So, normally I try and not list whole series but with November and December typically being rather sparse in terms of new books I thought I would capitalize on this weeks release of The Chosen Seed, the third book in Sarah Pinborough’s Forgotten Gods series to highlight the whole series rather than just the latest book.
What is it?
A blistering blend of noir, dark fantasy, and near-future horror. This is a difficult series to pin down but one that fans of dark genre fiction should read. This is supernatural fiction at its best.
What’s it about?
The Forgotten Gods opens with A Matter of Blood. Here we are introduced to Detective Inspector Cassius “Cass” Jones, a cynical and jaded police officer working the streets of a London wracked by poverty and crime; where the economic crisis has gotten so bad that cops are paid a “bonus” for closing a case. Unfortunately, those bonuses are tied up in the courts leaving many of London’s finest to seek alternative means of cash flow; needless to say there are some crimes that slip through the cracks as a result. Cass isn’t innocent of this crime but by and large he is a cop who just wants to do is job. As Cass returns to work after a suspension he is given the job of tracking down what appears to be a serial killer and one who leaves seemingly perfect fly eggs on the bodies of his victims.
The bleak future of Cass’ London grows even darker as elements of the supernatural begin to creep in from the edges. As the violence of the cases Cass is working begin to take their toll he is forced to confront the murder/suicide of his brother and his family; a event which sends him headlong into several mysteries surrounding his own past. A Matter of Blood concludes with as many questions as it does answers. The second novel, The Shadow of the Soul, picks up just where A Matter of Blood leaves off. Pinborough adds more strange and horrific elements of the supernatural to her story. She excels at couching those elements in mystery but providing just enough details to string readers and on an enthralling and darkly fascinating journey through London’s supernatural underbelly. The Shadow of the Soul offers some pretty startling revelations about Cass’ life and the nature of the threats that abound in his dark world. It also ends on something of a cliffhanger.
Why should I read this
The urban fantasy landscape is a crowded one but one where Pinborough’s series stands tall. Dark and tinged with horror the stark future of The Forgotten Gods trilogy is equal parts terrifying and enthralling. Pinborough’s careful balance of mystery and action makes for a series of books that can really get the blood pumping. Like all good fiction tingued with supernatural horror Pinborough makes you crave answers to the mysteries she sets forth while at the same time leaves you dreading the answers.
Mike December 2nd, 2013