Steve(n) W. Has Studied The Scarlet Gospels, Soul Is Lost (A Review)

In 1986, Clive Barker got his hooks into the fabric of our reality and ripped our fragile, human world to ribbons, revealing a gruesome order of otherworldly, psychosexual monks known simply as the Cenobites. Since their initial appearance in The Hellbound Heart, their scarified and ecstatic visages have haunted the world’s nightmares through the Hellraiser film franchise and graphic novel series. Now, in 2015, the visionary puppeteer of the macabre leads us one final time down the road to Hell in the concluding chapter of the saga of the Cenobites.

The Scarlet Gospels reintroduces the tortured priest – known as Pinhead to the uninitiated – as he wrests control of Hell from the devil himself. In a secret room littered with the mutilated remains of wicked magicians, a puzzle box chimes atonally as it solves itself alone on the floor. A horrible bell sounds in the distance, signaling the coming Paradise, Inferno, or mongrelized chimera of the two. With each peal, the room shudders as our worlds merge, and the chaos of the Cenobites draws nearer.

lordIn The Scarlet Gospels, the fate of the world lies uneasily in the hands of an embattled paranormal detective, a blind seer, and a ragtag team of misfit occultists as they descend into the Pit to restore order as one of Hell’s own attempts to dismantle the multiverse. This spiraling adventure flings man against beast and beast against demon in Clive Barker’s thrilling culmination of his Hellraiser mythos.

Clive Barker established himself as a master of the genre in the 1980s with his transgressive Books of Blood and fringe horror theatre and films. Since then, he has entrenched himself in horror and fantasy canon with books such as Weaveworld and Imajica and films including Candyman and Nightbreed. He is also the author of the Abarat series, an epic fantasy for young adults. The Scarlet Gospels concludes the story began twenty-nine years ago with The Hellbound Heart, and it could not be a grislier or more spectacular finale.


– Steve(n) W.

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