“Bria’s life had been mostly normal. She went to work, went home and spent time with her friends. That is, until one day she saw a pair of angels engaged in battle in a dark alley. One of them, named Ax was a fallen angel. He befriends her and tells her of a battle waging over heaven and hell that has spilled over to the earth.
Through Ax, she is able to discover her gift. She had the gift of opening portals into hell. Using her special ability, she is able to learn many of the truths about the universe are not what they seem, or even what she’d been taught. Instead, she will have to choose sides in a raging battle that will lead her Into the Fire!”
I’m not sure where to start with this one because I love literally everything about it. It’s fast paced, well-written, and despite however used the battle between Fallen Angels and God may be, completely unique.
It is set on modern day Earth after Lucifer and his companions find a way to escape the confines of Hell. Rather than remain with popular lore of fallen angels becoming demons who thrive on evil and the misfortune of others, the story is presented in a view typical of Satanic and Luciferian religions/philosophies where Lucifer was punished merely for exercising free will and thought.
While this philosophical aspect of the novel is prevalent, it isn’t overwhelming to the point of making readers feel they are being patronized. What I mean to say is that regardless of religious preference, I think the story is multi-dimensional enough that anyone could find it enjoyable. It is a work of fiction, after all.
Although the story is more in the fantasy/adventure categories, Tim Miller’s trademark as a horror author can be seen as well, namely in the descriptions of Hell itself. Everyone knows the ‘fire and brimstone’ bit, but the author’s accounts of what goes on within this dimension are simply horrifying.
Those condemned to live here eternally by The Master (God) are tortured incessantly with no possible escape from the agony. Demons were actually once humans that became sadistic enough to be promoted to this new form. The fallen angels were able to escape terrible treatment simply due to the fact of how powerful they are in comparison to the other creatures.
“Into the Fire” is far from grim, however. There are countless comedic comments, thanks to the author’s clever use of characters.
********BELOW ARE MY THOUGHTS ON THE PLOT/EVENTS AND MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS; WHILE I TRY TO REMAIN AS VAGUE AS I CAN, DO NOT READ IF YOU THINK IT MAY RUIN YOUR READING EXPERIENCE********
The story largely follows Bria, a spiritually gifted human, and Ax, one of Lucifer’s closest allies. Readers are first introduced to the woman when she goes off on a perverted customer at her telemarketing job which I think anyone who has worked at minimum wage can relate to. One of the first scenes with Ax shows him fumbling with the human concepts of money and weaponry.
At one point, Lucifer comes across a group of stereotypical devil-worshipers and is less than amused by their their dark aesthetic and fawning over him as the ‘Satan’ they’ve learned about. In contrast with the proper speech associated with these ageless beings, the angels, demons, and even God(s) talk informally which sometimes adds a jovial edge on its own while making the characters more relatable.
On a final note, I must remark on Tim Miller‘s ability to keep his audience on their toes. It’s not simply a matter of writing at a pace where there is always something interesting happening either. There are a good many twists I don’t think even the wittiest individuals could have seen coming. Many writers forego realism in their attempt to throw a curveball; their ‘twist’ comes at the price of feeling nonsensically drawn from thin air. With all its surprises, however, “Into the Fire” never loses its immersion factor and everything falls into place.
Also find Tim Miller’s other work and follow his profile to receive email notifications when he publishes new stories here: https://amzn.to/2VJBEfs
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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden