Title: Sabbath of the Fox-Devils
Author: Sam Richard
Release date: May 15, 2020
The third and final book sent to me to check out from Weirdpunk Books is ‘Sabbath of the Fox-Devils’ by Sam Richard. Look at that cover! I mentioned previously in my review for ‘Seventeen Names for Skin’ the first of the three Weirdpunk releases I reviewed that I simply read that one first as it showed on my Kindle screen first. After reading all three, any one could’ve easily read the three in a random order and had a blast with each release. Three very different releases but three absolutely stellar releases.
I’ve previously read Sam’s haunting collection ‘To Wallow in Ash and Other Sorrows,’ so going in I wasn’t too sure if this would be another grief based read or if the cover was hinting at some fun to come.
What I liked: ‘Sabbath of the Fox-Devils’ is a bonkers coming-of-age horror novella. Our young main character lives in a house ruled by his parents and their crushing religious beliefs. We find out that Joe is struggling with his older brother leaving and having no contact with him. A cartoon seems to connect some dots and from there Joe is able to unravel his brothers abrupt departure and just what secrets the priest is hiding.
This book is full on fun. We get emotional depth as Joe struggles with dealing with his brother leaving as well as trying to unravel the depths the lies go in the town.
Richard’s does a fantastic job of bouncing between religious “insight” and moving the story along. The bridges, which is the most accurate term I can think of for the religious side bits, really deepen the fervor which the priest has cast over the congregation. As well, the arrival of the Fox-Devils plot point was fantastic and the folklore bent that Sam delivers was really well done.
What I didn’t like: It’s a minor thing, but at the start I felt like Joe was a younger character than he appears in the second half. Maybe it was the length of the novella that made it feel rushed, but it seemed as though Joe aged and matured rapidly in a short amount of time. Didn’t affect the story at all, but it was something I noticed.
Why you should buy this: A) Weirdpunk Books is putting out stunning releases. This is the fourth book from them I’ve read and all have been top notch and very different from each other, which is an achievement all on its own. B) Richard can really capture a lot of different feelings and emotions with his writing. This goes from sorrow to horror to grief to ballistic missile over and over and it truly was a work of art watching him control these characters. C) If that cover and that synopsis intrigues you – what the book delivers is 10x better than you’ll ever expect going in.
This was another great book from a publisher I’m so happy to have discovered this year.
You can buy this book direct from Weirdpunk Books here;
Or from Amazon here;