To Hunt Wraiths
Thomas Stewart
Unveiling Nightmares (July 4, 2024)
Reviewed by Nora B. Peevy

Existentialism with a healthy dose of humor and action is what you’ll get with Thomas Stewart’s To Hunt Wraiths, his first full length novel. Derek Lander is just your average guy tasked with saving the world from nonexistence, but to do this he has to make a difficult decision. Does he choose to follow Creation and let it go on eternally or does he choose to right the universe and make sure there is a beginning and an ending to all life, a balance?

Is life worth living if there is no ending? What is the value in it then? These are questions Derek Lander asks himself in the story. He’s given a magical hourglass from Creation to capture the wraiths and rid the world of any ending and any darkness. The wraiths want to eat all of creation and ensure there are endings. Who is the hero in this story and who is the antihero? Derek or Creation? Derek or The Ending?

It’s interesting to watch Derek Lander grow throughout from a normal, naive everyday person to one with a deeper perspective and experience with a conscience. I did feel the first half of the novel was written by a different author than the second half of the novel, though. The second half had a more sophisticated feel and captured my attention more because it was better edited. It gripped me and drew me in. I leaned into my computer screen and if I could have fallen through it, I would have been trapped in limbo. That’s how engrossed I became. I was so enthralled; I read this story in one sitting and couldn’t wait to get to the end to see what happened. It’s been years since I’ve been this enthusiastic about a book. At one point I was laughing aloud so much my stomach hurt. There is a hilarious scene towards the end, which I won’t give away, but you’ll know it when you get there.

Thomas Stewart gives you a taste of the divine and the human conscience peppered with humor and intense action. His knowledge of biblical philosophy shines in this story. I highly recommend you read it. It is completely different from his usual body horror and splatterpunk. His writing shows a mature depth and the varied ability of his skill. He can world build in multiple subgenres of horror. The ending is perfection on the page. To Hunt Wraiths is a cerebral treat for those who love philosophical discussions.

About Nora B. Peevy

Nora B. Peevy is a cat trapped in a human’s body. Please send help or tuna. She toils away for JournalStone and Trepidatio Publishing as a submissions reader, is a co-editor for Alien Sun Press, the newest reviewer for Hellnotes, and has been published by Eighth Tower Press, Weird Fiction Quarterly, and other places. Usually, you can find her on Facebook asking for help escaping from her human body or to get tuna. Tuna is nice. Cats like tuna.

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