Necessarily Evil: Prophecy (Divine Sitcom Book 1) is, “something completely different”, from the pen of Shad Nemo Freud. A self-confessed love of Monty Python, the author’s creativity and genius is clear for all to see throughout this amazing book that had this reader chuckling and grimacing all at the same time. As a reviewer, when an author tells me he is influenced by Python (especially an American author) I am wont to roll my eyes and shrug my shoulders – really? Someone from America, gets Python? Well, having read Shad Nemo Freud’s journey in Necessarily Evil: Prophecy, I can say – “well, it appears this American does get Python!” With a doff of the cap to Python and to The Hitchhiker’s Guide, Freud takes us on a surrealistic journey through the realms of demons, Gods, Devils, and all things evil but he does it in the best possible way.
Carl Beaumont, a half-Orc is an Inquisitor in the prevailing church on Earth, the Satanic Church and when he is sent on a mission by the Pope to save the world from a Prophesy that was written some two-millennium earlier, he quickly realizes this will be one of his most dangerous and difficult missions. He gathers around him a team of absolute misfits who bring a delightful diversity and comedy to the story. Their task is to gather the necessary items; a gun capable of killing a God, divine blood money to pay off a debt, as well as travelling through time to get the blessing of a dead God and they have just six months to accomplish this. Arrayed against them will be a plethora of dangerous and disgusting foes, ranging from demons of the Abyss, a Demon Prince who hates Carl with a passion, never mind the endless Nazi Zombies in the temple, all bent on the destruction of Carl and his merry men (and women).
Despite the incredible action, the magical firefights and the realm stretching magic, which is frequent and exciting, this story is not really about the “battles”, it is about the characters, the oddball team that Carl has put together to achieve this goal. Each of them has been imbued with a personality that lends itself to hating and loving them at the same time. Carl, with his arrogance, his chain-smoking, his drinking too much and his anger is beautifully counterweighted by his undying devotion to his wife and daughter, not to mention his love and loyalty to his fellow warriors. What becomes quickly apparent is that these characters, despite being as different, in as many ways as possible, is their unswerving devotion and loyalty to each other. For me, the character development was the absolute highlight of the story and was perhaps best exemplified in the reactions to the death of one of the main characters in Carl’s team.
This whole story was like a breath of fresh air to this reader. As I stated at the beginning, “something completely different” and something I’d been waiting for, for a long time. I loved the sardonic, dark, essentially British, humour and I loved the interplay between the characters which was natural and unforced despite the differences in their genetics and backgrounds. If I had one complaint about Necessarily Evil: Prophecy (Divine Sitcom: Book 1) it would be that Shad Nemo Freud (you’ve gotta love that name – right?) chose to end the story on a cliffhanger of sorts. That means I now have to read the next book in the series to find out what happens – but I can assure you that will be no stretch or punishment at all. I can rank this book as one of the best I’ve read this year.