It’s been quite a few years since Clive Barker published a good book for adults. It’s been about 20 years since his heyday, Everville, The Great and Secret Show, Imajica, Sacrament, probably because he’s been active in other creative arts. The Abarat series has been ongoing for the last 13 years, and only three novels have been published so far, out of a predicted five. While I do not doubt the mass market appeal of the young adult market, Clive Barker was renowned for his horror writing in his beginnings, so it has been a while since I’ve seen anything like this in print from him.
The Scarlet Gospels reunites Harry D’Amour, Pinhead, and the Lemarchand Configuration, which we all see appear in the first one hundred pages. However, we’re quite a bit away in depth and quality of some of his best writing. The plot is quite linear, easily predicted, but has some interesting surprises along the way.
The novel is about half the size of Everville or Imajica, so don’t expect anything very complex. It is gratifying to see exactly the place that Pinhead has in the Order of the Gash. There hasn’t been enough information about it, and while we have always be privy to interesting tidbits, we see the actual dichotomy of Barker’s Hell.
The ending seems to have some dire consequences in Barker’s Hell. Whereas we will see them have any effect in later books remains to be seen. Obviously, it was a good read, and I recommend it to anyone who has been wanting to read some horror novels.