Thanks to Jeremy Price, my first novel got its first review. In a word: sizzling.
Here’s the whole thing, from Up All Night Horror Fiction Review:
As Above, So Below (2014) by Loren Rhoads and Brian Thomas is a sizzling twist on the ensuing struggle between Heaven and Hell. This is a first novel by Rhoads, whose passion for visiting graveyards spawned Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel (2013), a collection of essays on her travels to many of the world’s most intriguing cemeteries. Thomas’s expertise in the subjects of religion, death, and unconventional brutality has been invaluable to the success of programs including The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Rhoads and Thomas worked together previously during the ten-year project that was Morbid Curiosity magazine.
As Above, So Below tells the story of a supernatural romance between Azaziel, an angel, and a succubus named Lorelei. The book is set in Los Angeles, a city turned playground for a legion of angels, a bunch of jaw-dropping succubae, and a pair of hungry, troublesome harpies. Lorelei is prowling through the club seeking her prey when she spots Azaziel, an angel cast out from Heaven, but not quite fallen. Taking pride in her job, Lorelei sees Azaziel as the ultimate catch.
Blinded by pride, Lorelei quickly finds herself at the mercy of her prey. Azaziel had plans for Lorelei all along. Before Lorelei realizes what is happening, Azaziel places the soul of a young unsaved junkie named Ashleigh into Lorelei. Young Ashleigh, feeling she had nothing to lose while alive, had offered up her soul to Azaziel in exchange for a brief experience of his unqualified love. Azaziel is making love to Ashleigh’s ghost in the succubus’s flesh when Azaziel’s sister interrupts their unusual three-way. Caught in the taboo act, Azaziel is startled and releases the succubus into the world with Ashleigh’s spirit trapped inside of her.
The plot unfolds while Azaziel tries to justify his actions before his angelic brethren and Lorelei roams the streets of Los Angeles seeking to purge herself of Ashleigh’s mortal soul. To make things worse, Lorelei’s demonic master Asmodeus, a fallen pastor, and a horde of Hell’s minions enter the picture to hinder Azaziel and Lorelei’s efforts to remedy their own situations. Lorelei keeps pursuing Azaziel’s fall while struggling under the burden of Ashleigh’s soul. Meanwhile, Azaziel works to clean up the mess that he has made, while bringing both Ashleigh and Lorelei to the light.
The battle between Heaven and Hell is definitely one of temptation. Aside from the framing of the war between Heaven and Hell through well-developed characters and a familiarity with theology, Rhoads and Thomas’s depiction of temptation make this book. Sometimes the mix of horror fiction with romance and erotica in literature leans mainly toward horror, or pulls the primary attention of only one gender of reader (both of these scenarios can be great). However, As Above, So Below is not that story. Any fan of erotic horror fiction, male or female, is going to have fun reading this one. As Above, So Below has a creative plot, vivid descriptive imagery, relentless temptation, graphic horror, and fiery, fun sex. I think that sums it up.
I give this book a rating of 4.5 / 5 stars.
As Above, So Below is available now in many digital formats from Black Bed Sheet Books and in paperback or for Kindle at Amazon. Visit Loren Rhoads.