Cover Image: No Shadow Without Light

No Shadow Without Light

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Member Reviews

3.5 stars

No Shadow Without Light by Luke Gracias is historical fiction, and the second in the series.

First, I'd like to thank NetGalley, the publisher Authors Upfront, and of course the author himself, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Denise Russo disappeared six years ago.  Her daughters, Siobhan and Jess Russo were at a loss.  It turns out Denise was living as a nun in an obscure convent in Spain, where she committed suicide.   She had been brutally raped and left mute and paralyzed, but so that she could exact her revenge, she made a deal with the devil. She was healed, but she gave up Siobhan's soul, and the Devil is Jess's father.  Siobhan travelled to the convent, looking for answers, but instead found her mothers confession, and  five pages of "The Devil's Prayer" which had been stolen from a group of fanatical red monks.  Supposedly twelve pages of apocalyptic text are missing from The Devil's Bible.  These are but five.


My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Siobhan is back in Australia,  with her grandmother Edith and her sister Jess.  Unfortunately, she is not sure she can trust her sister, as she saw Jess talking to a man that her mothers' confession said is Jess's father... the Devil.

Siobhan and Jess must part ways.  Jess's role is to cause Armageddon, and Siobhan's to prevent it.  Their paths are in different directions.  To prevent Jess from completing her mission, Siobhan will have to find all twelve pages of the Devil's Prayer before Jess does, and before the monks find her.  But this may be the end of Jess, and Siobhan cannot give in.  Her mother gave up her life to get the five pages to her, and it can't be for nothing.  As much as they are rivals, the sisters still love each other.

Meanwhile, in Italy, Inspector Luca Reginalli finds Giovanni Barbano, the security guard for the Amalfi Cathedral, tied up and in a coffin.  As well, a note was left offering the Twelfth page of the Devil's Prayer in exchange for the nun's elder daughter.  They are perplexed, but the Vatican wants that page, and Reginalli is tasked in finding it.

Jess and Siobhan are in a fight for all of humanity. Each page of The Devil's Prayer that Jess finds will allow people to become more selfish, wiping out the survival of future generations.


My Opinions:  
Many of my complaints about the first book have continued into this one.  Too much historical details, dates, people and place names.  Again, the first thing I had to do is to change the font, as it was too light, and too small....  As well, we really didn't need pictures...ie a photograph on Jess's bedside table? A lane in Melbourne?  This might work better in a hard-copy book, but even then...probably not necessary.

The books are very philosophical, religious, and environmental in nature...not to mention historical.  It's not just about good and evil.  It's about survival of our world, humanity, all species.

First, the author re-capped the first book really well...which was a good thing since it has been quite a while between the two books.

The overall plot was very good.  Unfortunately, there was so much history told, that I ended up skimming to get back to the actual plot.   The author again did a phenomenal amount of research.....but again, it actually took away from the story.   As well, because of all the history, the book seemed very slow.

The characters, however, were really well developed, and all were really interesting.

Overall, it was good....but I'm glad it's over.
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This review is my own honest opinion.
Sobhien is the eldest daughter of a nun. She is now involved in a race against her younger sister. Both daughters have different fathers and the youngest one's father is the Devil himself.
In the vein of the Book of Job, the Devil made a wager with God concerning the planet and the human race. If God wins then many lives will be saved but if the Devil wins then many will be lost.
It is up to which daughter will win and the game itself has to do with which one will release the 12 pages from the Devil's Prayer.

Ok, if you were to have the DaVinci Code and the Club Dumas (Ninth Gate) have a baby...this book would be it.
To truly appreciate this one I highly recommend reading the first book The Devil's Prayer first as it continues into this one.
The photos in the book were a nice touch and it made me want to visit Italy...
I enjoyed both books and especially liked how this book played into what we are going through right now with current events.
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Having enjoyed the previous book in this series, The Devil's Prayer, I was anxious to dig into this sequel, as our heroine Siobhan has inherited a terrible mission and legacy from her mother, must outrun the mysterious "red monks" from her mother's cursed monastery, and finish a race against the Devil himself to uncover the 12 lost pages of the "devil's prayer", or risk worldwide catastrophe. I loved the inventive plot, and the moral choices were intriguing and gave some dimension to the characters. It is also the classic adventure tale of a seemingly normal life going very wrong and being thrust into a world that you are not equipped or prepared for. Most ambiguous of all is her relationship with her sister Jess, who she loves more than anyone else, but is also bound by fate to be her mortal enemy. I found the portrayal of God in the novel very superficial and disingenuous, and it seemed an odd tie-in to what is presumed to be the cause of the world's demise, but I enjoyed the story and characters quite a bit.
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Now Shadow Without Light is the sequel to The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias.  

In the first book we meet Siobhan, the eldest daughter of a Nun who is found hanging from a bell in the ancient church of San Juan Bautista.  Siobhan discovers her mother's confession and within that confession some pages from a book called the Devil's Prayer.  The discovery of these pages sent her on a flight across the globe pursued by the Red Monks who are trying to retrieve the copied pages and stall The Devil’s Game.

When Siobhan arrives in Brisbane she spies her younger sister Jess, speaking to a man who is described in her mother’s confession in great detail.  This man the father of Jess but also the Devil.  So begins the 2nd novel with Siobhan still trying to evade the Red Monks.  

There are a lot of moving parts to this book, who can Siobhan trust, and who to fear. Many puzzles and adventures to be resolved.  Can Siobhan collect the pages and keep her sister Jess from releasing them into the world, and therefore dooming humanity?

My only real criticism regarding the book is there is a lot of information, and there were many times I had to go back and reread a section.  

This ARC was provided by Author’s Upfront (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm pleased to be reading the follow-up to "The Devil's Prayer" such an excellent story continued. This book is set out differently than most novels in that this one is like a history of what happened when Siobhan and her sister Jess each strive to be the one to release pages from the Devil's Prayer - one to save humankind, the other to condemn them to Hell. 

This book is different from the previous one in that it contains photographs of the physical locations of places within the story. I couldn't decide whether this detracted or enhanced the story, because I changed my mind depending on how I felt at the time of reading
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This is an extraordinarily choppy read. Chapter to chapter is a hop-about. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the historical aspects, spending a goodly amount of time looking things up since I was completely uneducated about the underlying events
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This was a wonderful read. It is a sequal to the Devils Prayer but I read that a long time ago and this just reminded me of bits. Basically it can be read completely as a stand alone book  and still give the whole essence. I have to say that it has taken me a while to read it as it is a book full of historical information that I just loved  and so spent a lot of time doing diving into research the parts being written about. 
As well as being classified as historical it can also be classified as geographical, psychological , ecological, religious and a thriller to boot.  I foound the future predictions very thought provoking throughout and loved the constant comparisons of good/bad, God/Devil , white/black and light /dark they were all so well written and readable. The story is basically about hunting the 12 pages of the Devils Prayer and who will ge them first. The battle between the two sisters Siobhan and Jess who are the opposing sides of the religious divide.
I loved all the photos and have a long list of places that I would like to see now.
The authors note at the end  was simply the icing on the cake and really bought the whole book into ascary reality. Will the wotld survive? Will we kill all the animals? Will the population explosion bring the end of the world? It brings in the Covid pandemic and climate change which are both so relevant today.
Luke Gracias has written two great books that I believe will make an amazing film series as it has so many twists and turns and fascinating characters. I look forward to hearing that it is being produced as I will want to watch.
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378 pages

5 stars

This book is a philosophical journey through history. It is a “thinking” book, as I call them. Not only does the reader learn a great deal of fascinating history, it gets one to thinking about things outside oneself. The fate of humankind, the environment and how long do we really have? Mr. Gracias made some very good points about population and natural resources. I often say that I have more compassion for the animals of the world than I do for most people. (I have a tough past history.) Thinking about the loss of wildlife just devastates me. 

There are several key players who act in this novel. Some good, some bad. Australians Siobhan and her sister Jess and Italian Inspector Luca Reginalli are the key players. Father Zachary also plays a big part, and so many others. 

Siobhan is the daughter of a nun who very recently committed suicide. Jess is the Devil’s daughter. Always close and very good friends, the young women find themselves in a deadly duel. Each is desperately searching for the twelve pages of the Devil’s Bible. The future of humankind hangs in the balance. Jess wants people to turn to acquisitiveness and selfishness To hoard the world’s goods just for the sake of having stuff.  While Siobhan wants to wake people up to the coming catastrophe. They must stop being so selfish. She must acquire more pages before Jess does. 

Siobhan meets up with Inspector Reginalli. He agrees to help her as much as she can. Father Zachary is also helping her. They begin to search the world over and travel to different ancient places in their search. Along the way, the reader is treated  to brief history lessons. I love when books include this kind of historical background. 

They get into some terrible fixes with the evil people  trying to stop them from finding pages. They are in grave danger. 

But, they can’t stop…

This book has some absolutely amazing pictures of very old and historical places. It is well written and plotted. Mr. Gracias really did his research before he set pen to paper, so to speak. I got frustrated that I couldn’t just sit and  read the whole book. Real life kept intruding. I would have liked to hear more about Inspector Reginalli’s background though. I had a firm handle on Siobhan’s personality, but not so much on Luca’s. 

I want to thank Luke Gracias and NetGalley for forwarding to me a copy of this remarkable book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.
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This just wasn't for me to be honest.  I really wanted to love this book but felt that either it was the wrong time for me or that the book just didn't hold my attention .
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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow-what brilliant writing. A slow-paced book with a great deal of historical detail. A recommended intelligent read.
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I thought this was a very interesting book. It was sad but it hit home in a lot of places. It also talks about the current situation that is happening right now
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me an advance copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

I liked this book, although at times I was a little list.  I did not know this book was a sequel.  I recommend reading The Devil's Prayer first because this book is hard to follow at points without having read the first book in the series.

The survival of mankind is the main theme if the book  it is basically a story of good vs evil . Between God and the Devil in the form of two sisters.

I found it captivating and when I went back and read the first book and reread this one again found it much more enjoyable.    Not normally a book I would pick up to read, but it was a really good read.
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No Shadow Without Light is the sequel to the Devil's Prayer. If you haven't read the first book, this book is self-contained but will make more sense if you read that first.

 It picks up where book one ended, Siobhan is still running from her sister, Jess, who is the Devil's daughter and the red monks. Things have become more complicated. On the 06/06/06 the world's population passed 6.66 billion. Any further increase will wipe out other species and harm the world for future generations. This triggered the Devil's game. A treasure hunt for the 12 pages of the Devils Prayer. Siobhan needs to find the pages before Jess does. Each page Jess finds encourages people to be selfish and dooms the world. Each page Siobhan finds brings hope to the world. There is one problem, a note offering the 12th page of the Devils Prayer in exchange for Siobhan. She has to hunt for the pages whilst being hunted.

This book is like a paranormal Dan Brown. It is a mix of medieval history, the knight's templar and current events with the COVID-19 pandemic and the current global warming situation thrown in. The book is full of adventure, with painstaking historical research to back it up and beautiful photos of the places visited during the book. It also has a serious message about the situation the world faces today.

It is a thrilling read and will keep you thinking long after you have finished it.
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I must say that as I did not know about or read this first novel in this series I do think it made this second novel harder to read as I just didn't understand everything that was going on.

The writing was a bit underwhelming, the story a bit slow and I just didn't get into the characters.  Maybe if I had read the first book I would have enjoyed it more but I must say with the way it is written and the grammar and set up of the book I still think I would have found it hard to read.
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Wow, no wonder this sequel took 5 years to complete there is so much research in it  and Luke Gracias has done a fantastic job at using history and today’s environmental concerns to tie up the devils prayer. It was all very cleverly done & quite convincing and maybe it should be a book we all read to highlight the damage we are doing to our planet.
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Firstly please read The Devil's Prayer first and foremost as this is the sequal and makes numerous references to the first.

This is essentially the story of the survival - the survival of mankind, of the environment, of faith, of life on earth in all its form. And it preempted by a game - a battle of wits - between good and evil, light and dark, the emissaries of God and the Devil in the form of two sisters (Siobhan and Jess) and the respective mysterious religious factions that support them in their quest.

Their quest: find the twelve missing pages of the Devil's Bible - the Codex Gigas - that make up the Devils Prayer which will either save or destroy mankind, depending on who is holding the majority of the pages. The sisters' quest will take them from their hometown in Australia throughout Europe and Asia ... the path to the pages of the Devil's Prayer was littered by a trail of dead bodies ... such was the determination of each faction to take possession.

There is an abundance of research that went into the narrative, which I always appreciate when historical and religious overtones merge and meld with modern fiction. It will provoke thought and discussion and argument but ultimately the message is quite clear - the earth is the only thing we all have in common.

November 28, 2021 – Shelved as: history
November 28, 2021 – Shelved as: religion
November 28, 2021 – Shelved as: mythology
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The long-awaited sequel to The Devil’s Prayer.

On 06/06/06, the world’s population crossed 6.66 billion. Any further increase could only occur at the cost of other species and future generations.

The rise of the population has reached critical mass. This in turn has triggered the Devil’s Game. A hunt around the world for twelve missing pages of the Devil’s Bible which holds the Devil’s Prayer.

It is a game with very real consequences. Jess Russo, daughter of Denise and sister to Siobhan, is also the daughter of the devil. After her mother’s murder, the hunt began for the pages she had stolen. Every time Jess releases a page chaos ensues. This is a real game of good versus evil.

Siobhan is in a race with her sister to find the pages and release them before mankind disappears. And while she and a lot of very interesting characters are on the hunt, someone is hunting her.

This one had everything. Templars, Doomsday Chest, and tombs of Amir Temur and all the way to Wuhan.

I had to read this slowly. There was a lot to digest and think about. To be honest I’m still thinking about it. The end was a total surprise.

A very timely read and I would highly recommend it!


NetGalley/October 4th,2021 by Authors Upfront
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The story will bring you information on history up to present as a woman seeks to pages of the Devil Prayer. As the action take places in places in both present and land, and eventual finds the up to day with members of the crusades. The story includes history and today as cults seek to have the Devils Prayers of numbered pages. The book has suspense, violence, death, and relations. As the problem of overpopulation in the world show as Devil is concerned and God is ignorance. Both the God and the devil are working, along with their relationships. The book requires thinking at several levels. Because of its length, this is hard to read, but actually find you finish, you will want to read again to try to understand.
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No Shadow Without Light Kindle Edition

by Luke Gracias  (Author), Ralph Rebello (Editor) 

Thank you to the author, the editor, the publisher and NetGalley for the complimentary reviewer's copy. I am choosing to leave a fair and honest review.
I really wanted this to be a good book. I love historical/archaeological thrillers. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed.
The story moves slowly. The characters are paper thin. And the author clearly has no clue how English grammar, particularly when it comes to speakers in a story, works.
As I'm sure everyone remembers from elementary school grammar classes, a writer should always begin a new paragraph when a new speaker begins to, well, speak. Mr. Gracias failed to do this, making it nearly impossible to get who is saying what to whom with a single reading of a paragraph. Some authors will occasionally combine speakers, but they usually don't do it for the whole book.
Because of the bad grammar, the paper thing characters (don't even get me started with the good girl/evil girl stereotypes), and the lack of decent pacing results in a single star.

1 star out of 5

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Without-Light-Luke-Gracias-ebook/dp/B09HSHPGZ3
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UNPOPULAR OPINION:

I did not know this was part of series so I did not understand what happened before or the references. I did like the historical and adventure aspects but it just was not for me. Disappointing given all the other reviews.

Thanks to Netgalley, Luke Gracias and Authors Upfront, First Edition for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Already Available: 10/5/21
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