Tuesday, 5 January 2016

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Scarlet Gospels - Clive Barker

Release Date: 12/05/16
Publisher:  Pan Macmillan


The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker's most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D'Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Barker devotees have been waiting for The Scarlet Gospels with bated breath for years, and it's everything they've begged for and more. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels. Barker's horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?


I’m always a little worried when as a reader we get to revisit an icon of a genre and to be honest I’ve been a bit worried about reading the new Pinhead title as I felt that if he didn’t live up to what I was expecting I’d not only be disappointed but quite upset at having a firm favourite manipulated into a shallow shell of what he was.

So with a great deal of reticence I picked up the book and began. OK, so it wasn’t as big a problem as I thought it was going to be but Pinhead had changed, he wasn’t the cenobite I was expecting and for me, whilst it was his book, he felt more like a player than the starring attraction. That was wrong and whilst I did enjoy a lot fo the description when something plays heavily against what I was expecting and changes an icon I really have a hard time fathoming some of the actions.

All round it is an OK book and whilst a number of people will love it with the solid prose and cracking description, a great many others will dislike it purely for the problems with our favourite cenobite. A solid Meh of a book for me.

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