Friday 30 August 2013

Book Impressions - Death of Heaven by J.Z. Murdock

A bit of an odd one this, overall is a very good read, but it's a little uneven as you work your way through it. For the most part it's a story told through other shorter stories. These stories tell of the origins of mankind and the origins of religion. There is however a disconnect between these stories and the meta story that wraps them together.

The book starts well and has a Books of Blood vibe, which really works well. It's in these tales that the author's writing ability shines. He demonstrates a lovely turn of phrase and some of writing is almost poetic in it's beauty. There's an interesting mix of tales, although the focus of the stories narrows as the book progresses.

The meta story didn't work as well for me. It is by no means bad and does come together well towards the end. There were two issues for me here, the first was that the two main charcters spend a large proportion of the book recording and discussing the stories. The second issue was that the stories provide only faint glimpses of what are they are intended to reveal and while they are excellent stories in their own right, they don't do a great job of providing understanding.

The story strengthens towards the end and we see the main characters do something a bit more interesting, although while fascinating events are unfurling around them they remain observers. And I have to say that the final scene seemed a bit petty and unlikely considering what was going on.

So as I saay it's a bit of a strange one to rate. Some of the parts are truly excellent, well worth reading the book for on their own, but the overall package is just a little lacking.

Throughout the whole of Human History many philosophies and religions have attempted to answer that ultimate question:

Where did we come from?

James and Jimmy, brothers in spirit and tragedy since childhood are about to discover the answer to that ultimate of all questions. They will learn about it in a way that is as amazing as it is unbelievable. They alone will discover that reality is unlike anything that has ever before been considered. They will discover just what it is that nightmares are made of.

Friedrich Nietzsche claimed in 1882 that "God is Dead". But that was only a piece of the whole misleading truth. It is now left for two friends alone to experience the whole story, and along with the rest of the Human Race, to experience firsthand the--

Death of Heaven

"The story itself is very strong, lulling the reader into a false sense of security as two young boys hunt for treasure, before ultimately morphing into a violent and sometimes disturbing tale of horror. This is done with such swiftness that it takes the reader almost completely by surprise, which only enhances the effect."
- WILDSound Writing Festival

I have found an editor I trust and we are beginning the process of re-editing: "Well, I finished my reading last night. I was sad to be at the end, but happy that it is... a very strong, imaginative, well written work."

I think I may be onto something here....

Death of Heaven is available from Amazon (and is a pretty good read)

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