Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Sadeiest by Austrian Spencer.
About the Author
Austrian had an unfortunate trauma aged eight, when a truck drove over him and his ‘Grifter’ bike. This made him bedridden and a captive of books for too many years. The habit persisted throughout his life (reading books, not staying in bed), to the extent that his daughter’s first painting was of him holding a book, rather than her hand. He has the picture framed in the upstairs toilet, to look at whilst feeling vulnerable.
He is the ‘glass-half-full’, an eternal optimist and believes passionately in you. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing at this moment in your life. He often thinks this, while staring at his daughter’s first painting.
Austrian does not watch horror films, though enjoys horror books. His influences include Alan Moore, Dave Sim, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, The family King, Iain M.Banks, from whom he wishes to learn. Be inspired. He owes them everything, despite their beards. The Sadeiest is Austrian’s debut novel.
About the book
Is today a good day to die? Death – a walking skeleton armed with a scythe, a rider of the apocalypse, it has always been assumed – is a man that brings the souls of the dead to wherever they are destined to go.
But what if we got that wrong? What if he were a ghost that, instead of moving your soul on silently after you had died, actually did the hard part for you? Death has to die, again and again, to pay for his sins, and to free trapped souls before their bodies perish – only to replace those souls, to die for them.
A Death whose existence is a curse, where the other riders of the Apocalypse are not his allies, but his enemies.
Armed only with his morals, his memories and the advice of a child teacher, Williams, a Sadeiest, travels through the deaths of other people, on his way to becoming something greater. Something that will re-define the Grim Reaper.
Death just came to life, in time to fight for a child hunted by the other horsemen of the Apocalypse. How do you want to die today?
The read is intermittently broken up with graphic novel illustrations and helps to cement the feeling of violence and uncertainty, whereas the words drive a wedge between what we think we know and an alternate reality. It’s a dark hole that might make you feel uncomfortable, because what if all the other theories about death and souls are just an attempt to gloss over the horrific truth. Death becomes the victim, the sufferer instead of the looming figure everyone fears.
‘Passionately believes you don’t have to lead the reader by the nose. Let them think, dammit.’
Hmm good point and I agree to a certain extent, however it depends on what the reader is looking for in a read and perhaps even the genre. When it comes to a read like this one, which I would put in the Speculative Fiction or Speculative Horror genre, often the aspect of speculative may not allow for the reader to do the above.
Trying to outsmart the reader may not let them interpret the premise in the way the author thinks they will. Case in point – the blurb reflects an interesting idea, however the story itself reflects a different one entirely. At least it does for me, which is of course the crux of a reading experience – it’s subjective one. Maybe a little more leading and a little less assumption about interpretation or that the reader will walk the intended path.
I like a walk along the speculative road. It crosses boundaries, it’s a way to experience creativity on another level and it opens up new worlds and ideas for readers. Spencer does that and I look forward to experiencing more of his ideas.