Monday, April 1, 2013

A to Z Challenge April 2013 ~ A ~Apocrypha Sequence: Deviance by Shane Jiraiya Cummings

Apocrypha Sequence: Devianceby: Shane Jiraiya Cummings

Explore the darkness within the human heart ... Set foot inside the morgue at Stratton Memorial Hospital, a place where the scales of life and death have tipped in the wrong direction, and wander the city beyond, where fantasies of sex, drugs, and violence can become frighteningly real. Redemption may be found under a scalpel, in an alley, or sometimes, by embracing the darkest corner of the soul.

The Apocrypha Sequence is a series of dark fantasy collections with interwoven themes and interconnected stories from Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Australia's master of the macabre. Also in the Apocrypha Sequence: Divinity, Inferno, and Insanity.

My Review:

Apocrypha Sequence: Deviance is one of a group of anthologies by writer Shane Jiraiya Cummings.  In Deviance the stories definitely take a walk on the dark and disturbing side. There are five stories total in Deviance;  Hear no Evil, The Cutting Room, Interlude, With Lavender, Dark Hearth Alley(An Urban Fable), and Wrack.

The writing is dark, not for the faint of heart. They walk the line between gore and horror.  Some of the stories are longer than others, but all are the type that keep you turning the page wanting to read more. But because of their length some are stories unto themselves while others just seem to be scenes from a bigger novel.   I recently read a review done of an anthology and the way it was written I feel would work well with this bookKhaalidah Muhammad-Ali's reviewed each story individually so that is what I am going to do here.***

Hear No Evil – Blaine is a boilermaker who’s been in a horrific accident that leaves him unable to hear. Yet somehow he still hears screams coming from somewhere in the hospital that he wakes up in. This was one of the more complete stories in the novel. Loved the attention to detail of how Blaine is relating to the world around him without his hearing.  The descriptions are creepy and it has a twist ending that is chilling.

The Cutting Room – Gary and Parrish are coroners that have a very undead body on their hands. This one had more gore than Hear No Evil. I really get creeped out by autopsies so this one already had me spooked even before the weird stuff started happening. Again the authors descriptive writing really had me hooked.
Interlude, With Lavender – This is the least creepy and gory story in the bunch. Two men find themselves with their own deceased bodies. This one I kinda wondered about. It wasn’t gory and it really wasn’t scary it just seemed like a scene from a bigger story. It was well written though and I would definitely want to read more.

Dark Hearth Alley (An Urban Fable) – This is another complete story. It is about Miri and Joe and the serial killer X who is stalking the people of the slums where they live. I liked the descriptions.  Again they were creepy, but they portrayed the area the main characters found themselves in with grim and gritty detail. The twists and turns were also unexpected.

Wrack – A truly gruesome picture into the heart of a man and what he is willing to do to survive.   I didn’t like the main character, but he isn’t supposed to be liked.  In fact I would go so far as to say that the author meant for him to be hated.  Again this is one of the stories that seems to be just a beginning to a bigger story.  
Would I want to read it the rest of it? Hmmm. Not sure. I really disliked the main character and since it was told from his point of view, well, I don’t know if I could get into a larger tale. However it was very well written and still drew me in.

Overall I enjoyed the whole anthology. While it wasn’t my usual choice of genre it was well written and drew me in.  I finished the book in one sitting simply because I really wanted to see where the author was going to take me next.  

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013
*** Here is the link to  Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali's review of Mass Effect: Homeworlds.  I originally found her review through the Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel Challenge 2013 January Round-up***


  1. Excellent review, Aimeekay!

    Enjoy the challenge!!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and glad you liked the review!

  2. Unfortunately, I'm a chicken when it comes to zombies and anything horror related, the cover alone freaks me out, lol! But I did enjoy your review and no matter what the genre, good writing is good writing.

    A-Z participant blogging from Elise Fallson

    1. I'm ok with reading most things horror. They do spoke me though! The cover is freaky. Thanks for stopping by and glad you liked the review.

  3. That cover is so freaky. I do enjoy a good zombie book every now and again, but I'm also a really big chicken, so can't do anything too scary and definitely no gore. Yup. Big chicken.

  4. Thanks for stopping by!

    Glad you all enjoyed the review. I do agree the cover is VERY freaky!

    @Janeal I will have a zombie review up for Z so be sure to stop back by then!