Limbo by Thiago d’Evecque
The fate of the world hinges on a forsaken spirit, a mad god in a sword, and 12 mythological beings.
A forsaken spirit is awakened and ordered to dispatch 12 souls back to Earth to prevent the apocalypse. Many don't take kindly to the return. Accompanied by an imprisoned mad god, the spirit must compel them.Each of the 12 unlocks a piece of the forsaken spirit's true identity. Memories unfold and past wounds bleed again.The journey will reveal buried truths about gods, angels, humanity, and the forsaken spirit itself.
Imagine a world, very much like our world is now. A world which is such a mess with hate and fear that the only solution is to invoke a spirit of the underworld to sort it all out. To collect twelve souls of Limbo’s finest and bravest inhabitants, and, armed with a sword holding a malevolent god, send them back upstairs to put things right. Imagine the journey that spirit would go on as they meet these legendary souls and convince them to return.
That story is the story d’Evecque has given us, and it is quite simply something else. The premise is so unique, so intriguing, and he carries it out with utter brilliance. He seemed to have a second sight into my brain as the story ticked along, everything kept me wanting more, everything compelled me to continue reading. A true work of marvel.
My favourite part of the story were the souls themselves. All twelve differed unimaginably, but d’Evecque was careful to reinforce the reasons why they were chosen - courage, reason, love - all twelve had something unique about them which would heal the human condition. Amazingly, wonderfully, gorgeously, all twelve were beings from the books of history; the stuff of legend. I learned so much, and d’Evecque’s research here has been impeccable.
What happens when the souls reach earth must be a story for another time, and it simply didn’t matter, because the thread of the story was focused on the spirit. With originally no idea of who they are, or why they are carrying out this mission, it proceeds in its gathering of souls. After each one returns to earth, memories flood back to the spirit, and slowly a picture of its identity begins to form. The ultimate reveal was done beautifully, and with pleasant surprise. I had no idea whatsoever.
A stunning work of legend, theology, rebellion, and the underworld. I’m very grateful to have been asked to review this.