“Unfortunately there is no place in Hell for insurgents.”
Marcus is a prisoner of the mundane. Long lost is his passion for anything aside from consuming countless bourbon after bourbon in his tattered, withered upholstered chair. Submitting to reclusiveness and withdrawn even his live in partner Brenda becomes steadily estranged.
One evening he receives a text she’d sent indicating she wouldn’t be home for the night, out with friends,. Wallowing in his own despair Marcus has a mysterious visitor from Desiderium the demon of regret. The messenger from beyond magnifies and compounds his somber eclipse. After extensive palaver and manipulation he coerces Marcus into suicide, an exit stage of graphic proportion as he blows his head off into oblivion.
Enter the eerie landscape of the perilous damned. Marcus becomes a protégé unto Desiderium. Under the guise and tutelage of Sonnellion, demon of hatred, Marcus learns the protocol of purchasing human souls for eternal damnation.
Returning to earth he shocks his neighbors with his resurrection. In quest of the tattered throne of his demise, he’s lead to a church where he confronts Brenda well beyond the stages of bereavement. With redemption and vengeance in mind he convinces his awestruck, lost love to allow his side of the story.
It dawns upon Marcus as he ventures into her home just how easily and readily she’s moved on. While quarrelling, Steve the object of her desires awakens and interrupts the two. Marcus comes to grips of the certain infidelity and consummates an obsession of claiming her soul for damnation in exchange for all her indiscretions.
Tension and unholy conflict arises as Steve unveils his true identity to be Belial prince of guilt, second in command to Lucifer. The demon’s mandate is to imprison the hapless Brenda to hell fire and brimstone as his eternal incubator for demonic incubus. As Brenda rebels her evil proclamation the two engage in combat for possession of her soul. Ultimately it’s no contest as Marcus is overthrown, clearly the far more inferior and inexperienced of the two. For his insolence he’s sentenced to solitary in Purgatory until the lord of darkness deems otherwise.
After seemingly eons of roaming existence Marcus meets John, a sub-human creature and Angelee, a very special young girl. Together they unite and vie for escape from Purgatory’s bounds.
Back in the land of the damned Lucifer senses mutiny across the plains of other existence. Belial and Brenda had conceived a prodigy of monumental proportion, Angelee. The youth has fled to the outer reaches of existence. Sensing an inter-realm invasion Lucifer morphs into Addai, a mortal disguise in pursuit of the child on the lamb. Sensing her infinite tormentor Belial is distracted, Brenda plots escape from Hell to find her offspring. Meanwhile Marcus ventures across Purgatory, Limbo and the realms of existence with no name.
It’s a heightened pursuit against time, eternity and will as each disciple of the damned race for universal supremacy.
I can quite easily proclaim one does not simply read Revenge. Faust and Schneider’s epic endeavor is a spell binding, imaginative experience. The descriptive, lucid landscape imagery pushes the very grasp of reality as we are predisposed to comprehend. Not only have our authors tapped into a common fear among society, in the unknown or the afterlife they fine tune the elements of terror with such poetic finesse you’d suspect is a virtual oracle capable of opening separate portholes of existence upon whim.
Although this is not commercial fiction by prose the literary voice captivates us instantaneously on a journey where the evil and damned roam. The pace is steady, forever rising in tension and suspense as we cannot wait to learn the fate of any number of unique characters. Shades of any epic Tolkien tale, Revenge is a must read for fans and authors alike of dark fantasy. Raw and emotional we as the reader are virtually drawn into our own empathetic Marcus seemingly on a subconscious basis. We find ourselves rooting for our protagonist if for no other reason than to learn of the ultimate fate that lies ahead for eternity.
I sense Revenge to be a future classic, a conversational piece among many in the horror literature community. After all aren’t we constantly plagued with the dilemma that have driven men to madness while pondering, what lies beyond?
Schneider and Faust are a cohesive, well-oiled story telling machine that rival the adventure prowess of King and Straub. Highly recommended for any self-respecting horror fan.
Book Review: Revenge – Authors Gabrielle Faust and Solomon Schneider