Book Review: The Ethereal Transit Society
Fun apocalyptic cosmic horror!
If that doesn’t catch your attention, then I can’t help you. But seriously, this book is a fast-paced, wild little ride that throws you right into the story and builds to an ending of seismic, reality-shattering proportions.
SUMMARY: Not all cults are wrong about the end of the world… Believing their late mentor is calling them from the grave, the last surviving members of a modern doomsday cult travel across the country to reclaim his body in preparation for the end-times he preached about. Tracing their leader’s echo through a cosmic signal known to them as the Transit Frequency brings them to the rural outback of Arkansas, where its presence has drastic and dangerous effects on anything living. Time, though, is running out for the last of the remnants of the Ethereal Transit Society as they attempt to track down his final resting place and unlock the mysteries of the coming apocalypse before they become victims of it.
I absolutely love the set up of a modern doomsday cult traveling cross-country to recover the body of their late mentor, who is seemingly calling to them from beyond the grave. I like that the story is written from perspective of the cult members, giving their presence and mission an empathy and emotional weight that may have otherwise been missing. Also their character traits and actions are well-written, though their exact motivations are a little underdeveloped.
Cults (including doomsday ones) have always fascinated me, and I found their beliefs about cosmic vibrations (Transit Frequencies) and energy to be intriguing, if a little confusing. Honestly though I wanted a little more of that in the story, especially how the cult was started and how our current characters joined. There were hints towards all that in the book, but I still wanted to know more.
I also liked the combination of real life threats (danger of being black in racist, rural Arkansas), as well as the otherworldly creatures that show up in the second half of the book. It’s a testament to the author that this novella manages to pack so much into so few pages. Lots of drama and tension, heady ideas, and again THAT ENDING. The writing is also pretty good, despite some awkward phrasing and dialogue. Overall a very impressive debut from an author that I desperately hope writes more in this sub genre (being a professor whose research focuses on apocalyptic rhetoric and doomsday cults, this is obviously his wheelhouse).
Many thanks to @baddreamentertainment for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review 🤘🏻