Friday, July 22, 2016

Nikolai the Penitent review

This was, truly, a harrowing, challenging, dark Christian book with everything iin such a book I want in it. Relatable flawed characters, realistic atmosphere, wanton gritty content, forward dialogue, disturbing mental issues, and more.
WARNING! Adult read only!

From deep terrifying characterization in the first few chapters to a very mature sex scene that helps add to Nikolai's torments in the second half, near constant hallucinations that are deeply rooted in psychological terror.
There's not only sexual content, occasional swearing, and brutal violence, but historically accurate anti-Semitic epithets and hatred. In both the foreword and afterword, author Mark Carver indicates he has no hatred for Jews, but he needed to be accurate for the story. He did quite well. Having talked with Mark on Facebook a few times, it's also easy knowledge he has no hatred of Jews, making the story a good case "Don't mistake the book for how the author is."

A part of me almost wishes the there would be a sequel, but  standalone, with all story and subthreads closing by the end, ending on a thematically satisfying end.