“Everything you’ve ever believed about yourself…about the description of reality you’ve clung to so stubbornly all your life…all of it…every bit of it…is an illusion.” In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure “beyond all imagining”– an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will…and attaining eternal life.When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book’s occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul’s clutches and Martin’s destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul’s sinister legacy. Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn’t be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe–the Maelstrom.The Book of Paul is the first of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly.
Surprisingly enough this is a love story mixed with mystery, intrigue, violence, and a lot of shock value. I haven’t read anything like The Book of Paul before and the intensity of it was mind-blowing and frankly a little exhausting. The story turns around four main characters Paul, Martin, Rose, and William who is the narrator. Paul is an evil sadistic character who is hell-bent on controlling Martin, Rose and anybody else he can get his hands on, while attempting to obtain the ultimate power in the universe, the Maelstrom.
Martin is a strong man yet dependent on Paul the only family he has left. Martin was sadistically abused by his mother and by Paul. Paul teaches Martin not to react to pain, by putting him through horrific acts and has been doing so since he was a child. Martin learns to withstand pain but also to rely psychologically on Paul. Rosie, a tattoo artist, is also an admirer of pain. Martin and Rose form a perfect couple, that William wants to break up because he likes Rose too. William collects serial killer memorabilia such as books covered in human skin. All in all this motley crew will keep you rocking and rolling throughout this non-stop mysterious story, which could be described to fit in quite a few genre – horror, paranormal, thriller, suspense, mystery, and even romance.
The Book of Paul will keep you undeniably glued to the pages. The story grows in crescendo starting with the sad, abusive back story of Martin as a child living with his mother. The novel touches on many subjects and themes such as pain and how men deal with it, the occult, abuse, manipulation, but there are other surprises like body modification. I learned a few things about it that I didn’t know. Wow! Really? Can’t tell, I don’t want to spoil it for you. It’s really a psychologically disturbing and dark book, but extremely original, well-orchestrated, and written in a short sentenced direct way. Richard Long was very clever in telling the story. The only thing is I hated all the characters with a passion (They were more than flawed.They were all a roaring hot mess.), but that didn’t make me stop reading to my surprise. I think it enkindled my curiosity. Warning, this book is high up on the scale of violent and sexually explicit so if you hate that sort of thing The Book of Paul isn’t for you. Even though horror isn’t my thing, I still read it and found it interesting. Although I wouldn’t suggest reading it when you’re in a depressed or sad mood. It surely won’t cheer you up. Check this out if you really want something different to read and like horror/occult/supernatural stories. Happy reading….
Click the following link to read an excerpt.
Richard Long‘s Bio:
Richard Long writes to exorcize the demons of his past and manifest the dreams of his future. His debut novel,
The Book of Paul, is a dark, thrilling, and psychologically rich supernatural horror/thriller that blends mythology, science and mystery into a page-turning addiction. Richard is also writing a YA novel, The Dream Palace, primarily so that his children can read his books. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, two amazing children and their wicked black cat, Merlin.
Title: The Book of Paul
Published: June 2012
Edition: Open Eye (I read it on my Kindle.)
My rating: * * * 1/2