Pay It Forward · Review

Book Review: Dante’s Eternity

Book – Dante’s Eternity
Author – Martin Kaynan
Star rating – ★★★★☆
Plot – I have no words for this. (see why below)
Characters – lots of variety
Movie Potential – ★★★☆☆
Ease of reading – very easy to read
Cover – ✔
Suitable Title – ✔
Would I read it again – Undecided.

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** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

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Let me start by saying this: this whole book can be summed up with three words. Words that no site would let me add to my review, so here’s the friendly version – WTF!

I’m really confused by this book. It’s all about Dante’s life, which I expected from the title. However, I thought this might be darker, due to the cover and blurb, but it’s not. It’s actually a little…um…surprising? I’m really not sure how to talk about this book at all. It’s all about Dante’s life and all the terrible things he’s done, because the Devil made him that way through genetic manipulation (through his parents and grandparents). All of his bad actions have an adverse effect on his twin sister Demi.

Quite a few things confuse me about this story. One is that Dante has no real reason to act the way he does (everyone blames it on him being a ‘devil child’.) He was manipulated and born that way, fine, but it makes it very hard to understand why he does what he does.

As I read the story, Dante is the worst kind of human being, without a conscience, yet we’re being asked, as readers, to care about his fate. It also seems like the entire point of the story is ‘sex’. That is it. Sex is what makes the ‘sin’ of his grandparents and his mother and ‘sex’ is what Dante can’t refuse, and what tool damages Demi over the years.

That said, there are points in the story where I feel sorry for quite a lot of the characters. For a start, Dante’s grandparents, biological and not. There’s Mary, who is heartbreaking and Demi who suffers for things she hasn’t done. But there are a few points where I feel bad for Dante, though I have no logical reason to. This is the genius of the author. Although Dante is a despicable human being, I do care about him and I do wonder if he’ll ever change his ways. No matter all the bad he’s done, I spend the whole book wishing he would reunite with Demi.

It’s a very long read, or at least it felt that way. However I did read it in just two days. That’s what this book does to me, it has me so tied in knots, unsure of what even I’m thinking that I can barely function properly. I’m not sure it has to be this long, but having finished it, I can see what the author was doing by going right back to the beginning. Without that, nothing else would have made sense.

My other big issue with this story is that all the men are strong, sexual predators and all the women are either simpering, pathetic fools, or obsessive, sexually aggressive nymphet’s panting over Dante. (From the description, even I’ll admit that he sounds hot.) I don’t care how good looking a guy is, if he is abusive or a cheater, you’re unlikely to find any woman who is willing to put up with that the way these girls do. He’s violent, abusive, rude, cocky and promiscuous. He mistreats women and abuses the friendships and love that are given to him so freely.

I’m not even remotely religious, but I’m not against it either. This book has quite an over zealous attack on religion throughout the story and there are whimpering girls that keep going on and on about it. To be quite honest, I don’t relate to any of the characters in this story, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the art of the writer. I may not like these characters, but in some warped way I root for them all the same. That’s new for me.

A lot of the incidences in this story are blown way out of proportion. The ‘devil’ is cheesy and a little pathetic for the Devil, but I think that’s the point. Dante keeps simpering in the ‘present day’ and being a cocky twat who thinks nothing can touch him, during the story. (I prefer him as a cocky teenager, chasing every skirt in sight and then again when he’s older and married, and I don’t even know why). He’s selfish and arrogant and there’s something in me that said I shouldn’t give a stuffing what happened to him or any of the rest of the characters. But for some reason I do. It’s like I was compelled to finish, just to find out what happened. As much as I didn’t want to finish it, because of Dante’s personality and how much he and some of the other characters are the very cliché types that I hate to read, I did finish it and I did find it oddly intriguing.

There is nothing wrong with the writer, the idea or the execution and layout of the story. It felt like I was watching a train wreck – it’s terrible and I hated what I was seeing, but I just couldn’t look away. The ending of this story is so typically WTF! just as some of the rest of the story is, that I was only mildly surprised. I suspected this kind of bond, but after everything throughout the story I was convinced it wouldn’t happen.

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Overall:

One of the weirdest stories I’ve ever read. In a good way. I don’t think I’ll ever have to read this story again, because it’s one that will stick with me as being totally out there, but I think I might, just to see if, now that I know the ending, things read differently. It’s an intriguing pile of chaos, wrapped up in demonic influence, tied together with confusing sexual aggressiveness and a sprinkle of the hottest twins you have ever seen in your life (according to their description). I’m all a tangle of confusion with his book, but I’m not even sure that I mind.

My recommendation is to read it and let me know what you think.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Dante’s Eternity

    1. Yeah, very true. I was supposed to read it in October, but with medical stuff going on, I knew I couldn’t commit the brain energy to a novel this complex, and I’m glad I waited. I love when I have a strong reaction to characters, because it’s better than having no reaction at all. 🙂

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