The Sadeiest: Austrian Spencer
Reviewed By Steve Stred
CS: Suicide/Self Harm/Historical Holocaust/Depression
‘The Sadeiest’ by Austrian Spencer was a book recommended to me by my friend Ross Jeffery, right around the time this was released. As with many of us, my TBR is about 700 books long and being a bit neurotic about my TBR, I actually have them listed in some semblance of order.
Which is a roundabout way of saying – finally, almost a year after it came out, it popped its head up at the top of my list and I was excited to see it and dive in.
What I liked: The book follows a number of characters, all tied together with the reality that Death is scratching just beneath the surface. Death, not the real-life ending of our individual journeys, but the one who brings death, the rider on the pale horse.
We get to see how this impacts each character as well as different events create the will to survive as well as the understanding of how things have happened to them and around them. Spencer does a great job of crafting characters that feel like your best friends and family members, and the reader is all the better (and worse) for it.
I really enjoyed the pacing in this book and how each chapter was a slow-turn higher of the tension dial, as we got more and more of the story and the way things work together revealed.
What I didn’t like: The first quarter of the book has a fairly substantial number of characters, which I found to make it tough to really catch on or latch on to a specific character as one you want to root for and feel for.
As well, there was a specific character/storyline of a character who could see how each person would die. I was so intrigued by him and wanted to really see how this was happening etc, but I found him greatly underutilised at the beginning.
Why you should buy this: ‘The Sadeiest’ is a very dark exploration of the human will to live and survive and how we ultimately look back on what we could’ve done differently or changed to make our past better. Spencer does a great job pushing the story along while we’re dealing with the depths that this travels to.
This is a bleak, bleak read, but one that really offers a lot once it opens its secrets to the reader.
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 redefine 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?
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak fiction.
Steve is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters (Tim Lebbon, Gemma Amor, Adrian J. Walker, Ramsey Campbell) in some fantastic anthologies.
He is an active member of the HWA.
He is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife and son.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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