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Orgy of Souls, by Wrath James White, Maurice Broaddus Book Review | SFReader.com
Orgy of Souls, by Wrath James White, Maurice Broaddus Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Apex Published: 2008 Review Posted: 3/8/2009 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
Orgy of Souls, by Wrath James White, Maurice Broaddus
Book Review by Nick DeMarino
Have you read this book?
Consider the major conflicts of the Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries. Who were the 'good guys' and the 'bad guys'? Now think about the last twenty or so books you've read and pose the same question. Unless you're a child (or childishly naive), it's abundantly clear that although the theme of Good versus Evil is more suited to fiction than the real world, it's ubiquitous in all forms of narrative. It's important to keep this oversimplification in mind whilst reading Wrath James White and Maurice Broaddu's Orgy of Souls.
The novella relates a tale of two brothers, Samson, a mimbo hedonist, and Father Samuel, an AIDS stricken clergyman. The former tries to save the latter by collecting human souls to trade for his brother's life. This isn't a clear cut affair and things quickly get out of hand as Samson's ego is affected by the souls which he's harvested. Meanwhile, Father Samuel goes through a crisis of belief and is forced to address his brother's actions.
Although White and Broaddus employ a rather hackneyed genre convention (namely brothers as foils), their characters are engaging enough to eschew comparisons to the litany of literary bifurcations. Since both characters alternate narration in the first person on a chapter by chapter basis, the pace of story is crisp. Samson's path is so full of explicit sex, illicit drugs, and complicit murders that the one can barely process every ultra-violent image. Meanwhile, Father Samuel's introspections and broodings thicken the mood and leave hardly a space for breathe. The conclusion of Orgy of Souls is a tad abrupt and too tidy, but it is well executed in that of leaves no room for Cosmic Judgment. Ultimately the battle between good and evil is played out within each individual, not as epic battles between Godheads or nations.
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