My Inquisition Reading Journal
Wow. How do I put into words how I
feel about this book?
Firstly, I should say that for the
past year or so I’ve said that the preceding book, WOLFGANG, was one of my
favorites. Now I need to add, INQUISITION surpasses it by far.
If reading WOLFGANG is like looking
at a picturesque meadow in the morning, INQUISITION is like looking at Earth
from a satellite. The world is bigger, the literary content sprinkled
throughout, the plot and character list expands – and most importantly, we
learn much more about our main cast, especially Wolfgang himself.
This book is an experience, a
journey of survival, heroics, good and evil, and most importantly, the awesome
power of love. It’s a subtle underlying theme throughout and honestly the whole
reason why Wolfgang is even putting himself through this torture in the first
This book doesn’t quite fit into one
genre. It has some aspects of horror, fantasy, literary, and so much more. It’s
part of what makes it unique.
Second, let’s take a moment to
discuss the author’s style. One reason why I’m taking the time to write a
detailed review is that the author, FD Gross, deserves it. How much time, love,
and effort has been poured into this project? Only he and his loved ones know
for sure, but having just read this enormous book that’s packed with conflicts
and details, I can guess it was substantial. This was a labor of love and it
All scenery descriptions are
perfect. He gives you exactly enough information to keep that movie in your
head going, moving on to the action way before you would even think of getting
bored of it. You can quickly visualize everything he describes.
One last thing about the author – he
is the creator of magnificent sentences and quotes. Some quotes are better
understood in context, but overall, it’s quite a collection.
Now, let’s delve into my reading journal.
(Stop here to avoid spoilers, or scroll down to the conclusion.)
I got so excited when I read the
name ‘DIANA’ at the top of the page. Diana’s POV? Now there’s something I
didn’t see coming. It was epic and I loved it.
“Looking up, I see the fluttering
leaves from before, replaced with burning embers.”
What an amazing sentence. Earlier in
the prologue she reflects on the trees and falling leaves, and this statement
is a very smart transition from a peaceful morning filled with relatively
normal activity, to the tragedy that we know must follow (for those of us who
have read WOLFGANG).
It’s a sentence of transition. It
tugs at your heartstrings to realize that the only happiness this woman gets, exists
only before that sentence.
I’m already invested and engrossed
in this story. Specifically, I’m happy to see that the author retained the ‘no
ego’ aspect to his writing (see my review for WOLFGANG).
I maintain that such a manner of
writing is important to some types of readers; it helps them relate, as well as
almost feel like they’re part of the story. It really is an impressive style of
narration; it makes the story feel that much more real.
Neat how the author injects a bit of
scenery in the dialogue here and there, painting a complete picture for the
reader in order to make it a complete storytelling experience.
“For a moment, I contemplate jamming
my hand into the ash, but I stop. Too many times I have been burned. Too many
times have I suffered in the name of God.”
This quote is important for a number
of reasons. Aside from the metaphor of people saying they have been burned by someone
in the past, it also illustrates a decision Wolfgang makes to start thinking of
himself and his family instead of the supposed ‘big picture.’ A decision to
stop any unnecessary additions to his obstacles.
A turning point for this story comes
in Chapter 10, when they get to the town where Wolfgang had met his
now-deceased wife. Once he goes to talk to the Mayor, his demeanor (ever cool
and collected regardless of what disaster strikes) begins to fray at the edges.
This is the first we've seen of this side of him, and I am fascinated as to
why. I can't wait to find out (LATER EDIT: I did find out why a couple chapters
Lots of symbolism where Diana is
concerned. For example, when Wolfgang and Kronklich walk into the home where
Diana grew up:
“Snow falls around us as I step down
onto the permafrost, crushing lingering weeds that managed to rise to freedom.
Walking past the creaking gate, I make way through remnants of what used to be
a flourishing garden. Bright sunflowers in the summer. Opal lilies in the
spring. Diana loved this garden. All of it that once was is now covered in a
thin blanket of white. Giant pumpkins never picked from autumn, lie dormant and
tucked away in the corners, frozen in time until the return of spring.”
Also, meeting Dora was so comical,
and I enjoyed it immensely. (LATER EDIT: Surprisingly there are quite a few
comical moments throughout this book which only add to reader enjoyment.)
I loved the wider perspective that
the flashback chapter brings. It made me want to go back a couple chapters so I
could read the Tremont part again.
I love how every once in a while,
the author will briefly entertain your other senses. For example, "Clouds
of dust coil low in the shafts of light." Or he'll tell you what you're
hearing or smelling. They come in brief little delicious segments, not terribly
overdone. It's just enough to give you that extra bit of scenery.
When Wolfgang thought Kronklich was
dead, the phrases are so beautiful. I won’t put them here because these are
sentences you should read for yourself, especially in context. Very lovely.
The fact that their only shelters
from the freezing cold are haunted places makes for some great conflict in the
The heroics of both of these men...
risking so much just to save the other, multiple times. Yet another enjoyable
aspect of this story.
I love the journalistic feel of the very
end of this chapter.
This author is the creator of
countless wonderful sentences that the reader should cherish.
Cresthaven is fascinating. He
reminds me a of a more serious version of the character Lucifer (from the TV show
of the same name). I also love how Diana is somewhat of a guardian angel to
Scepter's personality reminds me of
a Johnny Depp homicidal Mad Hatter. If this ever turns into a movie, the actor
who portrays him has to be very carefully chosen.
Chapter 39 is one of the best I've
ever read, particularly the first few paragraphs. (LATER EDIT: I mean this
sincerely. Really, the whole Cresthaven thing brings the entire story to a
whole new level. Once I got to the Cresthavens, I couldn’t put the book down. No
doing the dishes or putting moisturizer on my face, lol. Just closing the door
to my room and reading. It’s by far the best part of the book, but Chapter 39 I
feel is the most important of all. I could write an entire essay just on this
chapter. Perhaps I will.)
Overall, I have some theories about
this book involving questions that I *trust* will be answered in the last book.
One of those theories, if correct, would be insane, horrible, and epic all at
once. He purposely left some threads to tie up, little hints of the horrors to
come and I can’t wait. I like to think there are things I can predict about
this series, but Mr. Gross has managed to surprise me many times.
Let me be clear however that I don’t
mind having some open threads. The issues that are still open, are open for a
reason. I suspect that Mr. Gross is planning more epic adventures and expanding
this world beyond what he already has, and that is the reason for these open
threads. The journey in INQUISITION in particular absolutely had its story
climax and an end that is satisfying, even if you’re only planning on reading
this book and not the first or the eventual third.
Also, I agree with the other reviews
in that this book could easily translate into an awesome RPG video game. I’ve
seen so many indie horror games that have similar themes to this book but this
game would be even better because of the novels behind it. You could play as
Wolfgang for most of the levels and then at one point you can switch roles and
be one of the Cresthavens trying to defeat the awesome Wolfgang in a boss
battle. You could even have the game be a partial survival sim where you have
to gather food & fuel and build yourself some shelter, not to mention take
care of your horse and fight off the nutass ice crows and atters. I would be
CRAZY with happiness if that ever happens. Mr. Gross, I certainly hope you know
some people who can make that dream a reality!
Truth be told, I’m a little unhappy
that I finished the book and I don’t like having to wait for, what, maybe a
couple years until the last book is out? But I understand that good things are
worth the wait, so wait I shall. I trust that Mr. Gross will be true to himself
and write the third book exactly the way he envisions it and not settle for
anything less. Thank you for a great experience.