Monday, June 17, 2013

Controversial question and book review - Daimones by Massimo Marino

Book Blurb:
Dan and his family awake one day in a world where everyone is dead but no evidence points to a cause. Initial searches for survivors yield nothing and, in panic, the family turns their house into a stronghold.

Eventually, they find Laura, a survivor who manages to win their hearts...and leads Dan to temptation. Laura reveals her panicking encounter with strange entities which Dan recognizes in his childhood hallucinations.

He forces himself to find and confront them: An older power controls the fate of men. A few selected will face the ultimate quest: a painful genetic transformation and work toward the rebirth of a new human race, or oblivion and death in isolation.

My review:
I was given an ebook copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Boy am I conflicted in how I feel about this one. I'm into post-apocalyptic books right now so I was really intrigued by the synopsis and when the author told me the "entities" weren't zombies (I'm a bit over zombies) I was curious to find out more.  

The book is a slow starter and I think it is far longer than it needs to be. There is a lot of repetition and  philosophizing that I just didn't enjoy. The dialogue feels stilted and unnatural. The writing throughout has a European feel and I'm not saying that is a bad thing, but it feels a little awkward to American and/or Australian readers. If you've read books by European writers that won't bother you. But here's where I really had a problem.

When I got to the part where Dan is seduced by Laura I couldn't help thinking this book has been written by a middle-aged man who is vicariously living out his fantasies through his characters. Middle-aged guy gets seduced by hot young thing WITH HIS WIFE'S PRIOR APPROVAL AND HELP PLANNING THE SEDUCTION??? Uh huh. Sure. I could see the group agreeing to having him impregnate Laura for the whole survival of the species thing, but I think there would be a whole lot more jealousy and emotional conflict regarding this whole situation - which wasn't shown here except that Mary got quiet. Turning it into polyamory was a bit much for me. Maybe European women are more open to this kind of thing. What do I know?

I did find a few conceptual similarities to my own book, which I thought was kind of cool. They aren't real similarities and I'm probably the only one who would see them, but cool nonetheless.

Now for what I did like - I actually liked the way the "entities" played into this and I liked the way the story played out and ended. I liked that it was set around the CERN Supercollider, and I enjoyed the science aspects. Again, too much philosophizing and ruminating, but an intriguing and enjoyable story and one I'm glad I read.  

So take my very conflicted review and do with it what you will. What do you think? Have I made you want
to read this? 

And bonus controversial question - it is the end of the world and as far as you know only you, your spouse and one other adult are the survivors - would you help the other adult seduce your spouse, not for the purposes of procreation but so they too would have someone to love?

Author bio - per Massimo Marino:
I’m Italian, or should I say, Sicilian. Palermo is my home town and I left it in 1986. I now have lived more years abroad than in Italy. Needless to say, I have changed in many and different way than my old friends there.

I lived in Switzerland, France, and the United States. For work, I used to travel some 500,000 air miles a year. I am a scientist as a background, having spent over 17 years in fundamental research. Most of my writing are academic stuff. I worked for many years at CERN, near Geneva—an international lab for particle physics research—then in the US at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In 1995 I moved to the private sector, worked with Apple Inc., and then for the World Economic Forum.

Some say I have acquired a multi-faceted personality.

Author's website

Link to <>  page

Link to Goodreads page



  1. I'd probably talk to my husband about it, rather than plotting with the other woman to help her seduce him. That seems strange and disrespectful to me.

    I've read stories that actually were middle-aged men writing out fantasies, and yep, they read pretty much like what you described (though usually with desert islands or lonely cabins in the woods rather than a world where everyone is dead). :)

    1. If it were me as the wife in the situation there is no way I'd do it the way it was described. I respect my marriage too much. I think it was the author's way of absolving the main character of any of the guilt of getting it on with the younger woman. It just felt so gratuitous to me.

      Thanks for your two cents Disregard. :)

  2. OK this is funny because before I read the word SEDUCE I said if I had a CHOICE it would be me, Geoff and our best friend Greg, because that is who would survive... dang it........... we all love each other anyway, hmmmmmmmmmmm I think though if it came to it and it was for purely festive reasons Geoff may let it happen, but who knows! As for those two? Ummmm
    You tell me... MUWHAHAHAHAHA


  3. Hahaha Kriss. Well your boys don't float my boat but to each their own. :) I don't see any problem with the group becoming a threesome. What I have a problem with is the way the author portrayed it happening. He keeps arguing with me about it via email trying to convince me I'm wrong, but hey - it's his book. He can write it however he wants. And I, as the reader, can react to that however I want too. ;)

  4. I just want to clarify for anyone reading my last comment, the author has no problem with my review of his book. Our private disagreement has been with regard to the scene in the book, and how we both feel it might play out. Massimo is quite professional with his attitude toward reviews and reviewers and I respect him for giving me approval to print my review even though it wasn't a rave for his book.

  5. This is a strange one alright. Now, keep in mind i have a completely different perspective, because I've been in an open marriage, and I've seen many polyamorous relationships that work very well, so I think if it were a question of survival of the species, and if I liked the other woman, and if I had my husband's consent, I would have no problem with the seduction/polyamorous aspect of it. However, it has to be a fully open situation, where all parties are open and honest with each other, and the scene you've outlined seems a bit ... sneaky to me. Hmm. I'll admit I'm a bit intrigued...

    1. I think polyamory and even polygamy can work for some people. I don't think I could do it under normal circumstances - I am too insecure. But in an end of the world situation as in the story, if the protagonists were my husband, myself, and another woman, it could happen. But it wouldn't happen the way it did in this book, because for one thing my husband would never take the word of some woman we'd known only a short time that he had my approval, and if it were something I was considering we would have talked about it long before it happened. I'm a big believer in communication, and when it comes to my husband I don't internalize a lot. If it is weighing on my mind we discuss it. I probably communicate too much. :P