Putting in a Good Word for the Werewolf – Halloween

Werewolves, the fluffiest of the Halloween creatures. They have haunted the streets of London and became enthralled in love triangles in the Pacific Northwest. They often serve as allegory for humanities most animalistic tendencies. This collection of werewolf novels is meant to horrify and inspire self reflection. Are we really that different from the monsters we create in our fiction?

Cabal by Clive Barker

This Novella follows Boone, a man who believes he is a serial killer, but has no recollection of killing anyone. As he becomes convinced that he is indeed a murderer after visits with his psychiatrist, he begins looking for the mythical city of Midian a place that offers protection for monsters called the Night Breed. This horrifying tale has many twists and turns that keep the reader on their toes and his a wholly unique experience to read.

Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy

At the core of it, Hemlock Grove is a mystery. When girls are showing up dead and the two protagonists Roman and Peter are singled out as the most likely suspects, it is up to them to get to the bottom of the case and nab the real killer. the catch, Peter is a werewolf. This story is one that is full of interesting revelations that keep the reader on the edge of their seat for the whole ride so I won’t spoil any more than just stating the premise.

Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

5% of the population are werewolves. They are drugged so as to keep them from transforming into their wolf forms and it has been made illegal for werewolves to use their powers. Red Moon is all about asking a question that is a common werewolf trope “who is the real monster?”. Dealing with themes such as terrorism, domestic surveillance, prejudice and many more. This werewolf epic is well-worth the read.

These titles and many more horrifying tales are all available at your Davenport Public Library. For more recommendations like these to get you into the Halloween spirit, check out our Halloween LibGuide for more wretched recommendations. And always remember to beware the full moon.

 

Villainous Video Games – Halloween

While many think about telling spooky campfire tales with friends and loved ones around the Halloween season, another fun way to share in the frights is to turn off all of the lights, bundle up in your warmest blanket and snuggle in with a terrifying video game to scare your socks off. I have compiled some truly terrifying offerings of games that are sure to do just that.

Outlast Trinity

This game is actually a collection of three experiences all packaged into one case. Unlike some horror games that let you take on the bad guys and supernatural creatures, Outlast only gives the player a camcorder with night vision capabilities as their tool. No weapons or tools to fight off the bad guys, only hiding or running are your options. This helplessness drives up the intensity and horror in this atmospheric instant classic.

Until Dawn

This story-driven game follows a group of teenagers trapped at a ski resort in the mountain being hunted by a serial killer, and potentially other, more deadly supernatural forces. This game puts the player in charge, allowing you to make choices that dictate who lives and who dies. Try to survive the night in this narrative-focused thriller.

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

Halloween isn’t all about scaring your boots off, sometimes it is about strategizing the layout of your garden to fend off hordes of cartoon zombies. This tower defense game is great fun for all ages and is a great way to get into the Halloween spirit for those of all ages. It has a silly cartoon aesthetic to go with the generally silly atmosphere of the game. A ton of fun to be had in this game where you plant fire-breathing dandelions to fend off hat-wearing zombies.

These titles and many more horrifying tales are all available at your Davenport Public Library. For more recommendations like these to get you into the Halloween spirit, check out our Halloween LibGuide for more wretched recommendations.

 

 

 

 

Vouching For Vampires – Halloween

It’s getting closer to the best time of the year. Leaves are about to change colors, the winds at night are going to become crisp and cool and abandoned department stores are about to become filled with all manner of spooky costumes and decorations. Halloween is upon us! And I have tasked myself with theming some blog posts around getting into the holiday spirit. This post is going to focus on making some recommendations for those looking for stories about everyone’s favorite bloodsucking bat-people. Vampires!

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

This is a macabre novel that delves into the depths of Vampire lore to the original figure that inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula. Vlad the Impaler. This twisting and turning narrative follows the narrator as she peels back the layers to a case of a missing professor and how that ties in to hundreds of years of letters and their sinister vampiric history.

Let the Right One In by John Lindqvist

This creepy atmospheric tale takes place in 1980s Sweden where one bullied boy finds that he might have finally made a friend. A friend that just moved in next door, A friend that he only gets to see at night, a friend that only started showing up after a body was found drained of blood.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

This is a unique vampire tale that involves psychic bridges, child kidnappers, and a really scary car. Follow Vic McQueen as she goes through life learning about her mysterious powers and battles against an evil child abductor that is even more ominous than meets the eye in this intense thriller.

These titles and many more horrifying tales are all available at your Davenport Public Library. For more recommendations like these to get you into the Halloween spirit, check out our Halloween LibGuide for more wretched recommendations.

 

 

Wytches by Scott Snyder

The first thing that drew me to Wytches by Scott Snyder was the cover, it did such a great job of grabbing my attention while also letting me know what the tone of the novel was going to be before I even opened the book. Dark, stylized art that was personal and small in scope. No world-ending apocalypse in this horror novel, just a family struggling to cope with their past and trying to accommodate to a new home. Little do they know that the woods that surround them holds an evil more sinister then they could imagine.

The horror in this novel comes from how little we see. As a fan of horror I always appreciate when a writer is able to show restraint in showing too much of the monster. Snyder does a fantastic job of only showing the wytches in little chunks throughout the story. It helps to preserve the mystery of the monster and horror is largely anchored in fear of the unknown, once the monster is explained to us, it ceases being as scary. Snyder knows this and does a fantastic job of showing the reader just enough of the wytches so that the reader knows to fear them.

Jock’s art is stylized, chaotic, yet also clearly defined. Some artists that draw in a similar style to Jock border on abstract art but Jock is able to draw these fantastically beautiful and dark settings and characters while grounding them as well. Jock is able to take the extremes of this chaotic art style, with bright and dark colors contrasting all across the frames with paint splatter and exaggerated figures and balance that style with a more grounded style and the two styles mesh wonderfully throughout the story and add to the tone and presentation of the work as a whole. Typically, the extreme exaggerated borderline abstract art is used when the supernatural is occurring, and this contrasts with the clearer more-traditional sections of the work where the protagonists aren’t being confronted by tree-wytches.

Overall, Wytches doesn’t go out and do anything that transcends the trappings of the horror genre, but it isn’t trying to. It is a very well-executed horror story about a family coming to terms their traumatic past, and in the process having to fight off supernatural wytches. It is a spooky story that nails it all where it counts. Atmosphere, art, writing and scares.

For other spooky scary stories, look no further than the Davenport Public Library’s Halloween Libguide! If you are looking for more graphic novels to dive into, our Comics Libguide is the one for you!

The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey

The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey is a standalone dark fantasy novel that takes place in the dystopian eastern-European inspired steampunk city of Proszawa.  This novel follows the escapades of Largo, a drug-addicted bike messenger from the slums of Lower Proszawa as he tries to ascend out of the slums and into the ranks of the elite of Upper Proszawa. Kadrey is a master at worldbuilding, with every delivery and errand that Largo goes on, the reader is given clues and information about the world of Proszawa. As Largo attempts to ascend the socioeconomic ranks of his world, he begins to discover a plot that could unravel the very fabric of the city and plunge his world into another Great War.

The city of Proszawa is dark and gritty. Drugs, sex and hedonism run rampant. The city parties as robots called Mara take the jobs of the working class. The world is one that is recovering from the effects of a massive industrialized Great War. This setting seems one that is vaguely reminiscent of the German Weimar Republic after the First World War except with Stempunk Androids and genetically engineered creatures littering the streets. The plot is an engaging one but my opinion is the strength of this novel is the world that Kadrey builds. Proszawa has a lot of the trappings that we have come to expect from Urban Dark Fantasy but it is utterly unique in execution. The discovery of the world is almost just as important as the progression of the plot.

Another huge strength of this story is the romance between Largo and the actress Remy.  Remy is an actress for the Grand Dark, a theater in Lower Proszawa that serves as the home for Remy and Largo. The Grand Dark theater is also  where the mysterious antagonist of the book Una Herzog is a regular patron who plays a key role in unraveling the fabric of Proszawa and laying the groundwork for war. Kadrey’s excellent world building can be seen in the portrayal of the Grand Dark theater as well. The pacing of this novel is a slow burn, this serves another level to the character development and world building. We as the reader get to experience Largo’s world through his eyes.

This story is one that gives a very particular view of a dystopian society, starting from Largo’s street-level perspective and eventually elevating it so that we get glimpses of the entire city. Kadrey does a fantastic job of having the reader experience his world through the eyes of his protagonist and I highly recommend The Grand Dark for any reader looking for a dark fantasy world to plunge in to.  Though the pacing of this book can be slow, especially in the first third of the novel, I would argue that this pacing adds to the story, and doesn’t take away from it.

A Quiet Place on DVD

I don’t like horror movies (or books for that matter). I guess I scare too easily. And I’m pretty strict about this – they simply don’t interest me and I like sleeping without nightmare interruptions. And yet – here I am. Talking about a horror movie. That I actually watched. And, yeah, it’s a good movie. Really good.

A Quiet Place was directed and co-written by John Krasinski and stars himself and his wife Emily Blunt. The movie opens several months after whatever created this dystopian world has already happened as a young couple and their three children search an abandoned store looking for medicine and supplies. They walk home through what seems like an idyllic, autumn countryside but not all is as it seems. Everything is silent – no birds, no animals, no other people. And something horrific is lurking nearby. Because the creatures hunt by sound, you must remain absolutely silent in order to survive. Your introduction to the monsters is shocking and horrific. And terribly sad.

The movie then jumps about a year ahead and we can see the extreme care that the family has taken to be as quiet as possible. Despite the hardships and horror of their current situation, they have carved out a life of love and care – a beautiful if primitive home, lessons for the children, a stockpile of food. When the unthinkable happens and the creatures come for them, they band together to protect and save each other.

The movie is really quite beautiful with superb acting and clever directing. The dialogue, not surprisingly, is minimal, but the emotions and thoughts of each character is clear. It’s astonishing how quickly you come to care for each of them and how easy it is to imagine yourself in their situation and wonder how you would react. It’s also fun to pick out some plot holes (Iowa girl that I am, I kept wondering “How did they plant all that corn silently?” – there are a lot of cornfields and they’re all in perfect, noisy-tractor-made straight lines!) There are other questions that make you wonder, but it never ruins the story or the suspense.

So yeah. I watched a horror movie. No nightmares (so far) I think it helps that, at its core, this movie is about family and people and, while there is some blood and gore, it’s not really the focus of the story. The people are. Highly recommended.

Get Out: A Film Deserving of the Hype

Horror cinema is an ideal format for illuminating and discussing mass anxiety. Zombie film comes to mind as one representation of “fear-of-the-crowd”, i.e. the fear of being engulfed or overtaken. In 1976, George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead was shot in a shopping mall replete with lumbering zombies whose sole purpose was to consume. In the 2004 remake, the zombies returned to the shopping malls in which they spent their human lives; but they were super-charged and stronger than ever. 21st-century zombies lack personal agency, wit, and intellect like their slower-moving predecessors; but you can be sure they own and can operate their cell phones.

Get Out , a break-out film written and directed by Jordan Peele has been classified as horror, thriller, and comedy and I’d say it’s a type of zombie film. (You may remember Key & Peele–a sketch comedy television series featuring Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key).  Peele’s film has been a sensation: Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99%!   Although you won’t find prototypical, grey-faced zombies mindlessly lumbering through a mall, the main protagonist must fight for his life….and his brains. If we look at Get Out in terms of how it fits into or critiques the culture and society that produces it, what current social or cultural issues might be present? (The inimitable Nina Simone sums it up well: “You can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.”) What cultural or social issues does Get Out bring to the forefront or interrogate?

Cinema that enables viewers to experience life from the perspective of another is powerful. As a white woman, I watched Get Out  from the point-of-view of a young black male. In watching from this perspective, I stepped into the shoes of Chris, the lead character. You will certainly sympathize with Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya), as he begins to unravel how his white girlfriend’s family (The Armitage family) and their affiliates are entangled in a twisted and evil operation. Get Out  presents an ominous view of human nature and confronts issues of overt and subtle racism.  Despite some much-needed moments of comic relief (after all, comedy is often a medium for acknowledging & coping with the absurdities and injustices of life), the tone of the film is decidedly morose.  Early on, viewers watch as a young black man is kidnapped–a foreshadowing of chilling and disturbing events to ensue. Horror cinema–unlike Rom Coms or even Drama (in my opinion) most effectively acknowledges and critiques society and culture. Horror effectively conveys and validates terror in a way that no other film genre has been able to do.

In a similar vein as Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, a supplanting operation of the creepiest kind is underway in Get Out  when Chris notices how strangely his black contemporaries are behaving. The speed of the film coupled with the unmistakable feeling  that something horrifying looms in the not-so-distant future contributes to the paralyzing anxiety experienced by Chris as he meets his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. I was not surprised to learn that Peele was heavily influenced by Stanley Kurbrick as Get Out presents several bizarre and anxiety-producing scenes in which you’re not exactly sure what’s going on, but your gut tells you to get out! Subtlety itself takes on a very important role and purpose in this film: sometimes the most terrible realities are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Subtle terror creeps in undetected (but not unfelt, necessarily) until it’s too late. Like Chris, viewers begin to feel a bit crazy as self-doubt sets in. After all, the Armitage family initially appears relatively harmless; but their ignorance is also immediately palpable.

Get Out  effectively uses cinematography, scoring, acting, and directing to produce an undeniably paranoid & distrustful atmosphere. You see and feel what Chris feels. Every detail in this film was carefully considered — even down to the opening song, Redbone, by Childish Gambino: “Well, first of all, I love the ‘Stay Woke’ [lyric] — that’s what this movie is about,” he (Peele) explains to HipHopDX Editor-in-Chief, Trent Clark. “I wanted to make sure that this movie satisfied the black horror movie audience’s need for characters to be smart and do things that intelligent and observant people would do.

This film is not just a run-of-the-mill horror flick designed to give you a thrill: it sticks with you. We don’t do a good job of collectively discussing issues racism in this country, but this film prompts another discussion. The Director stated poignantly in an interview: ” ‘Part of being black in this country, or being a minority in this country, is about feeling like we’re perceiving things that we’re told we’re not perceiving,” said Peele. “It’s a state of mind. It’s a piece of the condition of being African American, certainly, that people may not know. They may not realize the toll that it does take — even if the toll is making us doubt ourselves.'”

When  your fellow human beings experience something on a mass scale, listen to them. Listening–not denying & not being silent–is revolutionary.

 

 

 

 

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

I just finished listening to John Darnielle read his book, Universal Harvester, on CD. I am left asking myself, “What just happened?” I liked it. I think I would like to re-read it, this time in print.

The book is about a young man named Jeremy Heldt who works at Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa in the mid-nineties. He is a down-to-earth guy, having lost his mother to a car accident six years prior. As a relatively responsible twentysomething adult, he isn’t sure what to do when he discovers that some videos have been returned with strange footage spliced into them. It is unclear to him whether the scenes are a goof, or if someone is getting hurt and sending out a cry for help. Also, his boss at the video store may or may not have become personally entangled in whatever it is.

I was first drawn to listen to this book because I read in a Booklist review that it is set in small-town Iowa. Not knowing anything about author John Darnielle, I thought, “I want to find out how he portrays an Iowan. I want to hear if he’s going to butcher the way we talk.”  I was admittedly skeptical that I wouldn’t find his portrayal of an Iowan to be silly, maybe a little bit insulting. Often it seems to me that nonnatives perceive us all to be rubes. Sometimes actors portray our manner of speaking in a way that more resembles a southern drawl than the intonation of an actual Iowan. I was pleased to find Darnielle’s main character sounding like some Iowans I know, albeit the ones who have also spent time living out west. This made more sense to me once I looked up a little more about Darnielle online and learned that he grew up in southern California and lived in Portland, Oregon briefly after high school. He did live in some of the Iowa towns where the events in Universal Harvester take place, though it is unclear when and how long.

My opinions of the writer/reader’s dialect aside, this book is a hard one to categorize. Some libraries in our system have classified it as fiction; others put it in the horror section. I am not usually a reader of horror books, and when I realized it was considered that, I thought “Uh oh. What am I getting myself into?” As I got further into the book, I kept bracing myself for something gory or horrifically disturbing. When I think horror, I think gore. However, there isn’t anything terribly gory in this book.

It turns out I was just as mistaken as the folks who think Iowans speak with a drawl. I came across this great article from The Horror Writers Association and learned that horror can take as many forms as the people who read it. After all, not everyone is horrified by the same things. I happen to find gore horrifying, some people are just as horrified by the unknown. Death is perhaps the biggest of the unknowns, but there are also a myriad of other unknowns throughout life.

There are many unknowns in Universal Harvester. If you like a plot that gets neatly tied up at the end, this book is not for you. However, if you appreciate great writing and a story well-told that makes you think and ask questions, then you should check this book out. It would be a great book club selection, because there is plenty here to explore and discuss. (In fact, if you know me, please read this book so we can talk about the details together! I’m still not sure what just happened.)

Next, I am going to check out some Mountain Goats CDs. The author of this book is in a band called the Mountain Goats, and he has been hailed as one of the best living lyricists. Judging by his novel writing ability, I’d say that’s likely a fair assessment. Happy reading and/or listening!

New Horror in September

Featured new additions to DPL’s Horror collection! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

9781250058515The Walking Dead: Search and Destroy by Jay Bonansinga and Robert Kirkman – For one brief moment, it seemed like Lilly and her plague-weary band of survivors might just engineer a better tomorrow. Banding together with other small town settlements, they begin a massive project to refurbish the railroad between Woodbury and Atlanta. The safer travel will begin a new post-apocalyptic era of trade, progress, and democracy. Little do they know, however, that trouble is brewing back home. Out of nowhere, a brutal new faction has attacked Woodbury while Lilly and the others have been off repairing the railroad. Now the barricades are burning. Adults have been murdered, children kidnapped. But why? Lilly Caul and her ragtag posse of rescuers will soon discover the chilling answers to these questions and more as they launch a desperate mission to save the kidnapped children. But along the way, the dark odyssey will take them into a nightmarish series of traps and hellish encounters with incomprehensible swarms of undead.

grant_feedback-hc21Feedback by Mira Grant – There are two sides to every story. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we unleashed something horrifying and unstoppable. The infection spread leaving those afflicted with a single uncontrollable impulse: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, a team of scrappy underdog reporters relentlessly pursue the facts while competing against the brother-and-sister blog superstars, the Masons. Surrounded by the infected, and facing more insidious forces working in the shadows, they must hit the presidential campaign trail and uncover dangerous truths. Or die trying.

15e8208c7b85c4e0bf47dcc0fabd8d3aChildren of Lovecraft edited by Ellen Datlow – Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s stories shaped modern horror more than any other author’s in the last two centuries: Cthulhu, the Old Ones, Herbert West: Reanimator, and more terrifying nightmares emerged from the mythos of this legendary writer. Dark Horse teams up with Hugo and Bram Stoker award-winning editor Ellen Datlow to bring you this anthology of original prose stories that are “inspired” in theme and plot by Lovecraft’s mythos. Featuring work by Richard Kadrey, Brian Hodge, A. C. Wise, Siobhan Carroll, Orrin Grey, and many more, with a cover art by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.

9781250057181The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue – In the Old City of Québec, Kay Harper falls in love with a puppet in the window of the Quatre Mains, a toy shop that is never open. She is spending her summer working as an acrobat with the cirque while her husband, Theo, is translating a biography of the pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Late one night, Kay fears someone is following her home. Surprised to see that the lights of the toy shop are on and the door is open, she takes shelter inside. The next morning Theo wakes up to discover his wife is missing. Under police suspicion and frantic at her disappearance, he obsessively searches the streets of the Old City. Meanwhile, Kay has been transformed into a puppet, and is now a prisoner of the back room of the Quatre Mains, trapped with an odd assemblage of puppets from all over the world who can only come alive between the hours of midnight and dawn. The only way she can return to the human world is if Theo can find her and recognize her in her new form. A Library Reads October pick!

creepypastacollectionThe Creepypasta Collection: Modern Urban Legends You Can’t Unread – There are stories that scare you. And then there are the dark and disturbing creepypasta stories that will leave you seriously freaked out. The Creepypasta Collection is an unsettling anthology of terror, full of nightmares and dangerous creatures – from unearthly supernatural beings to the murderously disturbed. So, lock the doors, check under the bed, turn up the lights, and get ready for an unforgettable, up-all-night journey into the heart of darkness.

 

jack-sparksThe Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp – It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed. Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account. Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed — until now.

New Horror in August

Featured new additions to DPL’s Horror collection! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

25174916Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong – When Olivia’s life exploded–after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers–she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents’ crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn’t enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake. Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel’s help to clear Ricky’s name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

24060543Black Tide by Patrick Freivald – To Matt Rowley, augmentation is something that he will have to learn to live with, for the rest of his life. As cults spring up in worship of the demonic beings freed by the last of the nephilim, the United States calls on Matt Rowley to meet the threat. His unnatural powers returning with every passing day, Matt becomes the only weapon able to withstand eldritch forces older than time and darker than the blackest sea. When his wife and infant son are taken in a violent attack on his hometown, Matt falls into a vast conspiracy that could destroy his family and his very soul. They want Matt Rowley’s powers and will kill everyone to get them.

25894017The Demonists by Thomas Sniegoski – There is more to our world than meets the eye–darker things, crueler things. Exorcist John Fogg and his wife, psychic medium Theodora Knight, know what lurks in the shadows. But even they’re not prepared for the worst Hell has to offer… It was supposed to be a simple exorcism, a publicity stunt to firmly establish John and Theodora’s thriving paranormal investigation empire in the public eye. But something went wrong, leading to an on-air massacre that unleashed a malicious host of demons and left Theodora catatonic, possessed by countless spirits. John sets out on a desperate quest to find a cure for his wife, but his obsession brings him face-to-face with an even more terrifying problem: Theodora’s possession is only one piece of a deadly plot that is threatening the entire world. Because an ancient evil is about to make Earth its battlefield–and without John and Theodora’s intervention, there is no chance for salvation.

51wxKrCdygLThe Devil’s Evidence by Simon Unsworth – The man with no memory of who he was or what led to his damnation is now in command of the Information Office of Hell. This power has only inspired new, deadly enemies like Mr. Tap, the cunning leader of a shadowy organization known as the Evidence. Fool alone has survived the wrath of both demon and angel, and now he faces his most thrilling and complex challenge. Troubling and deadly fires are spreading throughout Hell, and it is Fool’s job to sift the ashes and find their source. The clues he finds are mysterious and unsettling, implying something different from the usual litany of cruelty he sees. But one fact is the most disconcerting: the fires have left his masters at the Bureaucracy terrified. In the midst of the chaos, Fool is sent to accompany a political delegation to Heaven. It is unprecedented for a condemned human to enter the land of the elevated, but Fool is protected as one of Hell’s own. When his arrival coincides with the discovery of an impossible murder, he faces a catastrophic paradox. Violence, corruption, and fear are Hell’s currency; how does one investigate evil where those concepts cannot exist? Impossible or not, the killings are real, and the evidence leads Fool deep into the contradictions of a visionary landscape, where danger can present itself in any form, and to the heart of a conspiracy with the power to upset the balance of Heaven and Hell.

27276264The Hatching Ezekiel Boone – Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out. The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.