The Devil’s Labyrinth


Author: John Saul

Published: July 17, 2007
Dates Read: June 25- July 8, 2016

My Rating: 1 Star


Book Summary from Amazon:

After his father’s untimely death sends fifteen-year-old Ryan McIntyre into an emotional tailspin, his mother enrolls him in St. Isaac’s Catholic boarding school, hoping the venerable institution with a reputation for transforming wayward teens can work its magic on her son. But troubles are not unknown even at St. Isaac, where Ryan arrives to find the school awash in news of one student’s violent death, another’s mysterious disappearance, and growing incidents of disturbing behavior within the hallowed halls.

Things begin to change when Father Sebastian joins the faculty. Armed with unprecedented knowledge and uncanny skills acquired through years of secret study, the young priest has been dispatched on an extraordinary and controversial mission: to prove the power of one of the Church’s most arcane sacred rituals, exorcism. Willing or not, St. Isaac’s most troubled students will be pawns in Father Sebastian’s one-man war against evil–a war so surprisingly effective that the pope himself takes notice of the seemingly miraculous events unfolding an ocean away.

But Ryan, drawn ever more deeply into Father Sebastian’s ministrations, sees–and knows–otherwise. As he witnesses with mounting dread the transformations of his fellow pupils, his certainty grows that forces of darkness, not divinity, are at work. Evil is not being cast out . . . something else is being called forth. Something that hasn’t stirred since the Inquisition’s reign of terror. Something nurtured through the ages to do its vengeful masters’ unholy bidding. Something whose hour has finally come to bring hell unto earth.

My review:

I listened to the audio book version of The Devil’s Labyrinth by John Saul. I purchased it for $3.00 at my local used bookstore. You can’t really beat a $3.00 audiobook! The description of the book intrigued me. Exorcisms, but instead of driving out evil, evil is summoned!?!?!?

I did not really like the narrator’s voice, but I was able to get over that. The voice was hard to hear at times in my car. I have hearing issues. But his voice was also deep. It could have also been my car stereo as I listened to one disc in the house and did not have as many issues with hearing the disc. At times I had to rewind a track to listen again to what the narrator said.

The beginning of the book pulled me in with the two boys and the lizard. I did like the way the author brought that together towards the end of the book. I liked Ryan’s character. Overall, I was going to give the book three stars (3 stars is that the book is good- nothing particularity bad about it) UNTIL the end. I knew there were 99 tracks on each disc and it was on track 90 on the last disc and knew there was no way for the book to finish everything that had to be done. The book in fact was getting really good as it was reaching the climax….. and then it just stopped. Nothing….. No ending… No closure…. Really?!?!? I backed the tracks up several times to make sure I heard what I heard. When I say no closure I am not exaggerating. We don’t know if the villain is going to get caught or get away. What is going to happen to the Pope? What’s going to happen to Ryan and the other kids at St. Isaac’s? WHERE IS THE ENDING!?!?!? This sudden stop point ruined what was otherwise a good book for me.

The audiobook has a “bonus disc” which is an interview with John Saul. I was hoping there was something in that interview that gave some understanding to this sudden ending. There was not. Whenever the narrator asked a question to Saul he was very coy and basically saying read the book to find out. Or that he didn’t want to give anything away. Ummm… This was disc 9 – so the interview came AFTER you finish the book. At least give me something!!!

I can not recommend this book at all. Stay away from it. Now, I would be willing to read or listen to another of his books in the future. But if he did the same with that book (whatever it may possibly be) as The Devil’s Labyrinth, I would not read a third by him.