Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Preta's Realm

Preta's Realm
Preta's Realm by J. Thorn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Horror Reading Level: Adult Recommended for: Fans of horror

Trigger Warnings: Murder, rape, adultery, betrayal by a best friend, demons

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review, which I provided in October, 2012. In February 2013 I edited this book for re-release.

Synopsis (from the flap): Drew works hard, pays his taxes, and loves his family. But when a visit from the spirit of his deceased grandfather coincides with the violent murder of two co-workers, Drew falls into a desperate spiral of delusion and betrayal as the demons of the past drag him into Preta's Realm.

My Thoughts: I had a couple of books by this author I’d picked up on my own about the same time he noticed me and offered me this one, which is why the sudden J. Thorn-fest in my review log. It seems his work wanders all over the place: different genres, different ideas. Which I think is great, of course. No sense pegging yourself into a single hole and getting stuck there, right?

There were aspects of this story that reminded me somewhat of The Shining; not to say that this story is anything like The Shining, just that there were aspects that make me think of it, where Drew, who has had a previous breakdown, suddenly starts to sort of snap, get weird, and hear voices. It led to a sort of creeping horror that was very effective.

I was interested to learn that a Preta is a demon of sorts in Hindu mythology. These sorts of stories particularly interest me, especially with the tie-in to the Japanese gakil. I wish we have been given additional information on the Preta, but I suppose adding more would have made it an infodump. I will simply have to take the time and do the research myself. Anyway, I was particularly interested in the different points of view of the story told by Drew’s grandfather and by Mashoka.

I also enjoyed the minor tie-in with The Seventh Seal (link to review here if you’re reading this where links work), and the bit of meta-fiction where Thorn writes himself in as the singer in a rock-and-roll band. Well, I think it’s actually supposed to be a grunge or heavy-metal band, but you know what I mean. Edit: J. Thorn actually does sing with the band Threefold Law; how cool is that?

If you like horror, be sure to pick up this book (and The Seventh Seal). I don’t believe you need to read the two books in any particular order, but they do tie together. Now, keep reading for my comments on the bonus short story!

Bonus Short Story Retrograde: A short story featuring a vampire, a little girl, savages and what happens when two worlds collide. Chilling, beautifully evocative, with an ending that made me say “uh-oh.” Wonderful. Watch for my review of Reversion: Portal Arcane I later this weekend.

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