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  • Writer's pictureLeoOtherland

From the Belly Review

Special thanks to Tenebrous Press for the ARC copy they provided.

Tenebrous Press never fails to provide quality books that not only turn your stomach, but make you feel a host of sensations you aren’t expecting while reading a horror story. From the Belly continues this trend, and has left me wanting more. It’s been some time since I last wished I could go into a book and tease extra words out of it to make the end come out alright, but this book has provoked in me the desire to do just that for the main character, Isaiah.

From the Belly has the classic feel of Moby Dick, blended with the new weird Tenebrous is known for. A host of diverse characters sprawl across the pages, and while reading you can’t help but pity and despise them by turns for their simple humanity. Brave, foolish, and greedy.

But also fearful and disastrously identifiable. Emmett Nahil spins a narrative full of humanity and nature at odds through the lens of a crew of whalers pitted against vengeful gods. And he does it with ease and beauty and a touch of wistful love that can never be fulfilled.

The end of From the Belly is blatantly obvious from the beginning, and yet as a reader, it’s hard not to wish and pray with Isaiah for it to be different. Why can’t it just be different?

As in life, there is no easy answer, and you’ll be left sitting with Isaiah and me, looking out at the empty sea and wishing. All around, From the Belly is an enthralling book, packed with vivid imagery as visceral as the cover art. You won’t regret picking it up and wasting away at sea with the crew of the Merciful.

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