He tweets from @stevestred
Communion by Steve Stred is the second book of an ongoing trilogy – book one was Ritual (which we reviewed here) and the second book starts pretty much where book one finished. This proposed trilogy of books by Stred is dark, brooding and graphic as hell, with Stred giving us a slice after slice of the macabre and despicable – force feeding us until we burst from his offering as our rotten guts lay at our feet in a noisome rankness.
Book one Ritual – was pretty hard hitting, both in Stred’s prose and subject matter and at times I really wanted to look away but Stred seemed to have forced me to read it. I felt his bony hand clasped against the back of my head and I couldn’t move from the ensuing violence (both mentally and physically). Communion is on the same level, but with added depth both in the story and characters – filthy, macabre and horrific!
Communion sets off at breakneck speed and this is in part due to the book taking place literally straight after where book one leaves us. There is no need for Stred to slow down his prose with a backstory, as if you’re reading this then I’d guess you’d have read the original book (but just in case the main protagonist does recall some of the incidents – but this does nothing to the pacing).
And it’s this breakneck speed that takes us to where Stred wants us to be, at the edge of our seats and at his mercy – we are his plaything and he shakes us about like a ragdoll as we are forcefully directed through this most brilliant offering – delving deeper into the mythology / occult goings on of the first book with Stred also revealing clues which further the story as we go – which Stred reveals in almost Hitchcockian style. Stred also deftly segways us at the stories conclusion into what will be the third book of this dark and unforgettable trilogy.
To go into this book in too much detail would spoil it for those out there that haven’t discovered it yet, but I’d say start with Ritual and then commune with Communion – it will scare you, terrify you, and abuse both your body and mind. A brave and distinct voice – Stred is unafraid of heading into the darkness and reporting to us how dark the human condition is…
Communion more information available here.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction. Steve is the author of two novels, four novellas, two short story collections as well as two poetry/drabble collections. Steve has had works featured in 100 Word Zombie Bites, 100 Word Horrors 3, and Forest of Fear.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews. Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
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