Epeolatry Book Review: I Have Asked to be Where No Storms Come by Gwendolyn N. Nix
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Title: I Have Asked to be Where No Storms Come
Editor: Gwendolyn N. Nix
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Genre: Horror, Dark Fantasy, Cli-fi
Release Date: 29th July, 2022
Synopsis: The facts of Domino Bluepoint’s afterlife are simple: he’s a half-breed witch from a people without a name, and no one wants to be stuck in Hell with witch blood.
When a demon bounty-hunter comes calling, Domino pairs up with his mother, who died too young and carries the witch lineage in her veins, to survive. Soon the two of them are Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid running from whatever torture awaits them and whoever wants to harvest their magic. Yet, Domino doesn’t know that his brother, Wicasah, is behind this and is desperate to resurrect Domino out of long-lasting guilt and a sensation of belonging to no place and no one.
As Wicasah dives deeper into darker magic that ends in an ill-made deal, Domino must overcome addiction, depression, and hone his own brand of witch-magic to help save his brother—and the world—from an ancient god of lighting and thunder.
Can Hell can keep brothers Domino and Wicasah apart? Gwendolyn N. Nix’s I Have Asked to be Where No Storms Come portrays the lengths they go through to protect and save each other from harm. Harm ranging from a witch-hating, abusive father to blood-thirsty demons, and a vengeful thunder god.
The story opens with Domino in Hell, a wasteland of torment, and constantly on the run from demons and other human souls. While running from a demon bounty hunter, Domino comes across his mother. High on demon dust, they escape across the wastes using their own blood to barter along the way.
Meanwhile, in the living world, Wicasah, fueled by guilt, searches for a way to bring his brother back from the dead. Bargaining with costs he can’t possibly pay, he comes closer to reuniting with his brother.
Nix’s writing is evocative and filled to the brim with vivid imagery of a world much like our own.
In her version of America, a massive and impassible rift, called the ‘dark-and-bloody’, has ripped through the great plains, resulting in the usage of powerful magic, and it plays a key role in the two brother’s story. Humans delved too deep and began pumping their chemicals into the ground all in the name of greed, and the rift becomes a way for the Earth to fight back against humanity’s abuse of its natural resources.
Nix also explores the idea of belonging. The brothers acknowledge that their ancestors are not from these shores, and the magic and lore of these lands are not their own. They can never fully understand the power present in the native soil, but they do respect it, and I found Nix’s approach to climate fiction quite refreshing.
Nix’s version of Hell differs from previous depictions across the fantasy and horror genres. She gives us a new world where human souls are the intruders, and they disrupt the lives and cultures of the demons residing there before them while appropriating the demon’s magic and rituals for their own pleasures.
Rarely do I come across horror fiction with such imaginative elements. Much like Clive Barker’s more fantastic works, I Have Asked to be Where No Storms Come immerses readers in a fully realized world, and it feels much larger than what can ever be put to the page.
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Joe lives with his wife and son in the Pacific Northwest where the Cascade Mountains meet the Salish Sea. He enjoys writing in the weird, horror, and fantasy genres.
Growing up he enjoyed R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps books as well as classics like Dune, and Lord of the Rings. In college he discovered Stephen King, and later Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves and authors like Clive Barker and Laird Barron.
Joe’s short story, ‘Gustav Floats’, was published in Dim Shores Presents Volume 2. In the spring of 2021 his story, ‘The Pigeon Lied’ comes out in Howls From Hell.
You can follow Joe on the following social media sites:
Twitter, Good Reads, Facebook, and Instagram!