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Judas the Hero

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Worth reading 😎

An engaging occult crime novel, but subpar editing and 2D characters take this otherwise great book to just good.

Judas the Hero is a wild ride through the London occult, a world we’ve seen in many a Gaiman novel or Hellblazer comic, but with a new spin on the old favorites of the genre. Judas Iscariot, the once-betrayer of Jesus Christ, is now head of Scotland Yard’s paranormal unit and keeper of the Black Museum, a prison for the souls of England’s worst criminals. In an effort to stop a string of angel-killings by the mysterious “10”, Judas wades through Nazi mages, Christs’s immortal disciples, ghosts, and fallen angels. The cast of characters includes the Archangel Michael who ensures that Judas continues to use his immortal life as an instrument conscripted to the Lord’s service.


Martin Davey’s London underworld is gritty, fascinating, and utterly unique. Not only does he build an intricate world of Christian mythos, but he manages to blend the occult with the mundane resulting in a setting that feels authentic. Davey takes inspiration from a plethora of lore then builds upon it with his own fresh perspective. More remarkable than this, the different lores interact naturally rather than feeling contrived and overly busy as they might otherwise. I was captivated by the book and read like a starving woman, desperate to know what happened next. Even the most seasoned of readers will find themselves second-guessing their instincts as events unfold. 


 While the plot is certainly riveting, the characters are underdeveloped and the writing  could use polish. The all-male cast (not one line of dialogue is uttered by a female for the entire novel) is bland. Each is like an RPG character with different physical traits, stats, alignment and skills, but only a passing nod to personality. The good guys are witty and sardonic. The bad guys are muscly and vicious or urbane and ingratiating. Couple the lackluster characters with lackluster editing and an otherwise phenomenal book is merely good. I hope to see deliberate attention paid to these elements of Davey’s writing as he continues to expand upon a natural talent for suspense and world-building. Although I wouldn’t nominate Judas the Hero for any awards, I will be waiting on the edge of my seat for the book’s sequel, and I think other readers will do the same.




Reviewed by

First and foremost, I am a reader. I am a Jack of all genres and master of none. I can't resist an interesting narrative or an intriguing topic, so I've read widely and regretted nothing.

WOLVES IN THE WATER

About the author

Creative butterfly and independent author of the DCI Judas Iscariot of Scotland Yard's occult magic division series of novels. view profile

Published on July 30, 2020

Published by Adam Strange

80000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Reviewed by