By: Joseph DiCristofano
Publication Date: April 2010
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 15, 2011
This is a series of tales that speak very skillfully about every aspect of religion and science, from all points of view. Now, some of these tales are not for the faint of heart; this is a collection that offers action, adventure, horror, and even some characters who will leave behind a severe distaste in your mouth. Yet, each and every tale does offer a powerful look at vengeance, justice, revenge, history, religion, and faith.
The first story may just become the favorite of all readers. The author brings us into a hospital for the mentally-ill - a place for the insane to sit and ponder what they’ve done, seen, and now believe. In this very intriguing story, an inmate is speaking, attempting to tell the tale of why he is innocent of a crime that the world has no doubt he committed. This extremely captivating story about how this man went from a University where a friend of his - an archaeologist - told him the tale of an ancient artifact that could very well change the course of faith and religion in the world, to an old manor in England where he had to view the artifacts found. An in-depth story of King Solomon follows, and is told in beautiful and extremely well-researched detail. This is also a story that makes it very clear that perhaps, the ends do not justify the means; and that even ancient beings who many do not believe in, can very well be called back to take out their revenge on people who put pride and prestige before faith and truth.
From this exquisite tale, the author then delves into a much more horrific area, introducing a serial killer who is quite in love with himself, and doesn’t seem to understand that if you ‘dish it out, you may just have to take it.’ Humor is introduced in a tale about a wounded solider left on the German battlefield, wondering why a God would allow something so brutal to happen, and listening to all the questions he still has running through his head. Thankfully, the questions are answered as a long talk is had with the Grim Reaper who is, in essence, a very funny guy.
History arrives again, and this time in the form of The Furies - the ancient ones who, quite simply, are the “infernal goddesses” who are the female deities of pure and utter vengeance.
In one of the most haunting stories, one that will draw-in readers’ imaginations but leave them to question many things about how they would react in such a situation, is a story that focuses on a little girl as she grows older. This little girl was once a viewer of a mystical garden; a place where she met “Snaky” - a serpent to the nth degree - and Uriel, a kind angelic sort of man. Both follow this girl as she grows and changes and adapts to the world around her, finally reaching the ultimate salvation.
For the ending, a small tale sums up what all of the former brought to the surface - the fact that there will always remain questions regarding faith, hope, despair and religion. And there will forever be the debate of what is truly good and what is truly evil.
Grotesque is a word that must be used to describe some of these stories, but the historical research, memorable (even if you wish they weren’t) characters, and the intricate question of good versus evil wrapped up in the debate of fact versus fiction and science versus religion, come together to offer a very good read.
Quill Says: Leave the lights on, have your very large Doberman sitting at the foot of your bed, and enjoy these powerful yet haunting stories.