08 April 2021
Word of the day: Necrophagic
It’s 1920’s Massachusetts, and ‘aquisitioner’ Countess Allessandra Zorzi is hired to steal a recently discovered mummy from a Museum. It should have been a challenging but straightforward job, but when the mummy is stolen by others, she makes unfortunate eye contact with it, and nothing of the following actions taken to retrieve it can be described as simple, with brutal dreams, gruesome murders, and a taste of darkness everywhere.
Aconyte Books is the novels division of Asmodee Entertainment, tying in fiction from pop culture IPs, spanning those such as Twilight Imperium, Legend of the Five Rings, and Marvel, to list but a few. With tabletop games offering such a narrative, it seems like a natural fit that some of these worlds are brought to life in books too, offering a chance to expand further on the world. Of course, an Arkham Horror based book, which in turn is based on the books of Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu, would always be a natural fit, but it’s pleasing to see it done so well.
Given the ease with which this could have fallen on standard fanfiction tropes, the book is almost surprising in how entertaining it is. It’s a pulp style novel relying on horror, keeping it fast paced and ever changing. Sure, the characters generally fall into being conveniently helpful, and Zorzi has unearthly good fortune in her associations, but the story twists from one line of reasoning to another, interweaving horror and brutality amidst roguish joy. The lore used to justify the mythos is fascinating and perturbing, and the final twist was well set up. Whilst I wouldn’t put the novel forward for a hyper fancy literary award, I would certainly lend out my copy with little concerns for its reception, as an enjoyable adventure that forced me to learn the meaning of the word necrophagic.
Author: Josh Reynolds
Publisher: Aconyte books
This feature originally appeared in Issue 54 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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