I have the absolute pleasure of being a stop on the blog tour for Austrian Spencer’s debut novel The Sadeiest. Now I did expect to enjoy this (if I didn’t I wouldn’t have signed up) but I was not prepared for how much this book blew me away.
*I did receive a copy of this book for the blog tour, however this in no way affected or influenced my ratings or review.
Is today a good day to die?
Death – a walking skeleton armed with a scythe, a rider of the apocalypse, it has always been assumed – is a man that brings the souls of the dead to wherever they are destined to go.
But what if we got that wrong? What if he were a ghost that, instead of moving your soul on silently after you had died, actually did the hard part for you?
Death has to die, again and again, to pay for his sins, and to free trapped souls before their bodies perish – only to replace those souls, to die for them.
A Death whose existence is a curse, where the other riders of the Apocalypse are not his allies, but his enemies.
Armed only with his morals, his memories and the advice of a child teacher, Williams, a Sadeiest, travels through the deaths of other people, on his way to becoming something greater. Something that will re-define the Grim Reaper.
Death just came to life, in time to fight for a child hunted by the other horsemen of the Apocalypse.
How do you want to die today?
You might think that “world building” wouldn’t be an applicable category in a book set in our world and not some fictitious realm. For this book you would be wrong. Spencer’s version of the afterlife is unique and masterfully crafted, and the scenes involving the living feel grounded in reality.
World Building ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Henreich was probably my favorite character, though every character in this book is done phenomenally well. His whole arc, attitude, and mentorship of Williams had me at points laughing, crying, and totally engrossed. I’m really looking forward to seeing where all the characters end up and develop in the sequel, especially Williams and John.
The writing style of this books is very unique, but once I got used to it (which I did before I finished the first chapter) I really loved it. It’s unique and has a highly visceral quality to it. Each POV seems tailored to really get into the mind of that character, feel what they feel and see what they see. If you, like me, feel a little jarred and confused reading the prologue I implore you to stick with it until at least the end of chapter 1. Trust me, you will be happy you did.
Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
In case it’s not obvious I absolutely loved this book. It’s a wonderful blend of several horror subgenres, and I look forward to Spencer’s future works. The Sadeiest isn’t light reading, my brain felt engaged and I mean that in the most positive was possible. This debut novel was dark and enigmatic, and exactly the kind of book I enjoy most.
Personal Enjoyment ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall Rating 5/5
My Star Rating System
1 ⭐Absolutely awful
2 ⭐Not great, could be worse
3 ⭐Neutral, not bad but not great either
4 ⭐Good but some issues that keep it from a full score
5 ⭐Amazing, perfect, or some of the best I’ve encountered
About the Author:
Austrian had an unfortunate trauma aged eight, when a truck drove over him and his ‘Grifter’ bike. This made him bedridden and a captive of books for too many years. The habit persisted throughout his life (reading books, not staying in bed), to the extent that his daughter’s first painting was of him holding a book, rather than her hand. He has the picture framed in the upstairs toilet, to look at whilst feeling vulnerable.
He is the ‘glass-half-full’, an eternal optimist and believes passionately in you. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing at this moment in your life. He often thinks this, while staring at his daughter’s first painting.
Austrian does not watch horror films, though enjoys horror books. His influences include Alan Moore, Dave Sim, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, The family King, Iain M.Banks, from whom he wishes to learn. Be inspired.
He owes them everything, despite their beards.
The Sadeiest is Austrian’s debut novel.