It was the cover of this book that intrigued me. The creature looked like some kind of a sphinx Queen. I wanted to know more about her and when I opened the book I was pleased to see that Brom (the author and artist) had included more paintings of these lost gods he was writing about. They were incredible creatures. All of them were impressive.
The book is about a young man (Chet) who is viciously killed and ends up in Purgatory. He is given a mission to save the ones he loves from a similar feat and the epic journey begins and is incredible. Brom “paints” another world for us to venture in. It is a cruel world, a dark world. In it’s own way it is magnificent. Unlike Dante, Chet is not just a spectator, he endures the pains of Purgatory and a hero rises from the torment. The deeper I got into the book, the better the story became. Plenty of times the story was frightening especially towards the end. My heart raced as I cheered on for Chet to triumph. Brom is not only a great artist, he is also a great story teller.
In Brom’s Purgatory you see that there are all kinds of gods in this realm. I didn’t research any of them to see if they truly were ancient gods, long forgotten, but nevertheless their personalities were very well developed.
Brom tastefully includes all religions in his Purgatory and I found the Christian undertones he incorporated to be very entertaining.
The ending of the book was the most frightful and left me mourning that I had finished the book. What an incredible ending!
The book does have some frightful scenes and there are a lot of big cuss words – remember these guys didn’t make it to Heaven – they’re not exactly saints. Chet is marked for Hell (which is an ongoing fear because frankly I don’t want anyone to go there), but miraculously avoids it due to the mission he was given. Not all the souls have this mark, Chet was a special kind of scoundrel on Earth I suppose.
As a Christian, this book really brought to my mind the reality of Hell. Yes, this book is a total fantasy. I don’t even believe in Purgatory, but the hopelessness Chet feels and those around him, was just overwhelming sometimes for me. None of those souls wanted to be there, none of those souls could change their fate. Many sobbed as they realized where they were. The rich, the poor, the abused and the privileged all were in the same circumstance. As Chet said, “Earth is paradise”. Compared to the horrors and the darkness of the place, Earth is a paradise we take for granted. As I said before, I don’t believe in purgatory, but I do believe in Hell. And Brom captures very well the utter shock of the unexpected souls. What a horrible place to be at and not be able to go back to change things. Even Chet regretted not listening to his religious aunt who annoyed him so much on Earth.
I completely recommend this book to any one who likes to read non-fiction. Even a boring soul like me who tends to stick with fiction really enjoyed it! Because of the cuss words I would let only my older teens read this book. There is only one scene that sticks out that is sexually explicit, but it is about five sentences and is about a man remembering his abuse in prison.
In the end, I was grateful for my salvation.