In what sometimes feels like a twisted version of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ meets ‘Quantum Leap’, Duncan P. Bradshaw’s ‘Hexagram’ is certainly one of the most original horror books that I have come across in 2016. From the opening couple of chapters, featuring a bloody sacrifice, I knew this book was going to keep me very entertained.
If you have read any of Duncan’s other books then you will know that he has a highly original voice in fiction. Put it this way, I can read one chapter and know if Mr Bradshaw wrote it. This is quite an unusual book in the way that it is written. It is a series of short stories set across a timeline that are all bound together by a single narrative. Does it work? Yes, very much so. The story could’ve been a train wreck but Bradshaw holds it together dragging us kicking and screaming through a story that is filled with gag-testing scenes of violence and gore, though it never loses its way. The tale sees an ancient ritual interrupted, setting off a chain of events spanning hundreds of years. We are taken from such places as the American Civil War to the Whitechapel murders of the late 1800s to the present day as we follow a series of time-spanning horrors and rituals that are hollowed out and dripping with leaked intestines.
The cover art is ace and is the perfect vehicle for Bradshaw’s almost cartoon style violence and storytelling, and I don’t mean this in a negative way. This book is a lot of fun to read. Some of the settings will resonate more than others, but I really enjoyed the whole journey, particularly the shipwreck in the early 1700s and the final scenes with Esther and her sister Stella. The dialogue is very Bradshaw; witty, casual, often amusing. It could be a little off-putting to somebody who hasn’t read Bradshaw’s work before but personally I really enjoyed it and felt that it injected some of the authors personality into it. Like I said earlier, it has a sort of rated R cartoon style feel to it that I really dig.
‘Hexagram’ is an ambitious novel that jumps around a lot and because of this it could become Bradshaw’s Vegemite novel, meaning you either like it or you don’t. I did like it, a lot. The pacing is very good and I felt the short stories intertwined well, whilst being long enough without outstaying their welcome. The witty dialogue was enjoyable and there were some great scenes of gore. I read it in two sessions so it’s a thumbs up from me. Extra points to Bradshaw for mentioning the cricket, too!
Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #Hexagram #IncanRituals #HookofaBook
- File Size:3282 KB
- Print Length:232 pages
- Publisher:EyeCue Productions (July 25, 2016)
- Publication Date:July 25, 2016
Their lands plagued by invaders, the Inca resort to an ancient ritual. By harvesting star dust from people, they hope to accumulate enough to raise the sun god, Inti, and reclaim their lands.
Yet when the collection is interrupted, it sets in motion events which will rattle human history.
Six stories. Six different time periods. One outcome.
We are all made of stars.
When an ancient Inca ritual is interrupted, it sets in motion a series of events that will echo through five hundred years of human history. Many seek to use the arcane knowledge for their own ends, from a survivor of a shipwreck, through to a suicide cult.
Yet…the most unlikeliest of them all will succeed.
Duncan P. Bradshaw lives in the county of Wiltshire, nestled around the belly button of southern England, with his wife Debbie, and their two cats, Rafa and Pepe. During the day, he is a mild mannered office goon, doing things which would bore you, if he was forced to tell you. At night, he becomes one with a keyboard, and transforms his weird and wonderful thoughts into words, which people, like you, and me, can read.
Why not pop over to his website, http://duncanpbradshaw.co.uk/ or give him a like over on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/duncanpbradshaw or read his ravings on his blog, http://duncanpbradshaw.blogspot.co.uk/
Praise for Hexagram
“Hexagram is a visceral journey through the dark nooks and crannies of human history. Lovecraftian terror merges with blood sacrifices, suicide cults and body horror as Bradshaw weaves an intricate plot into an epic tale of apocalyptic dread.” – Rich Hawkins, author of The Last Plague trilogy
“A rip-roaring boy’s own adventure yarn. This novel contains multitudes, and the sheer scale and breadth of the story is exhilarating. A glorious, unhinged thrill ride.” – Kit Power, author of GodBomb!
Praise for Bradshaw’s Writing
“Duncan Bradshaw has a fantastic writing style. He gets you engrossed in the characters from the very outset. His mix of comedy and horror and real life are superb.” – Confessions of a Reviewer
“The true genius of Duncan P. Bradshaw is the rollercoaster ride of words and expressions. I have never seen an author go from the depths of dark and gore to laugh out loud all within the same paragraph.” – 2 Book Lovers Reviews
“Remember, you’ve now willingly plunged yourself into the mind of Duncan Bradshaw. You’re completely at the mercy of his strange imagination and all the eccentric oddities that his curious mind can conjure up.” – DLS Reviews
“Bradshaw is able to weight the horror set pieces with a dry humour and plenty of laugh out loud moments.” – UK Horror Scene
“One of the first things that I did after reading The Black Room Manuscripts, was to go out and buy Class Three by Duncan Bradshaw. I just found his writing in Time for Tea to have this gleeful kind of undertow to the carnage he wrought on his tea drinkers and wanted to see what his writing was like in a longer format.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror
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