1 out of 4 stars
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Lucifer Gave me to Satan is Marie Bradley’s short story retelling the tragic life of Demise, a teenage girl suffering from her foster mother’s cruel abuse. She thinks she finally has a chance of happiness when her long-time crush approaches her, but he ends up treating her like a cheap tramp. The one-night stand leads to a scandalous accident which her heartless mother will not tolerate. Desperate and confused, she flees home in an attempt to reconcile with her birth mother and maybe build a proper family. Little does she know that she has just jumped headfirst into a devious trap. This time, she does not only have to endure cruel lashings and venomous words. Something even more sinister is awaiting her fate. Will she be able to survive the situation? Or will she lose her all her hope, her naivety, and eventually herself?
In my opinion, this story is an exploitative tragedy littered with major flaws. The narrative contains piles of cliché-ridden details, and even the tragedies are not that surprising either. The descriptions of underage sexual encounters and profanities are supposed to be shocking. Unfortunately, because we have seen them so often in mainstream media and the way these events are delivered is not different or memorable, the story falls short. Overall, the plot is boring and easy to guess.
The characterization is extremely bad. All characters, no matter how important they are, are hollow and stereotypical. Demise is the worst offender. Although her arc is meant to be heartbreaking and evoke sympathy, for the first half of the story, she appears to be just sad. Even Cinderella has more complexity! She is also ridiculously naive and trusting despite having been treated cruelly and shunted for the whole of her life. Suddenly, at the end of the story, she snaps in the most unrealistic way, and her outbursts come out of nowhere. I had not seen a single hint of intense hatred or violent tendency before. Even worse, her reactions after the outbursts are uncharacteristically level-headed and bizarrely vindictive. Kind people sometimes go bad after undergoing traumatic events, but I didn’t see any reasoning, agony, or anything that could remotely convince me of such a drastic transformation from Demise.
The story has many grammatical and punctuation errors, and there are some awkward expressions. For example, after Demise goes through another tragic incident, the story delivers this metaphor “her soul black and thirsting for blood.” My immediate response was “oh, she has turned into a vampire!” Mind you, I’m not trying to be funny. This is just the proof of how emotionally disconnected I was to the story and the characters. It is a very short story, so I didn’t expect long-winded emotional rants. However, because the author often resorted to banal expressions, the story is devoid of any real emotions. I did experience a few moments of horror and pity, but I felt pained at the events, not for Demise herself. The story’s best use of language is the title, which is a hilarious fact considering how campy the whole story is.
There is nothing positive I can comment on this book except for the relatively straightforward writing style. Therefore, I have to rate it 1 out of 4 stars. Unless you want an example of how not to write a good tragedy, I wouldn’t recommend Lucifer Gave me to Satan to anybody.
Lucifer Gave me to Satan
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