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Bottled Abyss Paperback – June 30, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
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"It happens from time to time...a book grabs you from the opening line and refuses to let you go. Benjamin Kane Ethridge's Bottled Abyss was one of those reads for me. Bottled Abyss is a stunningly sophisticated tale, both in its mythic scope and in its adroit handling of complex, emotional characters. Ethridge is a writer of rare emotional intelligence, developed far beyond his years, but with Bottled Abyss he has outdone even his own considerable promise." -Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Dead City
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Top Customer Reviews
Being equal parts sad and downright scary, this dark tale of re-imagined mythology is a horror-lover's nightmare come true. This is not like those millions of stories that attempt to explain life-after-death. No. No. No. This is about life-after-limbo. What a brilliant concept! A bottle containing the last few swigs of the infamous River Styx! And all the power, good and bad, that comes with it! Yes please!
Ben Ethridge's prose is sharp and fresh. The characters are quirky and dynamic and all seem very real. The strongest part of the story is the precise weaving of mythology into the present day. While the events that transpire are occultic and otherworldly, the plot is anchored by deeply human emotions, by tragedy, the loss of a child, a marriage at the end of its life. The result is a fantastic read. Highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested in the horror genre.
No one has ever claimed my words to be gospel... but if I were a prophesizing man, I'd say Ben Ethridge will be around for years and years to come. And the world of horror is grateful.
Bottled Abyss is a very different novel from Ethridge. His Bram Stoker winning debut, Black and Orange, was a tightly written action horror that strayed into dark fantasy. Bottled Abyss is a much more introspective offering, looking at the darkness within each person and the fragile nature of the human condition and the relationships between the main characters.
That is not to say that this is your standard dull literary horror offering. Far from it. The prose is often lyrical, almost poetic in its nature, which contrasts the bleak nature of the narrative in a very effective manner. When someone drinks from the bottle, they cough up a coin, which, when passed to someone else, exchanges the death meant for that person with the recipient.Read more ›
Bottled Abyss is dark fantasy at its darkest, the horror elements leaning toward the fantastical side of the spectrum. It's an absorbing read that will remain with you long after you've turned the last page. Ethridge is the real deal, readers. He's a writer's writer--a horror scribe who I believe will only continue to rise, his star shining brighter with each book. Here's hoping that Bottled Abyss garners Ethridge a second Bram Stoker Award nomination, and fingers crossed, the win.
The synopsis has been repeated several times in other reviews so I won't bother with it. Ethridge gives readers a slow building horror story here that is perfectly paced. You keep learning a little bit more about the events and the characters, with each new layer revealed at just the right time. Pacing is a problem in a lot of horror stories these days, but Ethridge nails it.
His writing is also smooth and easy to read, and he has a real knack for creating great descriptions of scenes, characters, and action. And his characters are so real that they feel like they may jump off the pages - I know that's a cliche, but I can't help it. The guy crafts some truly believable characters.
So real that, ironically, those characters are the one and only reason I have to go with a four star instead of a five star review. As much as I like this book and as impressed as I am at the unique way BKE uses mythology in a surprising way, it took me several tries to get into the book as I mentioned before. It took me some time to figure out just what the problem was, and I finally realized it was that - as realistic as they were - the main characters weren't that likable. Yes, they'd gone through a huge tragedy and their lives were upended as a result, but they were just so miserable in their despair that it was really hard to identify with them, like them, or root for them.
That's actually a testament to Ethridge's writing, in my opinion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Those who enjoy a good brain twisting with a lot of symbolism will love this story. Might have to research the river Styx and Nyx before attempting to read. It will help immensely.Published 5 months ago by Anastacia Kontz
it was very dull, not much happening, or what was happening did not make me want to finish reading the bookPublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Was very intense read,i did. Become a little lost in the story at times, but for the most part I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it for the many people that are avid... Read morePublished 8 months ago by fred ball
Just when you think you know what's going to happen, something totally unforeseen occurs. The end result is some interesting vignettes, pieced together with shocking transitions... Read morePublished 9 months ago by D. Spade
This isn't a fast-moving novel, and at times I had trouble hanging in there. But I'm glad I did. This novel has a beautiful message, and the author a superb knowledge of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Weez
I love the concept of this book but it definitely needs editing. There are grammatical errors throughout, which are annoying and can be confusing. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Tracy
If you like weird fascinating stuff, you'll probably like this. Sometimes hard to follow, but totally different than anything I have read.Published 10 months ago by ss
First I should say that I don't know my mythology at all, and that puts me at a disadvantage in writing a review of Bottled Abyss. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
A fascinating tale of the creation of the new goddess Nyx and her river Styx, find out just who is the new Charon the immortal soul who ferries the dead for a coin, meet the new... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Emily Weil