All posts by lydia

typicalreview – Truth and the Serpent by J. Rutledge

Have you ever imagined what life in the Garden of Eden was like for the snake? If you’ve ever wondered what it got up to after the fateful encounter with naked people and the fruit then J. Rutledge has your answers in “Truth and the Serpent”.

A shipwrecked man finds his way through a storm to a cave where he intends to seek shelter. Inside, there lies a massive serpent surrounded by untold riches with many tales to tell. Invited to stay awhile and listen, the man is regaled with stories of the old world and it isn’t long before he recognizes these stories and storyteller alike.

The serpent, in this case, is the forefather of dragonkind. A brilliant and very fun idea, so right off the top a reader’s mind would whirl with all dragon lore, half-forgotten woodcuts, and all manner of natural disaster blamed on dragons through early history. Now, it all somehow makes sense. When the dragon type creature here relays the first story of exile, it is hard to not be enchanted by the idea entirely. He runs through other stories up to the great exile and beyond, though using different names and a very breezy manner. Think of a long Sunday school lesson as taught by a barfly on a dreary afternoon, and it’s close to what being in a long conversation with the serpent from the Garden of Eden is like.

Christian or not, we know a lot of these stories by osmosis. Luckily, the author here retains a playful and blasphemous tone. Modernizing the feel entirely, the Serpent himself is more than ageless. All-knowing, and fairly well read, this creature also possesses a ribald sense of humour and much like the best jester, only learns from his mistakes half of the time.

Those who enjoy the dry jest of Monty Python or more comedic fantasy fare will enjoy this, especially if they have an interest in biblical times. The serpent himself has a taste for the here and now, so references like television shows, Clive Barker films, Oscar Wilde, political and philosophical figures are referenced by Rutledge heavily and often.

While written very well, the style can come across as loose at times. Between the serpent himself being a one-man vaudeville act, and wanting to know what the next story will be it does keep the reader turning pages, though some of the monologues get very long. The back and forth ceases to be engaging since the main character’s personality forces him to talk ‘at’ people as opposed to talk ‘with’ people. As a result, the relationship between the shipwrecked man and this divine creature is pushed to the recesses, making room for the grand fish tales. It is fitting as the parables retold here are in a similar style as the generally accepted versions though this time with a dark bent, a different point of view, curse words and very creative use of things an armchair theologian may amuse themselves with.

I would have to award this 3.5 stars, as this was an enjoyable concept that was a little top heavy for the idea. It’s not that these stories have been retold, and they are rarely told better than when in humour, but the girth of the book weighed down the mirth found within. It would make a good reading exercise for those with a solid base in comparative religion and can find humour in the premise of the snake who begat dragons living in a cave up until today from the start. An absurdist jaunt, “Truth and the Serpent” is not your typical Sunday school.

 


I have taken a position reviewing books from independent authors. While not all are horror, there is a thread of darkness through them regardless of genre. As with honest paid reviews, there will be personal reaction as well as comparative and critical analysis. If you are an author that would like me to review your work, contact me for rates and a summary of your novel, short story, or collection. 

Nightface – New art and a new price

Nightface by Lydia Peever - new coverNightface has been re-released with not only a new price but a new publisher. Now, my re-vamped vampire novel sits alongside my self-published fiction, such as Pray Lied Eve 1 and 2.

The Kindle edition is up right now on amazon.com and paperbacks will be available shortly.

At the moment, the price for the Kindle is about the same – though there will be a remarkably lower price for the paperback. Now that I can adjust pricing myself, these may change so do take advantage of this if you held off before! Even better, there is a match-price special where you can get the ebook along with the paperback for an additional 99 cents.

This comes part-and-parcel with the reversion of rights from my old publisher to me, so a very exciting thing! It has been a while but I must say this comes in good time for the future release of Nightface 2.

Wondering about the cover? That’s the constellation Draco – the great dragon of the north.  Very fitting for this particular ‘breed’ of a blood-drinking killer.

So, please share the link to Nightface , tell a friend, leave a review and let me know what you think! There will be a transition time while the Amazon robots link all of this to previous editions and my author page, but I wanted to share the news the moment I could!

Thank you!

 

 

 

Dead Air Ep 110 – Puppet Master

Gather under the sluice grate, for the latest Dead Air podcast episode has been mucked off the slab ~ http://ift.tt/2wG6VGd

Hop in the elevator and follow us to the top floor of madness where we cut the strings and let marionettes run wild in Puppet Master. Ready for some psychic insanity? How about the promise of eternal life? Intrigue and mystery? A widow done wrong? Hatpin tricks? Well there is all of that, but we came here for puppets and that’s what Charles Band gives us. Spawning over ten sequels over nearly thirty years, the Puppet Master films are the freakish flagship of Full Moon Features and with good reason.

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