Sympathy for the Devil

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
139 Pages
Reviewed on 01/19/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I was born in Connecticut, educated as a mechanical engineer in Massachusetts, and moved to Ohio for a job in a Fortune 200 company. I've since left the safety of that career, having been in multiple manufacturing roles, including: engineering manager, plant manager, and an acquisition captain, as well as an internal consultant for numerous manufacturing plants on Lean methodology. I have now set about consulting part time and writing the rest of the time.

I was always a maverick as a child, and an adult, and was never quite able to draw inside the lines or follow certain rules. I did however, figure out how to fit into acceptable society and not be a pink monkey. This, and the engineering training I had, taught me to question everything, and never automatically believe in anything. Consequently, I was always a handful for anyone I reported to. Once they knew me though, they pretty much let me run free with the reservation, "If anyone asks if I knew about this, I didn't." - since the things I did usually didn't fit into the nice neat corporate boxes or standards, but were effective at getting the job done.

This personality trait, possibly due to playing with mercury as a child, influences my writing to be somewhat different than others. My hopes are that it will make reading more entertaining for you, with a fresh approach to viewing the world around us, by removing the usual paradigms and blinders we impose on ourselves through our culture's influences.

I've done some pretty dumb things while learning about writing as a career. The first thing is, how darn hard it can be, and I've taken classes, and read several books on writing. The second is how easy it is to make a mistake, such as over-write a good file with a draft copy and promote it to 35,000 people. Yikes. That was a nightmare. I'm much more careful now.

If you are someone that doesn't always feel you fit in all the time, and sees things somewhat differently than most, or looks at things and says, 'What if?' then you might like my work.

If you like a more lighthearted group of somewhat irreverent characters, you might like my Reluctant Gods Series. If you've been in business and know some cold and cruel characters, you might like Dr. Roland Vandergrift in 'Power, Control, Conformance.'

If you are a person who is set in their ways and beliefs and can only see things a certain way, you might not like any of my work.

I hope you enjoy what I've done. If you don't like it, remember you can always return it, though I've had few returns so far. Remember, I did warn you.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

Sympathy for the Devil by A.J. Aaron is a powerful, humorous novel that will undoubtedly appeal to fans of fantasy. The author creates a compelling and controversial character in the man known as John. This is a man who easily gets bored, who is lonely, and whose mischief seems to follow him everywhere he goes with exacting consequences. As he heads to Pierce and Calla, John dreams of some great company, but can he be well-received by these angels? The game changes when John loses his every power. Now he is under the dominion of his unforgiving wife. Can he find any sympathy?

A.J. Aaron has succeeded in making me laugh through a book, an achievement that is difficult to come by. I enjoyed the great writing, mingled with plot-driven and tantalizing dialogues. Readers will be pulled in by the vivid, powerful descriptions. The characters are awesome, pulled from a world that contains elements of both the familiar and the strange, which makes readers feel like they have known the characters all along in some strange way. The story line isn't as complex as I'd have wanted, but it is gripping and it moves pretty fast. The humor is biting and it comes across powerfully in the narrator's clear and absorbing voice. Sympathy for the Devil is one of those stories that reflects the comedy of life readers face every day, its contradictions, and the burden of choice. A.J. Aaron has a great imagination and it has created a world for readers to revel in.

Jack Magnus

Sympathy for the Devil is a dark urban fantasy novel written by A.J. Aaron. Pierce Godebert had his day off all planned out. The engineer was closely involved with Habitats for Humanity and was getting ready to go to the construction work site when he received a most unusual telephone call. A gentleman, who identified himself as Grant King, had called to inform him of an inheritance Pierce had received. It was for a large sum of money as well as a sizable estate, and a private jet was waiting to take him there. Pierce declined, stressing the fact that he was needed at the site. Then something strange happened; the skies turned dark and stormy, and lightning flashed in the air. There would be no working outdoors that day, and so Pierce decided to go along with the odd request. The jet was waiting just as promised, and he soon found himself in Middlefield, Ohio. Arriving at the airport brought another surprise; an Aston Martin DB11, the car he'd often fantasized about, was waiting for him -- and it was his. But that was only the beginning, because, you see, Pierce would soon find himself in the company of gods and was actually one himself.

A.J. Aaron's darkly humorous urban fantasy, Sympathy for the Devil, blends quantum physics with divine mythology as the engineer-turned-god explores a life where everything one could imagine can be conjured up with a little attention to detail. Along the way, he reunites with his long-lost beloved and makes the unwitting acquaintance of the devil. This incarnation of Satan, however, isn't really quite as evil as one might expect. Aaron's fantasy tale is funny, clever and disarming. His celestial characters are surprisingly ordinary, and that's a very cool thing. I particularly got a kick out of Pierce's romantic interest, Calla, who engages in gargantuan feasts each morning while delighting in the fact that she can do so without gaining an ounce of weight. Aaron’s merging of alternative realities into the fantasy elements in his plot is brilliant, and his story is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Sympathy for the Devil is highly recommended.

Viga Boland

Like its title, Sympathy for the Devil by A.J. Aaron is somewhat oxymoronic. This tall story is almost incredibly possible, seriously funny and insanely brilliant. Does the title, Sympathy for the Devil, ring a bell? If you're a Rolling Stones fan, it will. And like the devil in that song, this devil is "a man of wealth and taste" and is "in need of some restraint." He suffers terribly from boredom and runs around causing havoc where and however he can, just for kicks. Like, he even designs a Pokemon type app that has folks glued to their phones chasing little critters all the way into the gates of hell!

Thing is, John, as he calls himself, is such a likeable guy...almost dorkish. When his attempts to foul everything up fall flat, he turns to two "white lighters", Calla and Pierce, good god-like spirits who can appear and disappear in alternate realities at will, to help him get out of his slump. Calla and Pierce were lovers in other lives and have only recently found each other again. They don't really want John tagging along, but since they're do-gooders, they help him out. The resulting events are totally unbelievable but deliciously intriguing, but the entire concept is so novel that readers find themselves suspending disbelief and just letting their imaginations roam. Like, what if we really all do exist in parallel universes, and what if we really could skip from one reality into another? When we lose ourselves daydreaming on the job or imagining things, who knows where we really go?

A look at A.J. Aaron's bio and his large catalogue of books on Amazon gives you a lot of insight into the character he has created in John or if you prefer, Satan. In many ways, it appears he may be like his hero. In one of his earlier books titled A New Reality, which is somewhat autobiographical, the author indicates his own absorption and belief in parallel universes and alternate realities. He is exploring these possibilities in Sympathy with the Devil. Those can be heady subjects, but the way A.J. Aaron explores them here makes it a lot of fun. Hop aboard and enjoy the ride.