If Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft had a bastard child, his name would be Kevin Lucia. Devourer of Souls is one of the most creepy books I've read in some time. By the way, that's a compliment. I love creepy. Mixing small town realism with Lovecraftian style mythos, Lucia has delivered two loosely connected stories in one entertaining new book.
Devourer of Souls is set in the fictional town of Clifton Heights, and areas nearby, in the Adirondack mountains. There is a small group of men who meet at the Skylark diner and discuss it's secrets. You see, strange things happen in Clifton Heights and, for some reason, these men know more about those things than your average citizen.
First up, two boys, Nate Slocum and Jake Burns, both sons of single fathers who served in Vietnam, but the similarities end there. They are introduced to the ancient game of Souphan (Fate) by an elder Vietnamese man named Mr.Trung. Jake believes Mr. Trung has captured his father's soul through this game and Jakes's plan for revenge leads to dire consequences.
The later story takes place in the nearby town of Tahawus where the man in yellow has come to lead Vacation Bible School at the local church. "...the man in yellow offered folks much subtler prizes: health. Freedom from physical and emotional pain. Acceptance and belonging. Stronger eyesight, confident speech. Clean, clear breath. And the townspeople lapped those things up like newborn kittens drinking milk, never once considering the cost."
In addition to the man in yellow, there's also a reference to Carcosa. Out of curiosity, I reached out to Kevin and asked if he watched HBO's True Detectives. Kevin says he plans to, but had not seen an episode. My response was that I think Kevin's Muse and Nic Pizzolatto's Muse must be drinking buddies.
Keven Lucia has a gift for putting creepy down on the page and there are a lot of nice touches to the stories, like the Wednesday night creature features in the park the boys like to attend. Very cool.
Devourer of Souls is available now in paperback and will be available as an e-book on June 30th, 2014, through Amazon.com, from Ragnarok Publications who are really on a roll of late.