Demons at War: Urban Fantasy by P.A. Minyard brings us a demon fantasy adventure with a twist. Set during the American Civil War, Daniel Parker is a Union Major, intimately involved in many of the battles taking place that defined that war. When Daniel comes face to face with a real, live, demon and is murdered at the battle of Antietam, by the demon, he finds himself in a unique situation. Rather than crossing over to the afterlife, Daniel is met by a guardian Angel, Bernard, who offers him an opportunity to return to normal life on Earth, as a member of the “Beloved” brotherhood and to do good for the Father by finding and eliminating demons on earth, who are way more prevalent than most of us would believe. Back home, Daniel’s parents, brother Jonathan and sister Beth, patiently await their dear Daniel’s return, always hoping he will survive this horrible conflict. So begins a journey that will take the two brothers through the hell of fighting demons, including the most powerful of them all, an evil, sadistic demon by the name of Benedict.
Demons at War: Urban Fantasy was something a little different, for me, from the usual demon fodder. By relocating the story back during the American Civil War, author P.A. Minyard gave the story some point of difference. I particularly enjoyed the interaction between the characters, especially Beth and her parents as they tried to come to terms, as so many families had to at that time, with the prospect of losing their son to this horrific war and eventually the possibility that they could lose both their sons. The relationships between Duffy and Beth, as well as that between Jonathan and Mattie rang true to the period and the culture of manners that existed in the 1860’s between the sexes. I also particularly enjoyed the emotions and pain felt by the Angel, Bernard over the grief he was causing to his charges and their family. That certainly softened the violent fight scenes with demons, which gave the story some real balance. One thing that I struggled with was the lack of indication when the POV (Point of View) and scene changed from one character to another. These sudden scene changes would often leave me temporarily confused. All in all, though, this is a very readable, demon fantasy story and with a few minor tweaks could be even better. I did enjoy the read and am tempted to read more in this series.