cover image Tortured Souls: The Legend of Primordium

Tortured Souls: The Legend of Primordium

Clive Barker. Subterranean (www.subterranean-, $30 (88p) ISBN 978-1-59606-636-6

Horror legend Barker (Hellraiser) builds a world of corruption, decay, political intrigue, and bile-inducing detail in this tightly constructed novella. After introducing Agonistes, an imperfect creation of God who hears the pleas of the wronged and remakes them in the most horrific manner imaginable, Barker focuses on the fictional ancient city of Primordium, where hit man Zarles Kreiger ends up in a romantic affair with Lucidique, the daughter of his latest victim. They’re both transformed by Agonistes, changing the balance of power in the city and leading to the creation of more abominations. Primordium is fully fleshed out with small details, but much is left for readers to wonder (and have nightmares) about, like just how the mad scientist Talisac managed to make himself pregnant with one of the monsters. All are damned in this solid, sordid read. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Mar.)