The Shadow Beyond is a mild horror set in Massachusetts in the early 1900s. It is the story of Robert Adderly.
While studying mathematics at university, Robert’s professor asked him to help with some complex calculations. They were required by archaeologists, and involved links between the stars and recent discoveries in Egypt.
Robert also fell in love, but on the night of his marriage proposal his fiancée Elizabeth died. She was consumed by unworldly flames; the only remains of her entire body were a pile of ashes.
Horrified by Elizabeth’s death, Robert’s inquisitive mind wants answers. A trail leads him to a curious bookshop and its owner, Andrew. Robert shared a boarding house with Andrew’s grandfather, the same house where Elizabeth died. Andrew’s next revelations make Robert question his religious upbringing as he is introduced to ancient texts and the world of dark magic.
As the story evolves, the author weaves a tale drawing together the science of mathematics and mystic unearthly beings. The element of horror builds slowly alongside Robert’s thirst for knowledge, but where will the path end?
I thought the first half of the book was the best. The second half became complex, reflecting the mass of mixed material about mystical beings and an existence beyond our human understanding. Some parts I questioned: Robert conveniently meets up with Vincent, a childhood friend. In the intervening years, Vincent has travelled abroad and become versed in ancient texts and languages, and plays a large part in the story. I was not convinced that someone of Robert’s age would have the extensive knowledge he has. Overall this book might suit readers who don’t want too much gore from their horror. I believe the Shadow Saga series will continue.
View all my reviews on Goodreads
“I am not dead; nor am I fully alive. The intangibles of thought and memory are nearly all I have in common with the man I once was. Half-consumed, I sit upon the floor, a biblical leper…”
What brought the young Robert Adderly to this wretched point? A graduate student at Miskatonic University during Prohibition, he had led an average life—up to the point when his fiancée, Elizabeth, was reduced to ashes before his very eyes. In his quest to find answers to the riddle of Elizabeth’s demise, Robert is drawn into an alien and dangerous world. A burning need to get to the bottom of the mystery opens his eyes to a reality much larger and more dangerous than he could have ever imagined, where magic is just another science, and his system of beliefs is challenged…and toppled.