The Cycle of the Aegis: Book #1 Recalled To Life
Weston Ochse

Delirium Books
Various limited editions $50.00-$175.00
Reviewed by Nickolas Cook

The Stoker award-winning author of Scarecrow Gods (2005) returns to the novel format with a genre bending vengeance.

Where some authors would’ve been happy to take the journey from short stories to novels by tossing one novel at a time to a growing army of ravenous fans, Ochse delivers not one but a trilogy.

What Weston Ochse has been doing since his inaugural days with co-author David Whitman is nothing short of astounding, and for his fans, it’s a pleasure to see him stretching his writing wings to find new territory.  Recalled To Life, the first book in The Cycle of The Aegis Trilogy, is such a far cry from his lauded ‘redneck’ horror works that it seems light years from those days.  With his newest novel Ochse has thrown aside the genre bindings, and stands ready to knock you out with something so out of the ordinary that I daresay if the rest of the trilogy is half as good as the first book, then it has the potential to become a new classic of fantasy and horror.

It’s that different.  It’s that good.

Borrowing the broad canvas fantastique stylings of Barker and Gaiman, he tells the tale of Kimo, a man who’s spent most of his young life seeking out violence.  His simple life of bouncing at a Goth club is suddenly complicated by his feelings for Susan, a professional victim, and, more importantly, the introduction of a naïve young inter-dimensional traveler named Bastion.  Varying shades of philosophical and religious angst are interwoven to reveal a story of profundity and perception, as the author plumbs the depths of dysfunctional love, the quasi-power dynamics of Sadomasochists, and the Goth mentality of death worship.

Sounds like some pretty heavy stuff, right?

It is.

But not only is Weston Ochse capable of peeling back the unpleasantness associated with such grim subject matter to reveal the innate humanity of even the most vile of his characters, but he comes out like a raging Tyson to do so.  Taking no prisoners with this story, he seems bent on becoming the new heavy weight champion of small press horror.
His dark imagination gives us a fully realized fantastic world where mental boredom and existential angst have produced a race of masters and servants, a world of despair so complete that it’s almost impossible to comprehend.

Recalled To Life is not for the faint hearted; not for those who want a simple story, and definitely not for those who are unwilling to grapple with difficult subjects with an open mind.  This is for those who demand a horror tale that goes beyond the simplistic titillation of wholesale blood and gore.  What Ochse gives his readers is something teetering on existential terror.

I dare you to contemplate the horror that is The Crush and not think twice about the dangers of a mindless group mentality.

One can only hope that with this novel Weston Ochse is on his way to breaking down the sometimes frustrating barriers of the small press world and find his way, finally, to a larger and well deserved readership.

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