Book Review

Asmodeus: The Gift of Lust – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.75 / 5 stars)

Can love heal a demon filled by lust? It sounds cliche, but for Asmodeus, King of the Demons, bearer of the Gift of Lust, he never believed in love. He saw his life as a constant circle: meditation, bestowing his gift, and repeat. But when Jophiel, Beauty of God, shows up in a veil of light, he is drawn to her in more ways than one. But is it just lust again, or something else? And does it put his reign at risk?

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as it is outside my usual reading realm. With the title “Gift of Lust”, I was worried that I ventured into erotica which is one of the few genres I don’t read. While there are of course a number of vivid sex scenes in the book, as expected with the word “Lust” in the title, the story’s plotline was far more than that.

We are taken on both Asmodeus and Jophiel’s journey as they learn more about one and other, as well as about how lust can lead to love, and lust in the act of love is not a sin in itself. The story does well to paint the demons in a different light: the “Seven Deadly Sins” are only deadly when acted up deviously. Sex is not bad. Pride is not bad. Envy is not bad. These are a part of the human condition, after all. Asmodeus does not mark every person who fulfills their sexual desires, but only those who have the intent of doing wrong. Jophiel is thoughtfully used as evidence in this, show naivety, generosity, and curiosity as she navigates through the complicated feelings around lust and love.

Since romance is not my usual genre (although I read it from time-to-time), I was most drawn to the external conflict brewing outside of Asmodeus and Jophiel’s infatuation with one and other. With the knowledge that more books about the Sinful Seven remain, I anticipate seeing how this battle for power will play out through different the eyes of different characters…and I definitely look forward to it!

With all that being said, I do offer a warning to some people who may pick this book up. I did end up enjoying the story ultimately, but the beginning you are seeing Asmodeus as a true demon. He acts with nefarious and selfish intent, with his gift of lust as his guiding force, and it causes him to perform acts that might make some readers uncomfortable. These decisions are needed to foster Asmodeus’s growth, as well as kindle the relationship between him and Jophiel, but they are demonic…so be wary of that, at least.

But with that being said, despite that initial moment, I did enjoy the story. It’s more than I expected, and I am really looking forward to Beezlebub: Gift of Gluttony! Definitely worth the read.

What’s it about?

Once an angel, Asmodeus has earned the position of King of Demons, crawling his way up after leaving Heaven. His job, for all eternity, is to tempt humans with his gift, the sin of Lust, marking the weak, while still maintaining control over all other demons. After several millennia of fun, the pleasure he’d once gotten from his existence is gone. Or it was until Jophiel, Beauty of God, shows up at his place unexpectedly. Now, for the first time in a long time, he’s enjoying himself again—at her expense.

Jophiel, Beauty of God, angel of illumination, wisdom, and perception, has been tasked with the most challenging job of her long existence, a task that may just end her life. She needs to bring a demon home, to Heaven. But not just any demon. Asmodeus is one of the Royal Seven, the King of Demons. She knew going in that he’d fight her at every turn. But as prepared as she believed herself to be, she soon finds out that she’s no match for him. Because demons fight dirty.

To make matters worse, there is one among them who demands more power. In a world full of evil, where human souls are at stake, can they work together to defeat a common enemy and restore balance?


Indie Authors: A Community of Support

As a part of my launch event this past weekend, I interviewed and featured a handful of authors, all of whom represent different factions of the indie author community. One thing is universal among everyone I spoke with: we are a community. It is our job as indie authors to support one and other, because authors are not just authors…they’re readers too.

Indie authors get flack for not publishing traditionally. We all had our reasons though, and very rarely does it come down to our idea was rejected by agents. That’s not the case. We wanted to independently publish for a reason. Whether it was to get the story out there, having control of the process, or something else entirely.

I had the honor to meet a group of wonderful independent authors over the last week. You can meet them all below:

Eme’ Savage

Eme’ is the author of Echoes of the Gidat and Tetarul Parallel. We had a wonderful discussion about her novel and process, as well as self doubt and how that comes into play while writing.

Cody Blake Wilson

Cody is the author of The Awakening, the first in his series. We discussed his first novel as well as LGBTQ+ representation in media.

Rachel Garcia

Rachel is the author of Illthdar: The Guardians of Las, the first book in an anticipated 10 book series! We talked about how she handles her wide array of cast, as well as diversity in writing.

Rachel Shaw

Rachel Shaw is the author of Last Memoria. We spent time discussing her duology, as well as how biology and memory comes into play in her novel. In addition, we also discussed how to produce an audio book.

Lane Northcutt

Lane is the author of the upcoming novel, The Delivery Co. We had a fantastic conversation about his experience as both an actor and writer, as well as his process. Unfortunately, technology got the best of us, crashing post interview and deleting the video.

That being said, you can still read about our discussion HERE.

Lori Yerxa

Lori is the author of the non-fiction book, Pushing Through, which is about Rex Patrick, Paralympic Medalist. We discussed the differences in writing a non-fiction novel, and what she learned about herself along the way.

Sterling Blue

Sterling is the author of This Isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse. We discussed her novel, her creative process, and her current work on a graphic novel.

Kaitlyn Legaspi

Kaitlyn is the author of The Dark Irregular Trilogy. We spent time discuss her trilogy as well as her countless number of projects that she can handle all while in college!

Yet, with all these interviews, I didn’t just stop there. I featured a few other authors throughout my launch.

All of these authors combined gave away 10 books in total, reaching readers whom they might not have due to indie authors supporting one and other. And I am so glad to have spoken with all of them, since each of their stories sound unique and have made it to my “to-read” list.

Speaking with each of these authors has helped me find a new sense of community among indie authors. It’s why I am trying to start up a book club, and will continue to read and review books written by my peers.

So I implore you, please check out all these authors! They’re amazing!

And I will continue featuring and supporting them, and I hope you will as well!

E.S. Barrison