Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Review: '7DS' by Vichey Pueblo

Just about everything about this book is a unique delight. Searching for the author’s bio the following is found at book’s end –‘ Vichey Pueblo is author identity made up of a collective of creators, writers and editors working on each novel series. Thank-you goes out to the collective of people that shaped this work. To Amrita, N’Khaya and Poppy for the hard yards you put into crafting. To Kate, Emma, Dayna and Wiremu for the additional support. To Debbie, Janhavi and Jessica for having my back during the rewrites and online. To Max, the most creative person I know. To Jimijack, who is dragged into every adventure, whether she wants to go or not. To T, because all the way to Ursa Major and back.’ She goes on to share, ‘When I was given my first guilty pleasure novel, I politely declined stating, “I’m not into that.” One broken leg, doctor-enforced bedrest, binge-reading fest later and I can unequivocally state “I am deliciously into that”. It was from my Dusseldorf balcony overlooking the spring gardens that 7DS was born and Rip’s story unfolded. I loved crafting this new world pumping with it’s dark heros and strong heroine as they tackled the mythology of ancient civilizations and created some of their own along the journey. Novels challenging the definition of what is good, what is evil and what is sin are my favourite. Hope you like the sinfulness as much as my dark side. As with all of the Seven Deadly Sins novels (7DS) each contain religious practices, ancient and modern, and experiences that although may be unfamiliar to many helped shape this story. Taboo traditions and beliefs have inspired some passages. Please note this novel also contains graphic sex and violent scenes.’

And so, given that background this book, the first in a promised series Vichey calls the Seven Deadly Sins Series, we enter a world that is at once fascinating, very creative, and the stage for an absorbing tale. For starters, to recap the seven deadly sins, they are greed, gluttony, lust, envy, sloth, wrath, and pride.And because the lead deadly sin for this book is Pride, Vichey defines – ‘Pride is considered to be the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and in fact the fundamental source from which the others permeate. Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor." In his desire to compete with God, Lucifer’s pride was the primary cause of his fall from Heaven, and his resultant transformation into Satan. In Latin, pride is called Superbia and examples of this deadly sin include vanity, narcissism and excessive self-love. In Dante's Divine Comedy, the penitent were forced to walk with stone slabs bearing down on their backs in order to induce feelings of humility. The opposing virtue of Humilitas balances the vice by employing modest behavior, selflessness, bravery and the giving of respect.’

But on to the pleasures of this story, as condensed by the author: ’The streets and docks of Edinburgh are overrun with demonic cougars controlled by the ancient Egyptian Goddess, Sekhmet, who is hell bent on rising again and conquering the earthly Paradise. It’s no walk in the park though, as she faces off against a brethren of demi-gods; a dysfunctional crew of seven warriors sent to Earth to protect its realm for a 500-year tenure. Each of the seven is the personification of a deadly sin. Think hot-damn alphas fighting malevolent evil, while struggling to balance their inner sins by seeking out their harmonizing virtue in the mortal realm of Earth. Pride has long controlled Rip, a clever, truly beautiful and accomplished warrior who leads the band of fallen misfits. He’s nearing the end of his tenure and hasn’t resolved his cocky pride, hasn’t made a dent. And Rip’s okay with that, because he’s that good. Faida, an Icelandic native with a tormented past, stays out of drama and danger by keeping to herself. Humble and cautious, she just wants back to a normal, low-key life where her private nature is perceived as icy and haughty, but where she is left alone. But Faida gets caught in a super-sized cat-fight with Sekhmet’s cougars while trying to protect her sister, Dalla. Rip rescues them and gives them refuge at the crew’s fortress, the Castle of Dunbar. While her sister makes a recovery at the castle, Faida allows herself a few days of madness and spends them in the arms of handsome Rip, knowing this fling has a fast-approaching due date. Rip’s pride trips him up as he starts to fall hard for the cold and aloof Faida, and slowly realises she might be his long-sought virtue. But there are still forces to be defeated and battles to be won, as Sekhmet looks unstoppable in her quest for total dominance. Will Rip, Faida and the crew have to pay a heavy price to emerge victorious against the ancient enemy?’

This is a completely engrossing novel from which we learn as much as we are entertained. A smashingly successful first installment for an important new series! Grady Harp, December 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.