Can you believe half of the year is almost over? Hope you are close to your reading goals, or at least found a new favourite book along the way. From perturbing horror to high fantasy, here are two vastly different choices I’ve made this month.
The Consumer (Michael Gira, 1996)
There’s a point when you wake up from a drunk, in perfect clarity. The synapses in your brain feel greased, and the distinction between your subconscious and conscious mind evaporates . A point where everything is hyper-vivid, your intelligence humming at maximum capacity, like a meditating Buddhist acolyte overwhelmed with sudden white light attainment.
Vile, disturbing, and unnerving. Michael Gira’s most prominent work has certainly earned its notoriety. The Consumer is the darkest collection of mad short stories that you may ever read, taking the worst things you can imagine and multiply it sevenfold.
From incest to cannibalism, nothing is off limits in this greatest hits of humanity’s worst transgressions. Its content warning is such a long list, it probably needs its own book.
While an admittedly uncomfortable read, the anthology is incredibly well written. His vivid description of such wild, sensual terrors does what horror is meant to do, though it is doubtlessly not for everyone.
The Lighthouse Duet – Flesh and Spirit / Breath and Bone (Carol Berg, 2007 – 2008)
Most ordinaries viewed pureblood life as god blessed and couldn’t imagine why any of us would choose to forgo it. They didn’t understand about contracts and protocols, submission rules and breeding laws, all the things that had made me feel as if someone had bound me head to toe with silken cord and locked me blind and deaf in a coffin.
From a runaway seeking sanctuary, enslaved to addiction, to a trained sorcerer uncovering the final sliver of truth in his ancestry, Valen has come far in his search for his own identity. His coming-of-age story is unlike the usual youth affair, written for souls lost even in adulthood.
The Lighthouse Duet perfectly exemplifies brilliant character development, which sees an initially selfish and detestable man grow to become a beloved protector of his brothers and King. It is an excellent and memorable work of high fantasy, built in an impressively expansive world.