“Ex Libris: The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”
“Do you know the true nature of man, Padre?
I guess someone like you would say that man possesses potential, goodness, and virtue.
I would then ask you another question. What is man’s nature when they are in a situation where they believe they should be dead?”
Their lands plagued by invaders, the Inca resort to an ancient ritual. By harvesting star dust from people, they hope to accumulate enough to raise the sun god, Inti, and reclaim their lands.
Yet when the collection is interrupted, it sets in motion events which will rattle human history.
Six stories. Six different time periods. One outcome.
We are all made of stars.
When an ancient Inca ritual is interrupted, it sets in motion a series of events that will echo through five hundred years of human history. Many seek to use the arcane knowledge for their own ends, from a survivor of a shipwreck, through to a suicide cult.
Yet…the most unlikeliest of them all will succeed.
“I have found that with age, exuberance and indignation of youth is replaced by reticence and dispassion. One can only shout so many times without being listened to. Battles must be chosen, and if the generals in charge of them do not heed your words or advice, then your duty is complete and any consequences lie solely at their door.”
When an author tries overly and unnecessarily hard to push the boundaries of their work, whether it be in scope, emotion, or graphic content, it bogs down the read and causes an instant disconnect with the piece. On the other side of the coin, it is just as obvious when a book takes on a life of it’s own, taking breaths beyond what the author had in store. Triggering an immediate fascination between reader and book. And when a work of dark fiction transcends the genre everybody wins.
Hexagram, from Duncan P. Bradshaw, is one of those transcending reads. It is a connected narrative split into six shorter pieces bookended by a message from the future. The six separate tales inhabit different eras, containing different tones, and are told in different voices. If I didn’t know better I’d believe that they were written by different authors. That is quite a feat. And may I add that Hexagram in itself is entirely different from my previous two Bradshaw reads, Celebrity Culture & Prime Directive. Duncan is a man of many literary hats and he wears them all well.
Kicking off in Cuzco, 1538 (174,942 days from the end of the world) Hexagram ushers the reader around the world, through the eyes of many astonishing characters as they follow the trail and the instructions of an ancient text. From a ship of Cuban treasure hunters an American shores, 1716, to a Civil War battlefield in 1884. From the stoping grounds of Jack the Ripper, 1888, on to a Jim Jones-esque religious cult in 1981 (my favorite overall piece, cults are fascinating). Wrapping up in current times with elderly twins, one of whom a mortician’s assistant (second favorite overall piece). Hexagram is a hell of a ride, captivating from page one, and highly recommended.
The immense pleasure taken from reading Hexagram has put a sense of urgency for me to get to the other Bradshaw novels that I’ve had sitting on the shelf for far to long, Class Three & Class Four. I am also excited to see what he crafts in the future.
“The pause that followed bookended eternity.”
Overall score: 5/ 5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher/ publicist on the promise of an honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, these are my unbiased feelings.
Duncan P. Bradshaw lives in the county of Wiltshire, nestled around the belly button of southern England, with his wife Debbie, and their two cats, Rafa and Pepe. During the day, he is a mild mannered office goon, doing things which would bore you, if he was forced to tell you. At night, he becomes one with a keyboard, and transforms his weird and wonderful thoughts into words, which people, like you, and me, can read.
Why not pop over to his website, http://duncanpbradshaw.co.uk/ or give him a like over on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/duncanpbradshaw or read his ravings on his blog, http://duncanpbradshaw.blogspot.co.uk/
Praise for Hexagram
“Hexagram is a visceral journey through the dark nooks and crannies of human history. Lovecraftian terror merges with blood sacrifices, suicide cults and body horror as Bradshaw weaves an intricate plot into an epic tale of apocalyptic dread.” – Rich Hawkins, author of The Last Plague trilogy
“A rip-roaring boy’s own adventure yarn. This novel contains multitudes, and the sheer scale and breadth of the story is exhilarating. A glorious, unhinged thrill ride.” – Kit Power, author of GodBomb!
Praise for Bradshaw’s Writing
“Duncan Bradshaw has a fantastic writing style. He gets you engrossed in the characters from the very outset. His mix of comedy and horror and real life are superb.” – Confessions of a Reviewer
“The true genius of Duncan P. Bradshaw is the rollercoaster ride of words and expressions. I have never seen an author go from the depths of dark and gore to laugh out loud all within the same paragraph.” – 2 Book Lovers Reviews
“Remember, you’ve now willingly plunged yourself into the mind of Duncan Bradshaw. You’re completely at the mercy of his strange imagination and all the eccentric oddities that his curious mind can conjure up.” – DLS Reviews
“Bradshaw is able to weight the horror set pieces with a dry humour and plenty of laugh out loud moments.” – UK Horror Scene
“One of the first things that I did after reading The Black Room Manuscripts, was to go out and buy Class Three by Duncan Bradshaw. I just found his writing in Time for Tea to have this gleeful kind of undertow to the carnage he wrought on his tea drinkers and wanted to see what his writing was like in a longer format.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror
If you’re a member of the media or a blogger and you’d like to feature Duncan Bradshaw or Hexagram, then please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at firstname.lastname@example.org