Sympathy for the Devil by Justin Gustainis

JGustainis-Sympathy for the DevilI was slightly intrigued with the blurb of Sympathy for the Devil when I received it for review.  I mean, an uber right wing (NO, am not knocking anyone’s political views…but bear with me a second) Senator who ends up possessed by a demon. Hmm…not something you find in a book everyday.  Definitely something new and sounds like it’d be pretty interesting.  To me, I’m guessing such possession wouldn’t really fit in with someone whose beliefs are on the far right.  Sadly, though, I had to DNF.

Senator Howard Stark wants to be President of the United States. So does the demon inside him. With the competing candidates dropping out due to scandal, blackmail, and ‘accidental’ death, Stark looks like a good bet to go all the way to the White House. And if he gets there, Hell on Earth will follow.

Occult investigator Quincey Morris and white witch Libby Chastain are determined to stop this evil conspiracy. But between them and Stark stand the dedicated agents of the US Secret Service – as well as the very forces of Hell itself. Quincey and Libby will risk everything to exorcise the demon possessing Stark. If they fail, ‘Hail to the Chief’ will become a funeral march – for all of us.

I really hate DNF’ing a book. But, alas, sometimes these things must be done.  I’m beginning to get really judicious with how long I’ll stick with a book and how much effort I can give to trying to sludge through something.  I literally have near 100 books on the TBR stack with more on the way (hey, like I’m gonna stop buying or tell Jackie I can’t review anything new until that stack is at 0…pfft!).  So here’s the deal…I’m now doing what agents and editors do with queries. You have, at max, 3 chapters to hook me. Yeah…at best. If I’m not in any way, shape or form invested, I’m done.  Sometimes I won’t even make it that far.  It just depends. With Sympathy for the Devil, I gave it about 45 pages, which wasn’t quite to chapter 3 yet.  But it did include the Prologue and most of Chapter 2.  The Prologue was kind of intriguing, had me wanting to read a bit more. So, this is like getting that initial query…which is what now, like 3 pages depending on the agent?  So, I read more…similar to requesting a partial; but, sadly, I just couldn’t continue to connect. We’re almost 3 chapters in and I’ve yet to meet the hero and/or heroine.  I’ve already been through at least 3 different POVs…and did I mention I haven’t yet met the main characters?  Yep, I’m done.  I’m already confused with where this is going and why so many POVs.  One of these POVs doesn’t really seem to have much to do with what will unfold as the plot moves along (it was of the officer who found the body of the demon summoner…pretty sure this isn’t all that spoilery *wink*).

In a nutshell, too many POVs that don’t necessarily seem to be plot important and I haven’t met my main characters yet. I just can’t get myself to care enough to continue.  Now, Mr. Gustainis’ writing style isn’t bad aside from needing to cut down on POVs. It is easy to follow and fairly engaging. *shrug* That synopsis sounded so promising, I just wish Sympathy for the Devil had been able to capture me and live up to that promise.

Read Order:
Black Magic Woman
Evil Ways
Sympathy for the Devil

Also reviewed by: Blog Critics, Bitten by Books, Brooke Reviews, Civilian Reader, Christian Book Barn,


About Nicole 146 Articles
Attorney by day, Publicist for Barclay Publicity and reviewer/LE (assistant) editor by night. I'm a huge book nerd and love to read. I have 2 dogs, both Labrador retriever mixed breeds, who are very rotten and think they run the house. Let's not lie, they totally do, I just can't them know it ha ha! My usual genre is romance or urban fantasy. I love all things having to do with paranormal, with the occasional good contemp/BDSM/erotica thrown in to spice it all up.