Review: Death Train by Daye Williams

☆☆➹⁀☆ 3.5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

Upon a grand spiritual train that delivers/commutes dead beings into the Underworld, a mysterious passenger cloaked in a enchanted veil stealthy disguises himself among the undead. His mission; to retrieve the souls of his recently deceased wife & son while conquering Death himself. Opposing the Laws of Nature, the passionate avenger races to reclaim the lives of his fallen family after being driven into madness, losing shreds of his humanity while finding no reprise for his fractured spirit. After finding no reason to remain among the living without his family alive, he goes on a daring quest as he witnesses the obscenities & strange nature of the Land of Dead while his stubborn mind devolves the enlightenment of the importance of death & ascendance.



Guest Reviewer Frannie’s Thoughts:

Dave Williams’ first novella was extremely creative.  Our hero Ciel is a distraught protagonist venturing through darkness to find his wife and son who have died.  He believes that they were wrongfully taken.  His vengeance and desperation to reconnect with his loved ones is so powerful that he embarked upon the Grim Reaper’s “Death Train” which is headed for the Land of the Dead.     

The description of the diabolical patrons on the train ranged from calcified brides, zombie families, ghouls, ghosts, and maggot studded bombshells.  Each was incredibly imaginative, although often gruesome and creepy.   Ciel’s journey aboard a ghastly train through the underworld purges him into pure darkness forcing him to evade and combat monsters and spirits.  

The character development was professionally written as he tried to escape the vicious hunters of the Grim Reaper and traveled from one claustrophobic carriage to the next.  The patrons and servers in the carriages were irksome and would make you cringe, such as his description of the refreshments that were being served, “plates of human offal.”  There was no question you were leaving the “light” of the human world and spiraling into pure darkness.   

I found the narrative flow uncomfortable, and the battle scene at the story’s zenith was too long for me. I appreciated the powerful themes of loss, regret, spirituality and accession that were embedded in the story.  

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