Arjay Entertainment, Inc. (2017)
Reviewed by Keshia Mcclantoc for Reader Views (1/18)
“The Muse: A Novel of Unrelenting Terror,” by Arjay Lewis, tells the tale of an unusual serial killer, Jack Court. Lewis’s work is thrilling and dark, with a frightening plot that almost scares the reader into continuing reading. He excels in creating tension and constantly begs the question, what will Jack do next?
Jack Court is a famed novelist, who like most authors, lives with a ‘muse’ that compels his art forward. The muse compels not only his art but his blood lust as well, one that gives him the strength do both commit murder and get away with it. Through a series of seemingly strange events, the muse leaves Jack, and finds home in a new writer – Harold Godwine. Soon, Godwine is bursting with new talent and an extreme blood lust.
What Lewis excels at most is in his personification of the muse. The muse was terrifying and chilling, with a disposition and energy straight out of one’s nightmares. I also liked the distance that he created with the muse; this isn’t necessarily a novel about serial killers Court and Godwine, but rather a novel about mediocre men driven to darkness by a supernatural force on their journey to success. As a reader, the juxtaposition of the muse’s dark nature and its two victims was compelling and interesting. The depiction of this toxic relationship best demonstrated Lewis’s writing skill in that it created the driving tension of the novel.
If the novel faltered in anyway, it was in that it did not necessarily feel unique. The author proved his writing skill well, but only in the typical horror tradition. The prose rang reminiscent of the horror greats and the plot felt like a sewing together of common horror themes. Admittedly, I consider myself an avid horror reader, and at a certain point most novels feel as though they were all formed from the same cloth rather than an amalgamation of many stories. Regardless of perspective, I felt it lacked in novelty but excelled in writing skill.
“The Muse: A Novel of Unrelenting Terror,” by Arjay Lewis could find its way happily into the hands of any horror or suspense reader. Lewis writes with a chilling prose that could easily leave any reader of the edge of their seats. His characters, both human and non-human, bring the story to life in a horrific way. “The Muse” is a novel that I will not forget, and anyone who is willing to dig into their darkness a little bit and sure to enjoy it just as much as I did.