- File Size: 610 KB
- Print Length: 211 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: November 7, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0098LA1Q0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,961,534 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Dead Religion Kindle Edition
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From the Inside Flap
Sweat opened up on Brittany's face and scalp, her heart beatspiking.
No burglar did this but she didn't want to enter. She'drather walk off a goddamn cliff than go inside her house. Brittany had seenthings like this--sure--but never this severe. Never seen knives slash. Neverseen drawings on their television. Never seen anything this fucked up.
Are you in danger? The question came unbidden.
Does it matter?
She walked in, leaving the keys and purse behind. She movedslowly, trying to come to grips with her house. She could see inside thekitchen from where she stood in the living room--disarray didn't describe it,neither did devastating. Plates on the floor, broken, with blood smearing some,already beginning to dry in other spots. Pans, knives, and silverware werescattered across the floor. The faucet poured water into the sink, flowing overthe basin. All the drawers and cabinets stood open and the chairs to thekitchen table were missing. Someone (your dead husband, darling) hadtipped the table on its side carved words underneath it--although she couldn'tread all of it from where she stood.
She could see the word mine. Brittany didn't careabout the rest; she only wanted to find Alex. She glanced around the livingroom again, seeing something new. The wall held knives in it. Seven butcherknives, all stabbed hilt deep into the white wall. They formed a smiley face,two knives for the eyes, and a semi-circle below with the other five. Blooddripped down the wall from one of the blades; it would reach the carpet soon (andthat shit won't rinse out, honey).
Brittany could see a pile of clothes in front of theirbedroom door. He was in their room.
Brittany moved down the hall, jogging now. She neared theclothes. Blood soaked through most of what she saw. She held her breath--theshirt could have been dipped in a washing bucket that held blood instead ofwater.
She stopped. The door to the room stood open and the onlylight in it came from inside the closet, outlining the closed door.
"Alex?" she called from the bedroom door.
A cry came from the closet--maybe from pain, maybe surprise.Brittany stepped inside, seeing the trail of blood from the clothes for thefirst time. Her husband was inside. Bleeding--and that became all that mattered.She ran to the closet, opening the door and finding Alex--the back of thecloset, clothes pulled from hangers and strewn all around him.
Alex looked down at his left wrist; a knife poked carefullyinto the flesh and blood forming around the point. Skin stood flayed open onAlex's chest with blood running down to his bare groin. A deep, dark 'X' wascarved into his body. The cuts began at his collar bone and traveled down tohis ribs on both sides.
Brittany understood that wasn't simply blood; it was lifeleaving her husband--still pumping, trying to find veins to carry it home, butonly finding gashes that forced it into the world. Even if she could get theknife away from his wrist, he would still die if they didn't get to a hospital,bleeding to death in this closet.
"Baby, put it down. Put the knife down." She walked inside,stepping on more clothes stained with blood. Alex looked up, his face drippingsweat.
"He's here, in the house," Alex whispered. "He's come for menow." Animal like fear radiated from him.
"No, no one's here. It's you, just you and me, sweetie. Putthe knife down, put it down and I'll protect you--I swear to fucking God,honey."
He looked down at his wrist; his right hand tightened on thehandle.
Brittany looked at his grip and simply swung her fist,connecting with her husband's temple. As he fell back, she reached for theknife, grabbing it by the blade, feeling the knife slice through her palm,sinking even deeper as she pulled on it. Alex gave the hilt up and Brittanyflung the knife behind her.
She reached for him--both of them bleeding now--and pulled himclose anyway.
Alex fell into her as a doll would, nothing holding himback. He wrapped his arms around her waist and tears blossomed.
Kneeling in front, Brittany put her lips to his neck andkissed. "I'm here now. It's okay, it's okay, it's okay," she whispered.
About the Author
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On a serious note, Dead Religion is a wild, imaginative tale that somehow, despite some pretty unorthodox surprises, feels wholly possible. To bring you into the loop, so that you might understand why that's a bit strange to say, realize that this story deals with powerful deities, death dealing humans, extreme paranoia, some schizophrenic tendencies; family bonds. It's all crammed in there, but the supernatural element of the story is one of the strongest and most pronounced points.
The connection Beers creates between the novel's protagonist and his younger brother feels as though it travels a fitting trajectory and the link between Alex and Brittany Valdez, two cogs in a dark, menacing machine, is fantastic.
While the story is all over the place, leaping from different perspectives and time frames regularly, Beers capitalizes on smooth setups to trigger fluent transitions. It's a good thing the man understands how to tie a narrative knot: it'd be damned easy to find yourself completely lost in this one, were Beers a less savvy storyteller.
But the broad scope of the story is actually the true crux of this delivery. It's exactly what drives the reader to plunge through the pages (thanks for knowing that this is a tale that despite its magnitude, didn't require 1000 pages to be well relayed). Virtually everyone in this story is living a closeted Hell, and there are strong ties that bind, although they don't make themselves apparent until about the midway point of the book. There's good pacing here, and a cohesive execution that keeps the story fresh.
The book isn't without its flaws. Beers' wording can be a bit tricky to take in from time to time, but he's a relative newcomer to this business and it's a bit demanding to expect absolute perfection at this stage. In fact, Dead Religion is his first published novel. I can say in all honesty, that this is a strong, impressive debut. If Beers is pumping out this kind of quality at this stage of his career, there's no telling where the floor begins and the ceiling ends.
Personally, I've got to recommend that genre fans take a look at this novel. There's a level of depth that broadens the appeal of the story, and that's likely to captivate a significantly larger audience than many authors accomplish upon debuting. Dead Religion makes for a shocking read that proffers a very tangible terror.
I dug it.
Written by Matt Molgaard from Horror Novel Reviews. Horror Novel Reviews does not receive payment for reviews. All books are promotional copies.
I have noticed that most of this author's work revolves around characters who show how far they are willing to go for a person they love. Whether it's bringing a child back from the dead, a wife who will do anything to find and help her husband, or a mother trying to save her son, they all willingly brave anything in their paths for those they love. Another sure bet is that these paths will be bloody.
This is a book that centers around the idea that "lost" or "forgotten" gods of centuries and civilizations past aren't necessarily gone. This particular one has spent centuries, dreaming red dreams and waiting for just the right set of worshippers to come along- after all, it has all the time in the world. Eventually they do come along and unwittingly wake a being whose sole purpose is destruction.
While I liked "The Devil's Dream: Book One" better, personally, (and am eagerly if a bit impatiently awaiting book two), there is no doubt that this author is a new take-no-prisoners type of writer that is determined to give the horror genre a shot in the arm of his own prescription of darkness.
Already, as a reader, that premise had me DESPERATE to find out what happened to Alex. I mean, did he blow up the hotel, or what? Why would he do that? Does that mean he's going to be dead at the end of the book? Am I reading about the last days of a crazy person, or about the escape of a non-crazy person from an evil supernatural being?
At the same time, watching Alex fight the Evil Supernatural Possibly-Green God of Destruction as It becomes more and more powerful is painful, because we know that Alex loses. He has to, right? Because otherwise, why would the hotel blow up? I mean, Alex is a nice guy! He wouldn't blow a hotel up! The Bad Green Guy does that, right?
(Desperately turns on Kindle and starts reading again, even in social situations that require a person NOT to be reading, especially if that person is reading something that causes them to make lots of noises and loud comments)
And what IS this terribly evil dream-inhabiting, long scary teeth having, eye-of-sauron typed bad guy, anyways? (I keep saying guy, but I'm pretty sure it's genderless. As a side note.) Well, as it turns out, It is NOT what I expected. Which was very cool. Unlike so many other thrillers that end up actually being about vampires or mass-murderers or what-not, this was something totally unexpected and unique.
As I reflect on this novel, I'm becoming more aware of the underlying themes of choice and desire that fuelled the crazy violence. It wasn't gratuitous, even though it may appear that way. There was a point, in the story. Lots of points, actually. Lots of questions. Is the Bad Green Glob God Thing causing people to commit acts of violence that they wouldn't do otherwise? Or is It encouraging bloodlust and callousness that are already present, latent, waiting... just like the God itself is?
I'm also fascinated by the theme of sacrifice as the goal of violence, instead of the violent act as its own goal. I hear rhetoric about violence as a release - the satisfaction of a need (like on Dexter or in other portrayals of serial killers), or as an inexplicable act with no real goal or purpose, like throwing a cake against a wall for no reason. Senseless destruction, the news-anchor tells us.
But what if it's not?
If you like a book that draws you in, and still has you thinking weeks after you've finished it, then you will love Dead Religion!
This review was originally posted at [...]