Spirit Medicine

Ten-Ghost by Adam J. Thaxton

Lucy Alraune Greeble, Ten-Ghost Who Finishes the Test Satisfactorily.

Child of mandrake, earth and blood. Doctor. Shaman. Non-person. Oath keeper. Wanderer in this world and many others.

Lucy is a nomad spiritual physician. Her travels take her wherever her skills are needed. That could be a hermit’s hut in the far wilderness, the home of the scheming wealthy, the land of the dead, a town on the edge of a wounded dream or a hospital in a throbbing metropolis.

Ten-Ghost tells the story of about a year of Lucy’s travels. It’s been a long time since I’ve read any science fiction or fantasy and this book reminded me why I don’t do that much anymore. A good SF story requires some work from the reader. You need to put yourself into an alien world and figure out what’s going on based on the clues that the author gives you. Without a lot of time to read these days I haven’t felt like I’ve had the time to work with a story. Nonfiction books or mystery novels are easy to slip in and out of during the few minutes I’ve got available for reading.

Ten-Ghost is Weird Fiction. Thraxton drops you into Lucy’s world, a place of spirit life, multiple gods and cultures and beings and expects you to keep up. The chapters are basically short stories, each one building on the previous. I didn’t read the back cover blurb until I’d gotten about a third of the way through the book. I can’t say it does the story justice. The story is a quieter one than the blurb implies.

When I read SF stories my imagination conjures up the world I’m reading about. It helps me center myself in the story. Often times I do by using the cover art as a starting point and the world I visualize gets built from there. I couldn’t really do it with the cover here. It’s not a bad piece of art, it just doesn’t match the world I built. The book had a lot of great visuals. I wish I had time to illustrate this review with a sketch.

And, for the sake of transparency, Adam sent me a copy of this book. He did not actually ask me to review it. If I hadn’t like it I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. Since I did, a positive review seems like the best way to say thank you.

Ow, My Sanity is Adam’s long running, crudely but effectively drawn Lovecraftian manga. It’s on hold now while he finishes other projects but there’s plenty to read.

And apparently there is a sequel on the way. Yay!

3 thoughts on “Spirit Medicine

  1. The cover was done by a very close friend of mine after we discussed some of the genre conventions not of the book itself, but of the types of books Lucy likes to read, which are, of course, pulp magazines, and the artist specializes in pulp. The idea was to make it look like a period cover or like one of those books you might find at a book fair. It’s a first novel, obviously, and there’s a lot I would do different now. Even so, I’m still really happy with it.

  2. Forgive me if anything I wrote sounds insulting. I’m running on way too little rest these days. The cover does look like a pulp magazine from some alternate universe. I checked out your friend’s gallery at Deviant Art. He’s got some cool stuff there.

    You should be happy with the book. Number one, you finished it. Number two, it’s pretty good. Number three, you got it published. Any defects you see in it now will seem so much less important as time passes and you create more work.

Comments are closed.