The Lucifer Ego is an adult novel by author T. M. Doran. Full disclosure — I am the author’s brother so I won’t rate it or extol it as if I were a disinterested party. You wouldn’t believe me no matter what I write, but clearly I think highly of the novel and believe it’s worth purchasing.
So why the review? My goal is to let people know what the novel is about and what’s on its mind without spoiling it. As an author myself, I know all novels aren’t for everyone. If this book sounds like something you might enjoy, you will not be disappointed.
The Lucifer Ego is tough to categorize. It deftly combines elements of an action adventure, an espionage tale, a mystery, and a dash of speculative fiction. The protagonist’s name is Frodo Lyle Stuart and his name is neither a mistake nor a gimmick to cash in on a famous fantasy trilogy. At the core of the plot, the various characters are in search of a missing artifact which has been stolen from a monastery. The object in question could turn history on its head and would be a holy grail of anyone who studies prehistory. Turns out Frodo, who goes by Lyle in the novel, happens to be an archeologist.
The novel shifts narratives from Lyle’s search to flashbacks of others connected to the quest. It fills in gaps left by the book before it, Toward the Gleam, which support the sequel’s narrative. Tautly written, the novel has more on it’s mind than an adventure to find an “Ark of the Covenant” level relic. It deals with the question of evil in the world and how it subtly invades into our culture. One of the best aspects I found in the novel is how we accept what we hold are truths and how fiercely we argue against so-called scientific facts which are still, in fact, theories. The belief the world was flat was relatively changed a short time ago if you look at the entire timeline of human history. Another key theme is evil in our world. Some nasty characters appear like weeds across the narrative. The novel treads deeper and deeper into the darkness of the heart, the frailty of life, and the profane disregard of the value of a person.
Well-written, tightly plotted, and evenly paced, I want to highlight one element above others. This is a well-researched novel. I bought Lyle was an archeologist and, if I didn’t know the author, would’ve thought he had background in anthropology. His other characters have backgrounds in similar specialized disciplines, and the research serves the book well. It elevates a fantastic plot to a modern world with believable people.
The Lucifer Ego is a sequel to T. M. Doran’s novel — the acclaimed Toward the Gleam. However, the reader doesn’t need to be familiar with the first novel to enjoy this one. It had been a number of years since I have read Gleam and I followed the plot without a problem. Toward the Gleam was set in the past and this novel is set in the present. Furthermore, the main characters are all new. If you read the first book, you will enjoy the references to the first, but the sequel stands on its own merit.
And I can’t end this “review” without a callout to the wonderful cover art by Daniel Johnson who I have used on my novels (more disclosure). It is an engaging illustration and reflects elements of the novel, catching the eye and drawing people in. The layout of the book and technical elements are all professionally done. This is T. M. Doran’s fifth published book and he’s been published in various publications you may have heard of like The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
The Lucifer Ego is available as an eBook and paperback. Purchase The Lucifer Ego on Amazon.