Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review of Vasilov's Demon

By: Jeffrey Goddin
Published by: Damnation Books, LLC

This review is based on a review copy provided by Damnation Books, LLC in exchange for review, all reviews being my own opinion without guarantee or assumption of liking or disliking.

In Vasilov’s Demon, Mr. Goddin has crafted a chilling short story spanning almost a half century of war and destruction. The mood is dark, and his writer’s voice is in character with the changing times of the tale.

In this story, we first find a young man tormented by his inner demons during the Russian Revolution in 1918. As a soldier he is ordered to kill the Czar and his family. Instead, he throws acid at one of the daughters. This small act sends him into despair. A despair so deep only violence and mayhem can release him. Sometime after the incident with Czar, young Vasilov wakens in a strange house. The owners have been murdered and, too, his companions. Vasilov only remains alive and is faced by a demon who offers him eternal life. For Vasilov, this means a life of unhappiness, the torture and torment of others, and unending nightmares.

Mr. Goddin cleverly moves the story forward through successive eras wherein a man with Vasilov’s unique talent is needed. From the Russian Revolution, to the World War in 1943, on to Hungary in 1956, and at last to East Berlin in 1965, Vasilov is faced with a life he doesn’t want. No matter what he tries, the demon has promised him he will die by no man’s hand.

Will Vasilov find release from the endless cycle of death and destruction? Will his eternal life continue or can he find a way to end it? Read Vasilov’s Demon to travel Vasilov’s dark road through hell on earth.

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