Mayan Blue was released through Amazon on May 25th, 2016. I’ve been eagerly waiting for this book for a number of reasons. One, the book’s description incorporated Mayan mythology in a horror/dark fantasy setting, and there’s nothing I love more than occult/myth layered dark fiction with supernatural elements. Two, I thought it was pretty cool that the authors of this book are sisters, twins, in fact. A recent interview I read through Nev Murray‘s Confessions of a Reviewer website went into great detail of their writing process as sisters, and it seemed very unique and different in comparison to how other authors write.
This novel isn’t a long one. It’s 149 pages according to Amazon. Once it arrived to my Kindle, I could see it was well-written. There’s a good balance between descriptive language and action. Along with the description that is poetic yet to the point, there’s a lot to learn from this novel. Both of the sisters obviously did a good amount of research into Mayan culture and spirituality, breaking down their concept of a Death God and an underworld. We see what being trapped within that underworld or demonized by the underworld’s creatures would be like… and it’s scary. Depictions of sacrifice, death, and absolute hopelessness pop out of this short novel, and reading it all is fascinating.
Did the Mayans settle in places beyond Mexico? Mayan Blue plays with this possibility when a professor finds a Mayan artifact in the southeastern region of the United States, more specifically a mountain range in Georgia. While this professor makes his discovery and thinks about the best way to unveil it to the world, a pack of frisky college students go on a hike to meet up with the professor, assist him in his work, and help him haul tools. What follows is a story of Mayan hell, and how these unfortunate people are doomed to face this otherworldly dimension and its ruling God of Death, Ah Puch.
The writing is fun. There is the lovable tradition of modern horror made popular in movies where a group of young people in their prime end up in tragic circumstances, mixed with the Lovecraftian tradition of worlds, deities, and experiences beyond our understanding which suck us in and threaten to destroy our sense of reality. The respectable research for Mayan culture gives this story an innovative depth, and the pacing is good- the action doesn’t happen too quickly, but the tension doesn’t take too long to build also. The characterization is believable, and this novel would translate easily to film with the descriptive visuals laid out. With the short length of the novel, a film adaptation also wouldn’t leave much out. It reminded me of how I felt when I read The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, which was translated into the film Hellraiser. The Hellbound Heart was short and quite visual like Mayan Blue, so the movie version of Clive’s novel worked well. I’d love to see Mayan Blue treated the same way by a filmmaker.
Check out Mayan Blue, and learn more about the Sisters of Slaughter on their Amazon Author Page. If you love tales about Hell, hopelessness, and dark, extreme horror, come on in to Xibalba.
The description of Mayan Blue on Amazon is as follows:
Xibalba, home of torture and sacrifice, is the kingdom of the lord of death. He stalked the night in the guise of a putrefied corpse, with the head of an owl and adorned with a necklace of disembodied eyes that hung from nerve cords. He commanded legions of shapeshifting creatures, spectral shamans, and corpses hungry for the flesh of the living. The Mayans feared him and his realm of horror. He sat atop his pyramid temple surrounded by his demon kings and demanded sacrifices of blood and beating hearts as tribute to him and his ghostly world.
These legends, along with those that lived in fear of them, have been dead and gone for centuries. Yet now, a doorway has been opened in Georgia. A group of college students seek their missing professor, a man who has secretly uncovered the answer to one of history’s greatest mysteries. However, what they find is more than the evidence of a hidden civilization.
If you’re looking for a fun, short read that is still as detailed and rich as an epic novel, I highly suggest Mayan Blue. It is available for Kindle and in paperback form on Amazon.