As surely as men wage war against each other, so do supernatural deities fight for human souls in the afterlife. What are the deciding factors that determine where a human soul goes upon death? Is it the measure of a human’s character on Earth, and the deeds they have done, or something different altogether? What if one soul has the potential to sway the supernatural battle?
A wealthy, successful lawyer, who seeks justice for those who have none, may be this exact soul. He is still unclaimed, and has a nearly-unlimited capacity for good or evil. When this lawyer’s family is killed, he is forced to make a difficult, moral decision. The consequences of it could forever change humanity. What will his choice be: will this lawyer accidentally bring about the apocalypse, or will he prevent it? The final outcome of humanity, the very end of the world, could rest upon his shoulders.
This novel is best classified as Speculative Fiction or Literary Fiction. It contains an interesting mix of horror, supernatural, religious, apocalyptic, and adventure elements. It may best be compared to Dante’s Inferno, The Da Vinci Code, or the movie Constantine. This novel also contains an alternate ending.
Throughout the book, several age-old concepts are questioned. Many philosophical and religious ideas are raised for the character and readers to mull over. One topic that The Great Deceiver explores is whether or not God really exists. It also asks the fundamental question that nearly every, single person who has ever lived has asked: is there life after death? Related to this question are sub-questions like: what happens when we die? Is there such a thing as Heaven? Is there such a thing as Hell? In its own way, The Great Deceiver attempts to answer all of these questions. It does this through the characters within the novel, in a vivid and compelling manner
As these timeless questions about Heaven, Hell, and God are brought up, they naturally dredge up a fair amount of religious controversy; much of it centers around the Roman Catholic Church and its leaders. This is not done to argue about any religion. It isn’t done to prove whether one religion is right and another is wrong. It isn’t done to debate or discredit any doctrine. It is all brought up solely to make readers think, and to offer everyone an enjoyable, unique experience which they can relate with, regardless of their chosen faith.
Finally, there are a lot of dark elements within this novel. It deals with things that people take very serious, obviously: God, the bible, the afterlife, and the end of the world or the apocalypse. Yet these serious topics are offset by a lot of incredible humor that is pervasive throughout the novel.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
It began as a short story in 2002 and I was told by a number of readers to expand it. I worked on it sporadically for a few months before deciding in 2014 to finish it at last.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I had an idea for a main character that becomes essentially a tool of evil. I wanted to develop that more and I used a lot of biblical references and concepts to make it work.
The night was rough, but I had a feeling this day would prove worse. As I dusted myself off as best I could (which hardly mattered because my clothes were now filthy), I noticed a multitude of people had joined me during the night. They were scattered around at random. Many slept in the dirt, facedown, and rested their heads on their arms. Others were like gophers, and had dug a hole to lie in horizontally. Only their heads were visibly jutting out of each hole. These gopher-imitators often used a pile of dirt as a pillow. A few people had constructed a bed of assorted garbage, which I had been cautioned against.
I wasn’t awake for long when the breakfast frenzy began. It started with a distant bell that rang five or six times. As if on cue, everyone began to scurry to the road. The next thing I knew, a bunch of gray Overseers appeared from between a few buildings. Each carried a five gallon bucket. Another drum that looked like a pickle barrel was strapped to each Overseers broad, powerful back. They walked down the road and reached into their buckets to throw handfuls of stale biscuits around at random, as if they were in a parade throwing candy to little children.
All around me, people swarmed to the Overseers in a violent rush. I watched as people knocked each other down, pulled hair, and tripped to get as close as possible to the Overseers and their stash of stale biscuits.
I tried to position myself to catch some. This became a difficult task given my circumstances. Foremost, the biscuit throwing was so random that many biscuits never even came close to me. Secondly, the throng of hungry people grew so large that it became a problem to move through them so I could intercept a biscuit. Lastly, when biscuits did come my way, someone in front of me would always jump up to snatch them out of the air or bat them down. It was as if a thousand people were playing defense on a football team and I was the only receiver trying to get open.
Every time a flying food-item was grabbed or knocked to the ground, it prompted a melee between a number of people who fought for it. It was like they were brawling over a baseball that had been hit into the stands. Usually, these biscuits were destroyed into no more than crumb-components in the process.
I knew I couldn’t rely on eating anything if I hung back and let the biscuits come to me. That was akin to being the one person who got a random t-shirt shot at them from a t-shirt cannon, or perhaps a guitar pick or drumstick from a concert. The odds were weighted against me. I did, however, notice another means to get them: each time an Overseer tossed us a handful of biscuits and brought their arm out of their bucket in a throwing motion, many biscuits were pushed out by accident. These un-thrown treats landed around the Overseers’ feet. That was the reason that many people swarmed right amongst the Overseers. My cohorts risked life and limb for a chance to eat. It dawned on me that I would need to do likewise, unless I wanted to go hungry. It was a risky proposition.
These Overseers were on a humanitarian mission to feed us. Even so, they remained just as brutal as the rest of the Overseers I had encountered. While they tossed biscuits at us, I watched as they lashed out at random to punch or kick anyone who happened to be in the wrong place. They also stepped on hands and fingers with seeming indifference as people reached among their feet for the fallen biscuits. I watched a great many people come away with broken digits, clutching a hand or a wrist.
The individuals who had the most success were lithe and quick. Perhaps they’d been pickpockets or street-urchins on Earth. They darted in and out like hummingbirds hitting flowers for nectar. I observed their technique and decided to mimic them. I forced my way through the crowd until I was close enough to an Overseer that I had a shot at falling biscuits.
The moment his hand came out of the bucket, and some biscuits tumbled out to the ground, I was diving. I grabbed one in each hand and was out again. Like that creepy little Lord of the Rings goblin guy, I slunk back into the crowd and mawed down my little precious’s before anyone could steal them from me.
I was going back for more when I watched one, unfortunate fellow get pushed from behind by someone else. He fell at the feet of an Overseer, who then stepped right on his head. His scream was brief and the cracking of his skull under the colossal weight of the monster was sickening. I lost my appetite.
As if that weren’t bad enough, once that same Overseer had emptied his five-gallon bucket, he callously whipped it into the crowd. He could have easily been an all-star pitcher. With tremendous velocity, the empty bucket slammed into the face of a guy who hadn’t seen it coming. He dropped instantly. The bucket clattered to the ground nearby. I didn’t know if he was unconscious or dead.
That was how breakfast was served in Hell. Refreshments came immediately after.
When every Overseer had emptied and disposed of their bucket, they gathered in a group about fifty yards away. I noticed that everyone followed them, so I kept pace. The Overseers stopped when they came to a series of wooden troughs which were lined up along the knee-wall. These had been obscured by a bend in the knee-wall, so I hadn’t noticed them the night before. I also hadn’t been adventurous enough to explore given everything I’d been through.
The Overseers reached the troughs. Each one removed the pickle-barrel from their back. They hefted the barrels up and proceeded to fill the troughs with filthy, brackish water. Like everyone else, I was now running to get some. We were like teeny-boppers rushing a boy band. The frenzy for water surpassed even the biscuit brawl. There simply wasn’t enough room at the troughs for everyone, and it didn’t look like the water would last. People man-handled one another out of the way, punched, kicked, bit, and clawed to get a spot. I forced my way in after getting a finger poked into my eye.
Right next to me, a person had drowned in the trough. Perhaps they’d been crushed by someone else. It was also possible they’d been knocked unconscious. The only reason that anyone had the decency to move the body was that it took up valuable room.
Like a farm animal, I leaned my head in and gulped down the disgusting, communal water as fast as I could. Bits of dirt, debris, and hair floated around in it. I ignored those deterrents as best as I could. I also had to brace myself against the trough with one hand as I drank. That made it very difficult for anyone else to dislodge me. I simultaneously used my other hand to fill my canteen so I’d have water for later.
I was punched and kicked a few times while I did this. Once, I caught a knee to the ribs. In any event, I came away from the trough feeling rather fortunate.
About the Author:
Andrew Cormier was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was raised in Falmouth, Massachusetts (on Cape Cod) until the age of six. He lived in Massachusetts for approximately seventeen years before he moved to New Hampshire in 2006. His works of fiction include: Shamblers: the zombie apocalypse (horror/action), The Great Deceiver (speculative fiction/darkfantasy), The Winds of Change (epic fantasy), What Tomorrow Brings (epic fantasy), The Ultimate Revenge (short story: dystopian), Piece of Mind (thriller/suspense), Edge of the Abyss (dark songs and poems), and The Informed Buyers (horror)
He began reading at an accelerated level at an early age. Around the time he was nine or ten, he was reading such books as Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, or Jack London’s Call of the Wild. He has been an avid reader and writer throughout his life. His works include three novels, over 100 songs/poems (many of which are available in his collection entitled Edge of the Abyss), and a number of short stories such as Piece of Mind and The Ultimate Revenge.
His first novel was completed as a sophomore in high school. It totaled 96 pages and was a Sci-Fi piece. He lost that manuscript due to a computer failure (and now routinely backs up all work).
His favorite authors include R.A. Salvatore, Robert Jordan (RIP), and George R.R. Martin.
In his free time, Andrew Cormier is an avid musician with over thirteen years of guitar experience, a video gamer, and also enjoys a variety of other activities. He likes to go camping, enjoys the outdoors, likes to walk, loves steak and lobster, and he is a graphic designer. He graduated in 2013, summa cum laude, with a BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts from Southern NH University.
He recently started a writing blog. Feel free to visit it and post comments or like it. He welcomes and encourages all fan feedback and discussions. He despises all the hashtags from Twitter, but uses it as a useful marketing tool anyway. For events and updates please go to his official site: author.andrewcormiergraphics.com and register for his blog.
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