Never before have I read a book like My Angel The Devil by Dan Agbeje. It’s fiction, but one gets the distinct feeling that the atrocities that occur in this novel are more than likely realistic in those areas where fanatical religious groups like Boko Haram and Isis have acted on what they see as their divine mission to rid the world of infidels. Set in Nigeria,
My Angel The Devil starts out gently with two young people, Fatima and Ike, in love and wanting to marry. Their families approve and wedding plans are underway when Fatima is snatched, along with other young girls, by a powerful and fanatical group of extremists, whose leader, Alihu, sees Fatima as his alone. What follows for Fatima is a nightmare. Her life, Ike’s and that of her family and, ultimately, the lives of many of the people in her town are turned upside down. The resulting violence with horrific deaths to young and old is shocking and unforgettable.
My Angel The Devil is not a book for the faint of heart or those who could never conceive of evil akin to what Dan Agbeje presents. That evil is not just in the heartless and graphic slaughter that occurs throughout the story. Agbeje's depiction of the sociopathic sexual abuse of both males and females turns stomachs. Is it a bit too impossible to believe? No. Is it difficult to read? At times, yes…but only if you choose to believe that no human being could treat others this way.
It’d be easy to conclude from this review that there are no positives to the story of Fatima and Ike. That would be inaccurate. The tenderness between the young lovers, the deep caring shown by characters like Ajiya and the “Old Man,” and the triumph of good over evil in the end make up for the horrors experienced by so many in this unforgettable novel. My Angel The Devil is definitely worth your reading time.
Taking the Reader’s seat
I received a notification of a review of My Angel the Devil from ReadersFavorite and promptly hopped on the page to read it. I must admit I was quite taken aback by the honesty of the review.
I wrote My Angel the Devil with the aim of telling a story. One of what happens and can happen when evil comes knocking on our doorsteps. First-hand knowledge and tales told from people affected by actions of hate and greed guided my hand.
So hearing the whole plot in blunt honesty was shocking.
I decided to take the reader’s seat. So one day I ordered a hard copy and when I received it, I started reading like any other novel. Viga Boland’s review was apt. it is a dark book. It sheds the light on suffering of people and most importantly humanity’s ability to pull through anything.
I finished the book glad for the ending, happy that if I indeed had some satisfaction, then some reader’s would.
Please be warned it is a heavy book.
Dan Agbeje was born in Brisbane and followed his parents to Nigeria, where he spent most of his younger days. His first book, My Angel the Devil was published in 2017.