Book Review: SAINT SADIST by Lucas Mangum

Are you a horror junkie like me? Do you like books that make your jaw drop and give you a book hangover? If so, you might want to add this one to your list. When it comes to obtaining a true adrenaline fix, good horror does it for me. Well-written horror fiction is what gets me jazzed. Whether I’m scared, or just left stunned and speechless, it’s a serious rush. These type of reads make me want to get to work promoting horror and singing the author’s praises, and SAINT SADIST was that type of book for me.

If you read the synopsis, you’ll know that this story contains some heavy stuff. Right from the first page, I could sense it was going to be a difficult read at times. It was, but I simply could not pull myself away from this one. I was immediately drawn into the story, and propelled along by both the short chapters and the style of the prose. The author has a great ability to tackle some heartbreaking topics while injecting the story with stunning language and hints of hope for the characters’ redemption.

I really enjoyed the insight given into the main character’s mental state. The look into her thoughts and motivation behind her actions made the reading experience more immersive for me. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of her ambivalence about where she belonged, and the visions that she experiences throughout her journey. These scenes were visceral and they intensify as the story progresses. I’ve always been fascinated by cults, so I enjoyed that aspect of this tale, as well as the exploration of other themes, including religion and the effects of abuse. I’m also a fan of well-done figurative language, and this book contains some gorgeous and emotionally effective phrases that I found myself reading more than once.

I feel like giving any more detail would spoil the story, so I’ll end by saying this: I totally understand why this book was nominated for a Splatterpunk award. It pushes the envelope and takes the reader to uncomfortable places, while providing an exploration of some touchy subjects. This read truly packs a punch. Mangum’s writing explores some of the worst horrors of humanity with a touch of grace, and I’m excited to experience more of his work.

5/5 Stars

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