Over the last few months I have been reading a lot of books published by DarkFuse, in main down to the fact that they have published new works from some of my favourite authors, folk like Gary McMahon, William Meikle, Jeff Mariotte and Tim Curran.
Nicole Cushing however is an author that I was not really all that familiar with, but two things, two very important things drew me to this exquisite novella. Firstly that cover, who could resist a cover like that, a giant bleak and foreboding labyrinth? And secondly the synopsis on Darfuse's site.
Sadism, nihilism, poverty, wealth, screams, whimpers, sanity and madness collide in Nowhere, Indiana.
For Thomas Krieg, Nowhere is a miles-long, pitch-black underground maze in which he’s imprisoned dozens of boys for the past ten years—all in the name of art.
For two brothers, Nowhere is the only place they clearly remember living. A world unto itself, in which they must stay alert to stay alive. A world from which the only escape is death.
But for an English occultist known only as Mr. No One, Nowhere is much more…and much less: the perfect place in which to perform a ritual to unleash the grandest of eldritch deities, the God of Nothingness, the Great Dark Mouth.
Pretty darn enticing isn't it? These things are all well and good, but if the story doesn't stand on its own two feet these things are all by the way. Children of No One is one of those stories that like the Devil's hand keeps pokin' at my heart with a long fingernail. This is one of those stories that despite the lack of any gore, or in your face shocks, still manages to chill you to the very core of your being. This is an excellent mix of psychological and cosmic horror, where the true horror of the story comes not from the supernatural, but from the horrors of what one man will do in the pursuit of art. And how that man justifies what he is doing.
Children of No One is a very claustrophobic novel, with a small cast of central characters, playing out against the vast, barren and bleak gigantic underground labyrinth, with it's Angels of pure desolation. The way in which vastness of the artistic project juxtaposes with intimacy of the cast is sublime, it also serves to make the final act where cosmic horror makes its appearance all the more chilling.
It is a huge credit to Nicole that despite the confines of a novellas length she also manages to add a highly intelligent discussion on art and sadism into the mix, without it feeling out of place. I'll be honest I didn't fully understand some of the points being discussed, however in no way did it detract from the sublime story telling of a gifted author.
Children of No One, comes highly, highly recommended, it is not often that I read a something that brings such a fantastic new take on the genre.
The book is not due to be published until March, however you can get details of this book and may other great titles by clicking this link.