Korrobbathith – URGENT WARNING
We have made a grave error in vigilance, brothers.
The dark comet has drawn near. The cultist have selected a vessel. He dreams of the hidden place, where the Gods Sleep, banished there by our Lord.
After centuries of inactivity, Korrobbathith and his followers are attempting, once more, to open the gate.
We must move with haste, if we hope to stop them.
You know the consequences of failure.
Korrobbathith and the other gods will walk this Earth again and, i fear, this time, they will not remain in the shadows. None of us – man, woman or child, will find refuge from their barbaric reign unless we submit ans serve them
God help us all, if we’re too late.
– Father Garcia
This is an ARC-Review
Where the Gods sleep will be officially published on March 31, 2019, but you can already pre-order it!
The light wafts of mist slowly condense – schemes that can hardly be described, but are nevertheless perceptible and quietly enter the ether… grow together with it… unite with it.
And so an ever denser blackness grows, which builds up in front of and threatens to devour me.
But instead of the fear that should make me to escape, angst greets me, that has devoted itself to voyeurism – I must stay, I must see it, I must know it; and that is what I do…
Instead of being devoured by the darkness, it materializes before my eyes, awakens from its eternal sleep and rises from oblivion…
…here, where the gods sleep.
Kenneth is plagued by nightmares – visions that only seem to wait for him.
Soon they will no longer be visions, but… possession? As if something had taken possession of him and…
Something seems to be inside of him; something that seems to have chosen him; something old – something evil…
Something that has awakened after unimaginable time.
The beginning of Where the Gods sleep doesn’t wait long, but tears me directly and without digression into Lovecraft’s primeval worlds, without acting as another (bad) copy, but as a very conscious reverence, which never lacks the individuality of Mike Duke: Lovecraft in modern language with a dystopian Dark-Sci-Fy note.
Especially through the further course of the book this beginning is stylistically more than clever, as this makes Duke able to use the following tempo- and style-changes in an optimal way.
What actually started as (almost classic) Cosmic-Horror, leads through quieter mystery passages and hard thriller interludes to an overall concept, which I would describe as modern, dystopian Cosmic-Horror.
Mike Duke implies people too much as a society (and I’m so grateful for that), that I’d call it pure (Cosmic-) Horror. He created a brilliant mix of dystopia and utopia (not eutopia!)!
As a reader you are literally carried by the different narrators/protagonists.
So here you see another especialness of Where the Gods sleep: instead of following a narrator or give yourself over to a protagonist, the protagonist grows out of the narrator – it feels like you follow a diary of apocalypse to finally devote yourself to Armageddon; an almost cinematic narrative style.
With Where the Gods sleep Mike Duke has carried the Cosmic Horror less into modernity than to adapt it into the here and now.
He has brought together what has always belonged together, but has taken the risk at the same time, of not adapting language and speed to their origin, but rather giving the origin new language and current tempo.
The leaps in time and changes in perspective do the rest to turn Where the Gods sleep into a puzzle with Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000) character in a Found-Footage style.
If you are now greeted with memories of Kadath and the Great Old Ones first, you soon seem to see Leonard Shelby with the big Pan and experience the happenings similar to Pete Travis’ thriller "Vantage Point" (Pete Travis, 2008) from different perspectives, to finally be on the way to Innsmouth in a ’67 Impala to descry the pure fucking armageddon.
Reached the end, helplessly at the mercy of the last page and the ending right before my eyes as a horrible beginning, he seems to wake up (again) and almost I think to follow Cthulhus call again…
Ok, I must admit that I didn’t trust Mike Duke at the beginning to not lose himself in this novella – well, my fault!
Duke leaves nothing to chance here, but knows how to pretend a naivety to the reader, as I know it from KJ Moore, for example.
He proceeds with an unbelievable precession, doses the respective moments very precisely and thus creates a small blockbuster without airs and graces.
Cosmic-, or in this case actually Lovecraftian Horror, may, should, yeah: must know how to portray the closeness to H.P. Lovecraft – and Mike Duke does everything right here!
Where the Gods sleep shows itself stylistically as a homage, without crawling before its providence, presents itself characteristically as a (modern) interpretation, without getting lost in the depths of R’lyeh or the vastness of the cosmos and so I soon feel like on my way, feel like in a small suburb of Providence…
With Where the Gods sleep Mike Duke succeeded in making the big leap (at the latest): depth without missing speed, action without losing interpretation and a final, which literally screams for a sequel (on which Mike Duke is already working, by the way)!
And now it’s finally time to thank Mike Duke:
on the one hand of course for this quite furious reading experience, but above all, for the chance to receive an ARC of Where the Gods sleep for reading – well, in this case: devouring! – it.
Thanks, Mike – just wanna let you know, you have an impatient fan now!
Just by the way…: what’s with the sequel? I’M WAITING! 😉