Nadaness In Motion is a book blog where honest book reviews meet author interviews, guest posts and personal writing ranging from poetry to short stories to the bi-weekly Takhayyal writing prompt challenge. ---
“You cannot kill a breeze, a wind, a fragrance; you cannot kill a dream or an ambition.” - Michel Onfray
evil and there are Enforcers to do something about it.
the protagonist and narrator in Rebecca Chastain's A Fistful of Evil,
possesses an ability she calls "soul-sight", with which she can
switch her vision to see people and the world from a different view and
Madison switches to soul-sight or Primordium, she sees people's souls and life
force. Every person's good or bad deeds give them a colour, a particular shade
of white, grey or black.
does not like her ability, after a sad experience in her teens, and wishes she
could forget about it or get rid of it. However, while searching for a job, she
finds herself part of the world of Enforcers and evil-fighting.
in the first person from Madison's perspective, A Fistful of Evil has a
lot of sarcasm, owing to Madison's character, making the humour element
ever-present in the novel. One of the thoughts that come to her is after
starting her new job and having to buy a phone. She says/thinks “A cell phone yesterday. A video conference today. Watch
out, world. I might get a Twitter account next!”
also truly loved about A Fistful of Evil is the fact that it does not
have a love story or that the romantic element is neither the centre nor is it
even in the periphery. Madison and her best friend Bridget do talk about men
and Madison has a crush on several, however, there is no romance in the novel.
Applause to Rebecca Chastain for that.
characters in the novel are well-crafted and loveable. Even the demon, one
cannot seem to hate him entirely. Rose is funny, flirty and helpful. She is
also the one who "babysits" Madison at first. One of the funny scenes
I enjoyed was this:
“Mr. Pitt snorted. He redirected his gaze to Rose. “Make
sure she doesn’t do anything stupid.”
above my pay grade.”
of Evil shows Madison's character as it grows, falters and
gets up again. Madison has several moments of revelation, of light and
realisation, that lead her to her decision as to whether she wants to accept
her soul-sight and become an Enforcer or not. It is also the little things that
make us great people, as both Madison and the reader realise and as Chastain so
beautifully reveals it.
many beautiful lines, images and scenes in the novel. One of them has Madison
contemplating and weighing right and wrong when doing good; how much wrong or
rule-breaking is a person allowed to do in order to do good?
“I may not be proud of my job history, but I’d never
committed a crime before, let alone a crime in the name of my job. Then again,
I’d never done anything as important as battle evil. My other jobs had been
meaningless or boring—often both. At least as an enforcer, I was positively
influencing the very balance of good and evil. That had to outweigh the minor
transgressions I’d made along the way, right?”
is an important aspect in the novel and Chastain is highly lauded for her
choice of imagery and humour. A favourite is the funny and realistic “But there was nothing like a hound of death on my heels
to give me an Olympian-worthy boost.”
Also, “The horror reel played out in my head, with the hosts
scattering across the continent, then the world, a pandemic of evil”
is a highly visual image.
when she was scantily dressed, she thought to herself: “embarrassment came complete with its own heating system.”
battling a demon and nearly dying, Niko – also known as "Mr. Dark and
Deadly" - takes Madison to refuel or "recharge" her energy,
which includes having something to eat. One can proudly say that they will look
at green salads differently after reading this novel.
“Niko selected Cobb salads for both of us—without
bacon!—plus four large sides of grilled vegetables.
Screw that. I’d almost died tonight. I deserved something better than
rabbit food.” Later, Niko explains why it is important to
eat greens and why Madison's comfort food of fries and a milkshake do nothing
to fill her up or recharge her energy.
Fistful of Evil is an enjoyable, quick-paced fantasy novel. It's fun, it's
different and it makes you think.
It is the
first instalment in the series and I look forward to reading the second part.
interview with author Rebecca Chastain is in the making! So stay tuned!
Note: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Note: I haven't done my usual page
quoting because I was reading on ePub and the page numbers differ significantly
from the .mobi or other ebook editions.