Cover Image: Burn, Beautiful Soul

Burn, Beautiful Soul

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Member Reviews

Dark and disturbing, gripping and fascinating.
Even if it's out of my comfort zone I appreciated this creepy and interesting book.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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A raw and gritty experience that leaves you questioning just who the demon may really be, one bearing horns and hooves, or the one of flesh and blood living next door?

The story of Basil begins in Our Fiery Home, where he is feeling discontent with the dull surroundings of fire and brimstone, and yearns for a change of scenery, particularly that of the human world. He decides to leave his throne of power as the King of Our Fiery Home, and embarks on a journey to find more during his seemingly eternal life compared to human standards. Leaving behind all he has ever known; murder, torture, darkness, constantly looking overtones shoulder, he begins his quest to find beauty in the world.

Upon arrival to the surface, he quickly encounters a gang of vicious bikers in which he defends himself, and quickly makes himself a mark to the fiends walking the surface. Enduring many hardships during his visit to the surface, he is shown compassion and sheer abhorrence for the mere look of himself. Though an articulate and thoughtful individual, Basil finds that there are many changes he must make when he returns to his throne, and realizes that the beauty of the surface, while quite incredibly, certainly has its own flaws.

A great raw, gritty, and insightful read about the human perspective through the eyes of a demon, that is sure to have you turning the non-stop from start to finish.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I like a good horror/comedy book, but this wasn’t exactly it. The POV’s made following a little difficult. I did enjoy it, but it took me a while to get into it. 

I will try this author again though.
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Basil, king of hell and bored of his job, abdicates the throne and ascends to earth where he lands a job as an advertiser. Based on the premise alone, I expected more humor from the writing and plot of its book. I can kind of see moments where the author tried to do so, but it never landed well for me. It's not even that the humor was too edgy for my tastes, it just came off as flat instead. It doesn't help that I hated Basil almost from the get-go. Since it happens within the first twenty pages or so, I'll give a mild spoiler warning: Basil straight up sexually assaults one of his demon underlings, and yeah they're both demons so they're written to be awful creatures... but if I'm also supposed to like Basil and sympathize with him, how does this assault line up with that? It made me question Basil's whole "I'm tired of the cruelty of hell" motivation immediately. I also didn't like that the assault was treated rather nonchalantly by the (third person) narrative, like I wasn't supposed to be off put by it. 

Basil's exploits on earth are interesting and a bit irreverent and for that I can see massive appeal. I also thought it was cool that Basil is this hulking red demon guy and nobody really cares at all about it. 

I think my enjoyment of the book is hampered by the fact that the blurb led me to expect an entirely different story than what I got. This is by no means a poorly written book (though it does have its flaws), so while I personally don't think I'll ever be returning to it, I can see many other people enjoying Burn Beautiful Soul.
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What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Basil?

For me it's Fawlty "Excuse the waiter, he's from Barcelona". John Cleese at his comic best. Showing my age a little there.

However, I digress. Basil, the demi-god. The seventh stand-in for Lucifer in 'Our Fiery Home'. A passion for poetry, a longing for the great outdoors. It also turns out, that he's quite good at marketing.

A nod to Lovecraft, in a battle royale.

Status: Completed

Rating: 4.2/5.0
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Dark, twisted and evil in all the right ways. This is not my usual type of book but I felt intrigued by the opening and glad I finished it. Definitely worth a read if you fancy something different
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First of all thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me the Earc to read.
I think I can start with the fact I expected this to be a five star read, which it definitely didn’t end up being. This for the reason that there were some themes (including the rape that kept coming back) pretty overused and really not necessary to add to the plot. Another thing that didn’t do it for me was the plot: it was predictable, which isn’t a bad thing per se, but in this case it made me bored a lot – a reason as to why it took me long to finish. 
A few of the positive things are the characters. I liked some of them a lot, including Herbert and Boothe, although Basil didn’t make the cut. It would have been nice to read more about Herbert and his backstory. I also enjoyed how the setting was portrayed. It was easy to get into. The writing style was a plus as well, it was nothing too fancy or too simple. Then, lastly, the ending. It was nice how everything came together in the same way it started. Besides that, the last few words were powerful and a great way to end the book. 
Altogether it was an okay read, but probably just not my thing.
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Basil the Demon King rules Our Fiery Home with an iron fist. However, heavy lies the crown. He laments the atrocities he committed to obtain his throne and he has tired of his responsibilities, so he flees to the surface to try and live a quiet life amongst humans. However, a group of religious zealots and chaos away at home threaten to disturb his peace.

In Burn, Beautiful Soul by William J. Donahue, the author presents a lyrical and richly-imagined Paradise Lost 2.0 with a smattering of dark and crass humor. (We are dealing with demons, after all.)

However, one thing that bothers me is how baffling some of Basil’s actions were. He claims that he doesn’t have a death wish and doesn’t want to let other demons be alerted to his presence. However, he deliberately chooses to retain his horned and hoofed appearance and changes his work’s logo to a demon. That’s not inconspicuous. If that’s not declaring your presence, I’m not sure what is.  

Grievances aside, Basil acts as a fascinating and Byronic hero and presents a sympathetic perspective on the plight of demons.
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I can identify with Basil to a point.    You're stuck in a job and after many years (or centuries) you grow bored of it and you crave change.   Basil is sooo over ruling Hell and wants to head up to earth and humans.  Basil needs a change!   
The creds he had in Hell don't necessarily carry over to earth, even though he walks on two hooves and proudly displays his horns.   Personally I don't think I'd pick a fight with a guy that looked like Basil, yet people do.
This is a tale that is touched with plenty of humor.   There is quite a lot going on and I found myself being distracted by the frenetic activity and characters on earth and in Hell.  Thank you #netgalley for allowing me to read and review #BurnBeautifulSoul
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Burn, Beautiful Soul by William J. Donahue tells the story of Basil, a demon who has had enough of Hell, or as they call it Our Fiery Home, and so he leaves it to go into the big, wide world. Or America. A small place in America, that now has to deal with a devil. Something some people don’t seem to mind, while others are out there to destroy Basil for reasons that vary.

The book deals with multiple POVs. While most of the time it follows Basil, we also get to know more Devils and some other people that live in the town. Besides that, there is also the first person POV who is later revealed to be the person Basil dreams of being. Due all this, it took me some time to get into it. Even though I do love reading multiple POVs, it always takes me some time to separate them. It didn’t help that they didn’t have anything different from them. The writing style was the same everywhere, which was nice, and I did like the more flowery descriptions it gave me. They did add to the atmosphere and weren’t too long, so that was something I enjoyed for sure. 

I do feel like I read more of a comedy piece that didn’t really know it was a comedy. What I mean with that is that even though it has a scary atmosphere, we are dealing with a devil who decided to work in the advertisement world and enjoys that. People don’t really seem to mind he wasn’t wearing any pants either. Because of this, I found it hard to get a grip on what this book was trying to do, since it wasn’t really a comedy nor a supernatural scary story nor, basically, anything else. 

So even though I did like what I was reading, I couldn’t really make out what I was supposed to be reading. I liked the atmosphere, the characters were also fun though some could be fleshed out a bit more, so we know them more than besides their motivation to kill Basil. Overall, I had a good time reading it, so I take it.
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This was really enjoyable. Basil was a fascinating character, certainly very morally ambiguous, and I loved watching his journey in the human world.
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My first NetGalley read and WOW. Absolutely beautiful descriptors. A nice slow burn. Reminded me so much of Horns, I definitely chuckled a few times. The ending is fantastic and exactly what I wanted it to be.
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One hell of an anti-hero!  Can you like him? Pity him? Hate him?  Root for him?  Or maybe all of the above.  The author does an excellent job of portraying "Hell" as a place of horrors, with crafty use of implied combined with enough detail to make you cringe.  No romanticizing the depths here.  Interesting flip with Basil wanting out and wanting beauty, and getting above ground to see hate just as strong as below - a slight philosophical message floating around.  I kept thinking of Hellboy if he'd stayed below ground.  Not for the timid, some very violent scenarios, but a good story and definitely non-typical characters.  I might have gone with a different title - Here's an author to watch.
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this was a really enjoyable read, I liked the story and the characters. The cover drew me into reading this and I'm glad I did. I look forward to more from the author.
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