Sanctuary 12 (Fallen Gods Saga)

Sanctuary 12 (Fallen Gods Saga) - T.W. Malpass, Kate Dunn, Michael Buxton We have 9 heroes, amongst them are the artistic, the agoraphobic, and those with physical disability, the violent, the reckless, murderers, thieves and a dog. They know each other well; yet they are all complete strangers. Brought together by Celeste, an entity that some of them can hear or see and others can only sense, but all are compelled to follow, however reluctantly.

Sanctuary 12 concerns itself with the journey, that each of these individuals must make to reach each other. They are summoned to meet Celeste and learn that they all share a common enemy, not just the mundane earthly forces of law and order, in some cases; and ultimately they find out who they really are, where they come from and what is required of them as a collective.

Sanctuary 12, is the first book in the 'Fallen Gods Saga', a character driven dark fantasy & a horror trilogy with a smattering of science fiction. It may start slowly, but in this story that is a good thing because when the horrors came undulating in this reader's direction they left her completely unnerved and with total conviction that the whole thing was almost happening around her.

Four of the group are also fleeing earthly enemies, Martha the thief has to leave behind her beloveds, her kid brother, her girlfriend and one other, in a dusty American trailer park to escape the law; Vladimir is fleeing his mother and the deadly Duma in Russia and America; Heven, his interfering father, the FBI and a small town Sheriff; and Jerrico in the UK, the violent and suspicious death of his friends and those who believe he might be responsible and his deepest fear, Clover.

Evelyn has to leave her house, an almost insurmountable task, but she also commands the unkindness; Barnes guides Stuart along the journey; Stuart leaves his over protective parents; Josie is blind, but wants to flee her all-seeing touch; Kaleb the artist is also a saviour, finding Jose at just the right time; All have a special gift.

Each leading character, the good, the bad and the downright evil are beautifully and richly drawn. I have to single out the repellent Charles Cradleworth who made me shiver from his very first not entirely welcome appearance.

We are shown a hint of the battles to come and just how much the enemy is relishing the inevitable war; the fight with each of our heroes. They learn that they have to battle not just for themselves or even humanity but for all of creation.

I did not read any reviews prior to reading the novel, I never do if a review is actually requested and I have to say that I am more than pleasantly surprised by the quality of this book. I was mindful that I was reading part one of a series, so any unanswered questions or dangling ends I expect to be tied up, loosely or not within the next 2 volumes.

A proper horror story, modern and classic at the same time, and Lovecraftian in parts, and yes, I could also see Clive Barker's strong influence.

T. W. Malpass has a great strong voice.

Copy received from the author for an honest review.

First published on Darkness Beckons