PrimoDeus is a relatable, thrilling, and epic exploration of the ravages of time.
Ambitious in scope and sweeping in inclusion, PrimoDeus by John LaChance is a gripping, exploratory character drama with biblically high stakes.
The story focuses on Beaulyn deFaux, a tortured, disgraced priest who was abandoned as a child. A group of church women visit the young deFaux, left in the care of Claire, in order to make sure his foster living arrangements are acceptable. Something in deFaux’s demeanor prompts the women to reveal terrible secrets, beginning a lifelong relationship the triumvirs will have with him.
Haunted by flashbacks of the past, deFaux finds it increasingly difficult to distinguish between illusion and reality. His one saving grace, an acute mystic ability, allows him to open people’s hearts to God.
Viewed as a threat by the Holy Mother Church, he’s pronounced an apostate and is banned from further service. Many drunken, defeated years pass, and deFaux finds himself on his last day of life, battling with his personal demon, Azra. The church women visit again, and more details of his horrific childhood are revealed. These long-buried secrets, paired with a lifetime of mental anguish, spin deFaux’s life in a way that may destroy all humankind.
The text features many literary devices that give the writing an epic feel. Imagery is vivid and fully realized, allowing for vacillations in scenes and time jumps. Language is grandiose and gives the text a biblical flavor. Beaulyn deFaux’s life is discussed as one of import.
Dialogue helps to establish character motivations and move the story along. It is especially helpful through deFaux’s delusions and time jumps. Empathetic, insightful narration helps cover the great traumas experienced by characters, making appropriate room for grieving and understanding.
Though they are interesting, deFaux’s frequent departures from order and reality ultimately lead to a narrative that feels disjointed and is hard to follow. Add in the sheer length of the novel, and many chapters have to be read a second or third time for clarity.
Chapters are structured in a play-like format, with different acts and an interlude breaking up particularly difficult moments of tension and exposition. This arrangement adds to the epic nature of the work and allows the text to grow and develop naturally.
Both hugely epic and inherently relatable, PrimoDeus is a thrilling exploration of the ravages of time.
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