Review: “The Heretic” by Joseph Nassise

The Heretic: A Supernatural Adventure Series (The Templar Chronicles Book 1) by Joseph Nassise. Harbinger Books. 262 pages.

I’ll admit that the reason why I initially picked this book up to read it was that I wrote a book myself called The Heretic back a few years ago. And there are a few vague similarities between this book and mine. But there are also a lot of similarities between Nassise’s work and the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. But before we get too far along, here’s the Amazon summary:

Monsters prey on the innocent. He preys on the monsters.

They call him the Heretic. Five years ago, Cade Williams was just an ordinary cop, until the night he and his wife were savagely attacked by a fallen angel known as the Adversary.

Cade survived. His wife did not.

Now he commands the Echo Team, an elite squad of monster-hunting modern Templar knights. When the supernatural rears its head and threatens humanity, it’s up to Cade and his men to smash it back down again.

But protecting mankind isn’t the only reason Cade became a Templar. He hasn’t forgotten the events of that summer night and he fully intends to even the score.

Targeting Cade’s family was the Adversary’s first mistake.

Leaving Cade alive will be its last.

What I found fascinating about the book–and I suspect the series–is how the author skirts the borders between Christian writing and horror writing. He has some pretty gory, creepy description of battle scenes between modern Templar knights and ghouls right out of the cemetery. Yet he counters that with references to their dedication to God and ends meetings with a round of prayer. The book is decidedly in the genre of military/horror and has a lot of fighting and blood. Inversely, there’s not a great deal of characterization. I will have to say, however, that I appreciated the backstory that the author provided about Cade and his wife, which added some real color and depth to the story.

On the bad side, I found that the book had some proofreading issues, including the lack of a copyright page, which shocked me. It’s the first book of a series that has been very successful, so I suppose the author has done very good for himself, and considering the genre, it fits right in.

If you’re looking for Christian inspiration, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for battle scenes against the undead, this might be your cup of tea.

I give it four out of five stars.