The Conjuring 2 continues the story of renowned exorcist and psychic, Ed and Lorraine Warren, dipping once again into their “real” case files. When the church asks them to travel to London and help a single mother plagued by an evil spirit, they can hardly refuse despite Lorraine’s premonitions of doom. Although this film is the sequel to 2013’s The Conjuring, is the third film in the overall Conjuring franchise, following Annabelle. Please note that the following review contains spoilers.
I felt like cheering when I came to the end of Ascending Darkness. I couldn’t remember when I’d been so thoroughly happy for a main character. Or, frankly, as envious of one! Without giving away any of Audrey Brice‘s plot secrets, I’ll admit that I would love to end up like Liz Tanner when and if I ever grow up—without the feminine attributes, thank you. She can leave behind her dry wit and handsome boyfriend, however. I wouldn’t mind having either of them!
Liz Tanner’s success is hard won. Book 1 of the Ordo Templi Serpentis Mysteries thrusts her into the limelight when a member of her occult order is accused of murder. Her responsibilities grow heavier with each novel in the series, as do the paranormal and criminal risks she encounters. Her boyfriend, Mike, and the world’s most cheerful Satanist, Alyssa, fight to keep her safe and sane, but Liz’s own powers continue to rise. Could it be her own darkness that hungers to ascend?
As a long time reader of Ellery Queen, Audrey Brice’s mysteries held up for me. I’d compare her writing to that of Lillian Jackson Braun and Ellis Peters in terms of gore and accuracy of research, respectively. Her dedication to factual accuracy makes sense since Brice also publishes occult literature under a different pen name. Thanks to her time as a professional magus, Brice’s satires the Pagan community’s behavior so well that I frequently have to smother laughter while reading her stories. Brava!
I only wish I could give Audrey Brice extra stars for often saying what I’m not courageous enough to blurt out.
As it is, Ascending Darkness is a five-star read. I cannot wait for Book Five: Illuminated Darkness!
Go here for a chronological listing of the Ordo Templi Serpentis Mysteries, including all novels and novellas. Keep your eyes out for Illuminating Darkness and follow all of Audrey Brice’s pen names at the Quadrant.
The portrait of Liz Tanner at the top of this review is based on an author photograph of Audrey Brice. It was drawn and digitally altered by William Briar, 2016.
…But at least we didn’t take Satan to prom.
After reading Rue Morgue‘s review of My Best Friend’s Exorcism, I had high hopes for Grady Hendrix’s latest novel. Luckily enough, this book delivered exactly what the magazine promised: well-developed and realistically-written teenage characters, a journey through the 80’s, and a refreshing take on the exorcism / possession trope. Having accomplished any one of these three would have made this a good story, but the fact Hendrix pulled off all three made it great.
In particular, his use of a lesser known demon and unusual exorcist kept the plot from falling into any familiar ruts. Moreover, the differing economic lifestyles of the two main characters allowed for Hendrix to make social commentary on how the poor our treated in our society to this day without being too heavy-handed about it. This is easily on my BEST OF 2016 list, and redefines the possession sub-genre overall. Hendrix is a writer to watch out for, and I eagerly look forward to his next release.
Five out of five stars.
I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley for a review.