What if Death had a bit of a crush on you? For Malcolm, death was just the beginning of what will turn into a macabre adventure in this pitch-black novella that subverts everything we think we knew about life and death.
Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, for most of us, death is the end of the story. For Malcolm, though, it was just the beginning. After a whole life of fragile health, Malcolm succumbed to the supposedly sweet embrace of death. What he didn’t imagine is that Death herself had other plans for him. Creation of the Inevitable: Volume 1 by The Raven’s Doctor is a dark fantasy novella that explores the strange realm that Malcolm and Death inhabit and what happens when its fickle equilibrium collapses. Who is Death? What’s her relationship with Malcolm? Will Malcolm fulfill his promise and save the strange realm he inhabits?
On the plus side, the premise of this book is extremely original. Of course, The Raven’s Doctor is not the first one to imagine an afterlife experience, but Malcolm’s reaction to his demise and his singular relationship with Death sure are unique. The Raven’s Doctor has created a truly disturbing but original world, and they don’t lose the readers’ precious attention by burdening us with info-dumping about this new world. We discover it as
Malcolm does, which I can’t applaud enough. I rarely read fantasy because I get bored as most authors give lengthy, over-detailed explanations about the worlds they’ve created. Nothing like this happens in Creation of the Inevitable: Volume 1. The author also found a perfect balance between giving enough gory details to keep the reader engaged, but not that many to make us gag. Of course, the enormous amount of violence in the book makes this novel only suitable for a mature audience. Finally, the author strikingly uses English vocabulary, with words that give color to this story, and create a sensory experience, albeit a truly macabre one. The book also makes great use of dark humor.
Unfortunately, the book lacked character development and plot depth. Life and death are probably the most mysterious and pondered-upon issues in humanity, but they seem superficial in this novella. We don’t really get an explanation ever about the reasons behind the strange occurrences of this realm, or Malcolm’s motivations, for that matter. Therefore, I don’t recommend this novel for readers oriented toward character-driven stories. The novel, though action-filled, left me with a sense of unfulfilment. This is just the first volume but it ends with an unbearable cliffhanger. It’s hard to find the right balance between leaving the readers satisfied and still making them want to read the sequel. Unfortunately, I didn’t experience either. I was left in the middle of the action, but because of the lack of depth of the characters, I also don’t really mind. If, like me, you need some sense of closure at the end of the read, I suggest binge-reading the entire series. The violence I mentioned is mostly directed toward animals. Ethical vegans and other highly sensitive people might want to pick another book. Finally, this novel could easily be considered blasphemous by staunchly religious people.
However, readers who love horror and gore, who enjoy dark humor, or who like manga and are used to reading in an episodic fashion will love the scatological mischief of this novel. There’s also a teensy hint of BDSM, so if that strikes your fancy, this is a novel for you. Readers who love “Alice in Wonderland”: meet Alice’s pitch-black cousin.
- Title: “Creation of the Inevitable: Volume 1”
- Author: The Raven’s Doctor
- Genre: Fantasy
- Theme: Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Death, Dark Humor
- Publication Date: February 22 2022
- ISBN or ASIN: B09TGS32WL
- Number of Pages: 94
- Minimum Audience Age: 18
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 3
- Religious themes: 1
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 4
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 3
- Other adult themes: 2
- Content: 3 stars
- Writing Style: 3 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 4 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 5 stars
- Other factors: 2 stars
- Overall: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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