Book Review: Thomas E. Sniegoski’s In the House of the Wicked

Posted October 1, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Thomas E. Sniegoski’s In the House of the WickedIn the House of the Wicked by Thomas E. Sniegoski
This urban fantasy is a paperback edition was published by ROC on August 7, 2012 and has 336 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

four-stars

Other books by this author include Mean Streets, A Kiss Before Apocalypse, Where Angels Fear to Tread, A Hundred Words for Hate, Dancing on the Head of a Pin, An Apple for the Creature, The Fallen, Leviathan, Aerie, Reckoning, Walking in the Midst of Fire, End of Days, A Deafening Silence in Heaven

Fifth in the Remy Chandler urban fantasy series about a man, er, an angel, and his dog in Boston.

My Take

Whoa, this was a bit of a departure! Admittedly it’s still the supernatural, but it goes way beyond merely supernatural! The story swings between 1945 and today as Sniegoski fills us in on the back history of today’s events, pulling in the trauma of World War II and staking a claim on the fear people have for the Apocalypse. This is one of the well-done ones that don’t leave you wondering through part of each chapter change just where you are in the history.

The prologue certainly sets up events for later in the main part of the story and it sets me against Konrad Deacon very quickly. What a scumbag!

The action just doesn’t stop. Nor does the emotional heart wringing. It’s a nasty series of cruelties and betrayals that just keep coming from all directions. Sniegoski has quite the imagination in the monsters he’s created and his take on human psychology — the good and the evil — is well portrayed.

Okay, I’m totally confused as to how Armaros thinks God is going to let them return to Heaven if they plan to kill all these people.

Remy has certainly been overly cocky in this story. Thinking he’s invincible. That boy is gonna need to hit the gym! Or accept more of his Seraphim controlling him. Eeek!

Oh, yeah, Weaponsmart, LOL! Shopping cart and all. Dang good thing that Francis has this passion for weapons…they’re gonna need ’em. They’ll fight for each other. And they’ll fight their own particular battles. I certainly felt sorry for Scrimshaw at the end. His obsession with those little bits of paper and how important they were to him.

Oh, wow! God comes to Remy.

The Story

The selfishness of man is at the root of so many ills and it holds true with this story, for a small group of magic users desire immortality. Enough that they are willing to kill children, take their life’s blood. Then there’s Deacon’s experiments. The ones that lead to a different path, one that is even more destructive. One that is currently failing those same monsters.

Meanwhile, Remy’s seraphim side is pulling at him. Causing him to hear the prayers of people hoping God will help. One such call comes in person when Carol shows up at his office with the news that Ashley is missing. It’s the call that tips him over the edge. It’s knowing him that has put Ashley in such danger.

Betrayal is all that these monsters know.

The Characters

Remy Chandler has been living on earth for centuries, struggling to be human, and working as a private detective in Boston. With Madeline’s death, his will to remain human is weakening with his angel-half becoming stronger. Marlowe is his Labrador. One of a Seraphim’s gifts is the ability to talk to any animal on earth…and I certainly enjoy hearing Marlowe’s outlook on things!

Linda is the woman he is currently seeing, a waitress at Piazza. The woman with whom Francis fell in love before he disappeared into Tarturus. Steven Mulvehill is a homicide cop with the Boston PD and has been Remy’s friend for some years. But that last case they worked together…it was too much for Steven. To see the world from which Remy comes. Francis is a former Guardian angel (Fraciel), sometime assassin and gate keeper, spared from God’s wrath only because he repented and was willing to do penance. Now he’s Remy’s friend on earth.

Ashley Berg is Remy’s young neighbor. He’s known her since she and her family moved into their house years ago. She’s a good friend and has babysat Marlowe from the start. Heck, he just helped her move into her college apartment a few weeks ago. Carol and Karl are her parents and Carol is begging for Remy’s help. Melissa is her new roommate.

Squire is a hobgoblin trapped in the Shadow Lands. He’s been there longer than Deacon’s house which suddenly appeared in 1945. This is a major tease from Sniegoski! He drops all these hints and clues and teases, making me wonder just where Squire came from and it’s driving me mad! Squire simply wants to be left alone, to be nothing, to exist. But Remy’s “visit” stirs things up and sets Squire on a new path.

Konrad Deacon is a selfish schmuck with delusions of grandeur. With all the conscious protests of a father and husband that he’s only doing it to protect his family while the truth stays buried within his sick mind. A man who seriously believes that the evil men he seeks to impress could truly fall in line with his dreams. Admittedly, the original dream is…reasonably good, but an intelligent man would be more honest with himself. Nor would he take the steps he has to acquire this knowledge. Veronica is his doubting, angry wife who sees them for what they are, her husband for what he is. She and their son, Teddy, will pay the price.

Scrimshaw is one of them, one of Deacon’s servants acquiring the life energy that Deacon needs to stay alive.

Angelina Hayward is a little girl who has awoken from a coma with a message from Heaven. Only, there’s a story behind this. And Uncle Algernon is a big part of it.

Algernon Stearns is one of those magic users, one of the monsters, whom Deacon wants to impress. What an idiot Deacon is… Their leader. The rest of the cabal consists of Daphene Molaar, Robert Desplat, Eugene Montecello, and Angus Heath. All wealthy and powerful magick users. Talk about paranoid monsters!

The Watchers. The Grigori. Sent to earth to watch over mankind, but not to teach them. Not to show some humans magic. Not to learn of desire and pleasure from the humans. Armaros was Sariel‘s lover, their now-dead leader. Dead at the hands of Seraphim Remiel. And Armaros wants vengeance even as he seeks death. He believes that humanity needs to be reminded of God. Garfial is another Grigori, but he’s against Armaros’ plans. He likes it here on earth.

Robert Denning is a murderer. He wanted to know how it felt and so he acted on that whim. Remy simply hopes there’s a reason: possession, a spell, a manifestation of evil. I do love the decision Remy makes…it’s so fitting.

Methuselah’s is a bar and a Methuselah runs it. He’s “one of the oldest original beings on the planet”, but he’s transferred his life force into a golem when the “wear and tear caused his body to break down”. Phil is a minotaur bouncer there. Angus Heath is the cook there.

Leona is a 1960 Lincoln Continental. Sentient. With powers. Don’t piss her off.

The Cover and Title

The cover is an odd mix of browns and oranges with an angel with brown wings and street clothes carrying a flaming sword with Deacon’s house rearing up in the background.

The title is the whole point of this story, for it is In the House of the Wicked that Remy and Ashley do battle.

four-stars

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