When People Ask Me For Most Horrific Book I’ve Ever Read, This Is The Book I Name. I’m writing this review literally over a decade after actually reading this book – apparently I either never wrote a review or the places I posted it have lost it over the years. And yet I can still do an accurate review, perhaps even better since I can now speak to the lasting impact of this book. This is one that to this day is truly the singular most personally horrific book I have *ever* read. It produced nightmares for *years* any time I thought of it. And that is exactly what makes it so great. It is truly one of those books that will haunt you in unexpected ways and places, and this was one of Robinson’s (then going by Bishop to try to protect his Robinson scifi brand) *early* works. His newer stuff is *even better* – and yet this one was so phenomenal I can remember details of it a decade later. Though to be clear, this is one that if you’re not as steeped in conservative evangelical American Christian thought as I am (and was *just* leaving when I read it originally), perhaps all you really get from this is a kickass balls to the wall scifi horror thriller. Which is still awesome in its own way. But if you’re familiar with that thinking, if you’re familiar with Dante’s Inferno or the 18th century retelling known as Jonathan Edwards’ sermon Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God… be prepared for another now-modern retelling of a lot of the same ideas. Truly phenomenal work. Very much recommended – with the lights on. 😉
This review of Torment by Jeremy Robinson was originally written on February 14, 2023.
This week we’re looking at a scifi action tale that wraps itself up in horror clothing remarkably well. This week we’re looking at The Dark by Jeremy Robinson.
As always, the Goodreads review:
The Master Turns To Horror. With this book, Jeremy Robinson – The Modern Day Master of Science Fiction – again attempts a horror book… before bringing it back to the scifi action that is his bread and butter. He first establishes a loveable galoof of an anti-hero: an Army veteran who has PTSD from his experiences in Afghanistan who can’t quite fit in with his suburban civilian “normal” life. Then, he begins building in the mystery and the horror, slowly ramping it up to truly horrific levels across several different types of horror, finally culminating in a truly utterly horrific sequence that, arguably, hard core fans of Mass Effect who are familiar with Mass Effect 2 in particular may be at least somewhat jaded to. And then, the actual scifi action conclusion – almost as though Robinson has made us see hell, and now wants to leave us on a more interesting/ happier note. Long time fans of Robinson may see at least a few similarities to his 2010 “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” retelling, TORMENT, though for me that particular book was so horrific *because* it was essentially a modern day version of that famous sermon (which was, in itself, essentially a then-modern retelling of Dante’s Inferno). For those like me who literally had nightmares for *years* after reading that book, I can tell you that this one isn’t anywhere near that bad – at least not in the same ways. It truly is utterly horrific in a couple of sequences in particular, and these new horrors may indeed haunt your nightmares for quite some time. But dammit, that is what makes Robinson the Master. 😉 Very much recommended.