Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lost Gods

by Brom
490 pgs

Chet Moran is a young man recently released from prison in Alabama, having spent the last seven months there for drug possession. He's determined to turn his life around and become the type of man he knows he can be. His first task is to convince Trish, the girl he loves, now eight months pregnant with their baby and wanting nothing further to do with him, that he's a changed man and that she should run away with him to start a life together. Not an easy task, especially when her father, a powerful judge in the community, has pledged to shoot Chet if he ever comes near his daughter again.

After convincing Trish that he can provide her with a loving and stable life, and having narrowly escaped the judge with his life, Chet takes Trish and their unborn baby to the home of his grandmother Lamia on Moran Island in South Carolina. But the island is not the safe place he thought it would be, and Chet is murdered shortly after they arrive. But this is a story by Brom, a fantasy artist and author whose stories I can best describe as terribly wonderful, so death is not the end for Chet. A dark and dangerous journey awaits him.

Chet must travel through Purgatory in order to save Trish and their baby from an equally terrible fate. But Purgatory itself is in a state of upheaval and civil war. Ancient gods are fighting for their survival and Chet must navigate his way through purgatory and back again in order to barter for the lives of those he loves and swore to never again let down.

I described Brom's stories as terribly wonderful, and I meant it. This is a dark and sometimes disturbing tale. But it's not disturbing just for the sake of being disturbing. Brom is a fantastic world builder, and in creating his vision of Purgatory and in describing what the souls of the lost might go through there, he doesn't coat it with a layer of sugar to make it more palatable. He draws upon an eclectic assortment of theologies and their views of the afterlife and then combines them in a way that no one else could.

I loved it, but am sure others won't.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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