My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: People fascinated with occultism of all stripes, alternate ideas behind spirituality, dark suspenseful stories
Trigger Warnings: Torture, serial killing, explicit sex, (implied) rape, mutilation, betrayal
My Thoughts: This book. Wow, I don’t even know where to begin! I ended the book, shook myself all over, and said, “Oh my GOD!" This book was amazing, mesmerizing, engaging, wonderful... twisted... And I learned more about the more extreme forms of body modifications than I ever really wanted to know (and I thought I was already fairly well-informed... just goes to show you, there is always something weirder out there. Nullification, anyone? That means, “cutting off bits,” if you didn’t know this...). Maybe a good place to begin is here:
“...everything you’ve ever known, everything you’ve ever believed about yourself... about the description of reality you’ve clung to so stubbornly all your life... all of it... every bit of it... is an illusion.” I know I’m repeating the quote from the beginning of the synopsis here (shown below), but it encapsulates the ideas behind this story beautifully.
Something you need to understand about me, to maybe help you understand why I loved this book so very, very much. I love villains. I’ve always loved villains—it all stems from early exposure to the Joker, I think. I root for the villain in superhero comics and cartoons and movies; I love stories where the villain has a good showing. A good villain will just make my entire month. And Paul? He’s an awesome villain. He’s charismatic. He’s joyfully cruel, gleefully evil. He loves to torture people. He’s like Hannibal Lecter if Hannibal Lecter had been kinda stinky, Irish, and not as dashing. Best of all, he’s absolutely convinced of the righteousness of his own actions. Paul... is my ideal sort of villain. I just wanted to follow him around (hiding of course—you don’t want that sort to notice you, after all) and watch everything he did with a sick and morbid fascination.
The ending is a complete spin, and just amazing. I don’t even know what else to say about this book other than you must read it! If you are fascinated with occultism, Hermeticism, the Celts, druids, like dark suspenseful stories... There are some things in this book that will probably distress more sensitive readers, so be sure to check my trigger warnings, but overall? I loved this book, and I am now on tenter-hooks hoping the next will come out soon.
Disclosure: I purchased this book for myself upon the recommendation of Kriss Morton (a death mask may have been involved). All opinions are my own.
Series information: A best-selling novel, The Book of Paul is the first of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly. The next two books in the series are to be called The Book of Druids and The Bone King.
Synopsis: "Everything you've ever believed about yourself... about the description of reality you've clung to so stubbornly all your life... all of it... every bit of it... is an illusion."
In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure "beyond all imagining"—an immaculately preserved, fifth-century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will... and attaining eternal life.
When Rose, a sex- and pain-addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book's occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.
The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul's clutches and Martin's destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul's sinister legacy. Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn't be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe—the Maelstrom.
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