Orgy of Souls
Wrath James White and Maurice Broaddus

Apex Publications
Trade Paperback, $13.95
Review by Nickolas Cook

With Apex Publications’ release of Orgy of Souls, we have the dream pairing of Wrath James White and Maurice Broaddus, two authors that have consistently excited the small press world with their individual and collaborative efforts. Putting these two together just seems like common (good marketing) sense. What makes this such a thrill for horror readers is that we have two utterly divergent authors. One works in almost a completely faith based, spiritual arena of horror; the other, writes visceral horror of a physical and sexual nature. Not to say that either hasn’t transgressed from time to time to the other’s territory, but for the most part, these two writers couldn’t be more different from one another in style and aesthetic.

Orgy of Souls finds them melding their worlds into one nearly seamless tale of two brothers. Samuel, an AIDS riddled priest, is having a crisis of faith as his death approaches. The other, Samson, is a jetsetting model playboy who lives for the earthly delights of the flesh. But when he discovers his brother is dying, he decides to buy souls from the living to extend his brother’s life. Of course, things aren’t quite so simple when Samson’s told by a demon that it’s a ‘twenty for one’ deal and the souls have to be taken from the living in a violent manner to count towards the deal. Samson soon finds that he likes killing, especially people that make him angry. Soon, it’s a bloodbath of a novel, leavened by scenes of Samuel trying to save his brother from eternal damnation, while coming to grips with his own inevitable end.

It’s pretty easy to tell which character goes with which writer, but in their collaborative strength they manage to transcend the expected, and deliver a tale rife with violence and love. By story’s end, it feels as if one hand is writing with two minds.

I enjoyed Orgy of Souls, but like many joint fans of White and Broaddus, I think it would be great to see these two power houses take on their respective spiritual and moral stances and really go for the throat in another book.

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