Author Topic: Hades Shade

Hades Shade
« on: May 16, 2021 »
Thank Jupiter my Get out of Jail card is still working.  The last refuge of the scoundrel that I am.  My prison wallet was getting worn out.  And I had only very limited access to the library.  But unlimited access to the librarian.

Still, when was the last time I read a book?  A real-life book, mind you.  I'm not a digital reader, except when I lick my Name of the Rose fingers to turn the page.  I figured I could risk it and just not TELL anyone.  Coz I got a reputation of sorts – not seen a moving picture since 1991, never watched the telly after the 10th Doctor, never read a novel written after the fall of Constantinople, FFS.  You get the picture.  Gotta keep myself fresh for the future.

So, this geezer in Wonder White Bread Land asks me to read his novel.  Wouldn't even send me a copy, I gotta buy it myself.  Maxxed out my card on it, too.  For what I spent on HADES FOREST, by Simon Elson (available now on Amazon), I could have bought two cups of Swiss roasted coffee AND a Gipfeli.  That's a croissant with horns here.

I've seen this book before in my dreams, the kind I wake up thirsty from, you know?  Bloodthirsty.  The book I'd written in invisible ink, or was it disappearing ink?  The one where writing the chapter titles is even more fun than writing the book.  And now I've got it in my hands, the cover gently, teasingly, caressing my fingerprints.  Hey!  Something's wrong, though.  It doesn't smell like a book.  No.  It smells like the air before a lightning strike.  Or like my fingers after I've cut me some smash, yeh. 

So I read it.  I read it.  Present tense, past tense.  Simon calls it dystopian.  OK.  He wrote it.  Most people thinks that's the opposite of utopian, but that's not quite right.  It's more Samuel Butler than Thomas More.  Go nowhere to get nowhere.  If this book had a map with it, I'd be the sort to turn it so that North was at the bottom.  It's that kind of novel.

It's not light, easy reading, but it's compelling.  I mean, I wanted to finish it fast!  I needed it in my belly, under my belt.  I didn't want it to linger longer than necessary on my To-Do list.  It would have itched in places I wouldn't have been able to reach to scratch.

Story:  Man flees evil world government to an island controlled by tribes of rebels fighting their own internecine battles.  That's it.  But damn if the author didn't trick me into thinking that was it.  In a trajectory-defying restart of his rocket engines after Brennschluss, Simon Elson launches Hades Forest as a twist-in-the tail total re-weaving of untangled plot threads.  Aha! Gotcha!

I had to sleep on this for two nights before I realised just how I myself had got subtly woven into the plot.  Me, I can handle it.  I'm a runner.  But reader, beware!  Caveat lector!  Unless you're a total box of Frosties, you'll find yourself trapped in the Chinese fingerstall the Breadman has constructed from – bamboo?

One last tip – blithely ignore the content warning.  That's just a sales gimmick used since ancient times.  Your gran could read this book and tell you more gruesome tales about pig-sticking than our Herts lad would ever dare conceive. 

I give this book 4½ out of 5 parrots.  I'm saving the rest of that last parrot for lunch.  This smash is making me feel rather peckish.

   HADES FOREST by Simon Elson — Available now on Amazon