A twisting quest winds through varying realms in Cramer’s debut.
Waking up naked, alone and without much in the way of a memory, Horus finds himself in a world both magical and violent. After defeating a mysterious foe, Horus learns that he is in a place outside traditional understandings of the afterlife. Having done something in a former life to obtain a position outside the Wheel of Life, Horus is in a world no longer bound by the rules of Earth. As a servant girl explains to him, “Once people gets here, there aint but two commandments: love God with all your heart, and Do not kill…lessin it’s for food, defendin your property, yourself or someone else (sic).” Taking up with a family of cherubs ruled by the beautiful Valkyrie Kyenna, Horus embarks on a journey that takes him to bizarre regions of both heaven and hell. Hunted by a cruel, powerful figure named Raphael, Horus embarks on a complex journey of discovery, combat and shifting geographies. Featuring creatures ranging from the purely mythological (such as the god Mercury) to the disgusting (such as hand-sized cockroaches), the story includes a wide range of characters, settings and motives. Impressive in its use of such a diverse array of ideas, the imaginative story proves difficult to follow. Clouded by lengthy explanations of everything from magical weapons to a group of black Confederate soldiers to a talking Satan that was “a composite of a male model and a body builder in his late 20’s to early 30’s with blond hair,” there is often little to ground readers in any understanding of the main characters and their motivations.
Ambitious and otherworldly, though a storyline worth following rarely shines through.