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Reader Thou Too Shall Die, D.P. Prior’s “Thanatos Rising”

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber

Reader Thou Too Shall Die, D.P. Prior’s “Thanatos Rising”Harry Chesterton has come to the University of Aberystwyth to work on his doctoral thesis, a study in the paranormal and what happens when people die, specifically whether or not it is true that when we die we leave some of ourselves behind, like a footprint, some people stronger than others. While diving into the research of Dr. Blightly, Chesterton discovers he may have gotten himself in too deep and begins to discover that this world and a next are more easily crossed than he thought. Life and death are not as black and white as he has been led to believe.

The novel begins stiffly and I had trouble getting invested in the story but I am glad I pushed through the first few chapters and made it to the point where the story actually begins. Subtly scientific and overtly religious, you may need to brush up on your theology to understand some of the concepts discussed in this novel (such as transubstantiation). The letters of Chesterton give you a glimpse into the mind of a man who may or may not be going crazy, under the influence of drugs, creating his own fantasy world, or telling the truth. There are a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this book and due to its length it seems as though this book is more of a prelude to the rest of the series than a full-length start. The plot will pull you in and leave you with questions, but I would have liked to see a little more bulk in this first book to get a fuller picture. It’s also very different from the novel described in the description. I expected a little more about the fantasy world and a little less of the inner-monologue, in fact, “Thanatos” is only really mentioned in the last three or so screens of book.
There were also several words, such as “crachach” that must of Welsh origin and my Kindle dictionary could not give me a definition, while I could infer from context I would have appreciated some kind of glossary for those of us readers who are U.S. natives. Prior does do an excellent job of using language to help show his characters as educated and intellectual, there were moments where I felt as though he was choosing every other word with a Thesaurus and it broke the rhythm of the text, making it seem a little awkward and unnatural. That being said, these instances were few and stopped occurring once the plot was finished being set and the real story got underway.

“Thanatos Rising” is more of a novella than a full length novel, but that just means it’ll be a quick read. I think Prior has taken some interesting concepts and put them together to create a very interesting world. I look forward to reading the next installment of the series as Prior has shown great potential in being able to weave a story line. I only hope he includes a little more to the story. I enjoyed reading but the finish left me feeling a little cheated, like I’d read an extra long synopsis but been denied the meat.

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