an ally.
As long as Mr. Marquitz continues to write about Frank Trigg and the Demon Squad, I will continue to read and enjoy the books. I can't imagine getting tired of this series, because the stories are smart and the characters completely addictive. This entire series has become a keeper for me, and I can't wait to see what kind of trouble Frank lands in next.
War wages in Heaven
I just finished At The Gates and thoroughly enjoyed it. There's a rebellion in Heaven and the end off all is at hand. Frank Trigg and his friends have their hands full trying to advert an apocalypse. Great book with tons of action. Frank takes more of a leadership role in this one, which is good to see. I love the character and his wisecracking attitude, but it's nice to see that he can step up when it really matters. He's shown this ability before, but it's much more prevalent in this novel.
Scarlett, Frank's angelic cousin, is back after being mostly absent in the last book, and plays a large part in the story. It's great to see her back, because she and Frank have a unique relationship. Hopefully she becomes a permanent member of the DRAC team.
Overall, I'd say that this a great addition to the Demon Squad series. The story was packed with action, tragedy, heroic stands, and plenty of twists and turns. Anyone that likes urban fantasy will love this book and like the Demon Squad series in general.
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