Horror Book Review: By Summer’s Last Twilight (Robert J. Stava)

“I write because I love creating stories”

Robert J. Stava is a horror writer living in Hudson Valley, not far from where he sets many of his stories, the half-imaginary village of Wyvern Falls. His biography is long & detailed and you can find out more information here: www.robertstava.com

By Summer’s Last Twilight is the latest novel that sees the sleepy village (and the world) & it’s inhabitants under threat from dark forces.

Based partially in reality with inspiration coming from in the infamous Aleister Crowley and his works, it tells the story of The Scared Order of the New Golden Dawn.

An Order intent on ushering in a new era, one that involves creatures from other dimensions and sees the bastard son of Crowley standing at the top. The tentacles of the Order are spread throughout the village with prominent figures all secretly taking part. No-one can be trusted so it’s up to John Easton and a group of young kids to try and stop them before it’s too late.

The world of Wyvern Falls is an imaginative and exciting place, a quiet village where everyone knows your name yet assailed by forces beyond comprehension. The use of Crowley and his beliefs is fascinating even though the novel is based in fiction.

I’ve not read any other stories set in the village before this one yet it didn’t stop me thoroughly enjoying it. References to previous events may have gone over my head but the book tends to focus more on what is happening here so it never poses a problem. If you’re a regular reader you’re more likely to have an affinity for some of these characters, their stories built up over time. Here, we get progression especially in regard to the children who are still young enough to ‘be kids’ yet beginning to reach that awkward teenage stage where sex is beginning to push it’s way to the forefront of their minds.

The mythology behind the town, the Order and its past is well told here, a few jumps back to a time before helps cement the legacy making the end results feel more meaningful. As the respective leads, Easton and Crowley are both terrifically written. Easton, a man who has already been through a lot put in impossible situations and Crowley, a disturbed yet imposing man who never comes across as anything but threatening. His power comes from his ability to subvert, win over and keep his subjects in place. No matter what he wants, he gets.

The book is graphic, depictions of sex and violence in bucket loads but it’s always in context. Character building, helping flesh out the human side of some, the inhuman of others.

It’s a big build towards a frantic and exciting finale, while predictable it is still a compelling read and it was hard to put down. It’s fantastical & horrific at the same time.

The sign of a great story is when you can picture the characters, the world and the events clearly in your mind. It’s an addictive read, lengthy but never dragging and has a satisfying conclusion.

Check out his works here: www.robertstava.com/rs/books

(I’d like to thank Robert J. Stava for providing us with a copy of his book for the purposes of a review).

By Summer's Last Twilight (Robert J. Stava)
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