I’ve been struggling a little with putting into words what my feelings are about this book. It’s the first time I’ve read anything by Stephanie M. Wytovich. I am well aware of her poetry work. It is much-lauded by people I respect within the genre and although I’m not a poetry reader per se I think it might be time that I give it a go because the writing here is fantastic.
Firstly, a little bit about the book: Paimon is a collector, one of the devils servants. A puppet that the devil uses to collect souls. Paimon is sent to collect a woman called Rhea, only he falls in love with her and he doesn’t like the idea of the devil getting hold of her. Big mistake! The devil is someone you don’t mess with but Paimon cannot deny the way he feels, especially when Rhea reminds him of his lost love. What follows is a trip through Hell as Paimon seeks to keep the dark lord from getting his hands on Rhea.
I’ll say right now that the descriptions of Hell in this book are the best I’ve read since Edward Lee’s ‘City Infernal’ – another favourite book of mine. Wytovich paints a grim picture of Hell, a place of decay and waste, flesh, blood and bone where creatures fight amongst themselves to survive and do only as the devil says. The books lead, Paimon is a superb character, a broken thing, at odds with what he is doing, a person that still has something left inside of him despite where he lives and who he is surrounded by. His back-story is filled with tragedy and regret, a very sympathetic character despite the nature of his job. Rhea is an object in a tug-of-war between Paimon and his master, never really sure of the difference between fiction and reality and the devil himself is superb; as nasty and violent as he should be, a menacing and evil presence. Even the characters with smaller parts such as Charon the ferryman are engaging and given their own unique personalities. Most of the book takes place in Hell, much to my delight, and this is where Stephanie’s gift of language comes to the fore. She creates a stunning backdrop for the devil and his minions with her vivid descriptions.
‘The Eighth’ is a love story at its core, but one with a sting in the tale. The characters are superb, the story is superb as is the writing and I cannot find fault with anything. There is even a nice little nod to David Fincher’s classic movie ‘Seven’ at the books end. If you like your fantasy fiction dark or are a horror nut like myself then do yourself a favour and pick up this book. Although released late last year I am sure this will be amongst my top reads of 2017. I can’t believe that this is her first full-length novel! ‘The Eighth’ is breathtaking, brutal, beautiful and brilliant. Buy it!
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The Eighth, Synopsis
* Print Length: 135 pages
* Publisher: Dark Regions Press
After Paimon, Lucifer’s top soul collector, falls in love with a mortal girl whose soul he is supposed to claim, he desperately tries everything in his power to save her from the Devil’s grasp. But what happens when a demon has to confront his demons, when he has to turn to something darker, something more sinister for help? Can Paimon survive the consequences of working with the Seven Deadly Sins-sins who have their own agenda with the Devil—or will he fall into a deeper, darker kind of hell?
Stephanie M. Wytovich, Biography
Stephanie M. Wytovich is an instructor by day and a horror writer by night.
She is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, and a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction.
Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated poetry collections, Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Brothel earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press, and her debut novel, The Eighth, is simmering in sin with Dark Regions Press. Learn more about Stephanie at her website and follow her on twitter @JustAfterSunset.
Praise for The Eighth
“The Eighth is a stellar horror debut from Stephanie Wytovich. An intimate, painful map of personal and literal hells that would make Clive Barker proud.”- Christopher Golden, New York Times best-selling author
“Stephanie Wytovich’s The Eighth is a savage tale of betrayal, regret, and the dark side of love in its many forms. The poetic imagery she sprinkles throughout balances the brutality with beauty.” Chris Marrs, author of Wildwoman and Everything Leads Back to Alice
“A fierce and emotionally intense debut.”- Craig DiLouie, author of Suffer the Children
“A brilliant debut from a major new talent, full of darkness, fire, and devilry. Indeed, the sins in this novel are so well realized that I fear just a little for Ms. Wytovich’s soul.”- Rio Youers, author of Westlake Soul and Point Hollow
“The Eighth is one of the most exciting books to come along in 2016 and one of the best debuts of the last decade or so. Wytovich is at the top of her game and gaining momentum like a runaway freight train, and you’ll be doing yourself a great disservice if you miss out on this monumental and hugely entertaining read.” – This is Horror
Purchase Links You can pre-order this book through Dark Regions Press website in e-book, trade paperback, and hardcover deluxe signed collector’s edition. They will be shipped in November.
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Categories: Book Review