Published: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 3.0/5.0
Charlie Tristan Moore isn’t a hero. She’s a survivor. On a night when her demons from the past are triggered, she arrives home to something even more harrowing-an attack by three monstrous skinhounds, creatures straight out of nightmares. She fights but is outmatched. Just as hope seems lost, in sweeps The Man In Black, a rescuer even more monstrous and unlikely, dressed in a long, dark coat that seems to have a life of its own and with a black-bladed sword held in his terrible, red right hand.
Her rescue comes at a cost. She must become his new Acolyte and embrace a dark magick she never knew she had inside her. To ensure she gives it her all, he takes her friend and possible love, Daniel, in thrall as a hostage to her obedience. The Man in Black, a Lovecraftian chaos god, claims to be battling his brethren gods, other horrors who are staging an incipient apocalypse. But is he truly the lesser of all evils or merely killing off the competition? Either way, will Charlie be strong enough to save herself, Daniel, and possibly the entire world?
When I came across Red Right Hand earlier this year I was pretty excited about the synopsis. It’s a Lovecraft inspire novel, and I didn’t really know much about the original Lovecraft works, but I thought I’d like the story anyways. Well, I liked it well enough, but I’ve decided the whole Lovecraftian thing just isn’t MY thing. I’m just not really that into it.
The plot was interesting, and within the first few pages I became quite curious about the characters. Charlie Tristan Moore is a young woman who clearly has scars on her soul and it drives her away from her boyfriend and to her apartment in the wee hours of the morning. Monsters await her, but it’s not clear what’s more monstrous- the skinhounds or the man with the red right hand. The man with the disturbing and skinless appendage makes Charlie his acolyte and drags her into a rather disturbing mission, using her boyfriend Daniel as leverage. She has to help him send two elder beings back to whence they came. Not all is as it seems though…
I liked Charlie well enough. She was tough; definitely a fighter and she clearly had her issues. Daniel seemed like a nice enough guy. The Man in Black/Nyarlathotep/etc. was creepy. I didn’t trust him from the start and my instincts were correct this time, though sometimes authors are skillfully misleading. I knew a being that was basically chaos couldn’t want to fix things, but rather had an ulterior motive. My biggest issue with this book was the fact that the phrase “red right hand” was repeated so frequently that it really began to bother me. Repetitive phrases are like nails on a chalk-board to me, especially if there’s more than one way you could phrase it and still get the point across.
If you like Lovecraft, this is probably a book you’ll enjoy so you should definitely check it out. I wasn’t emotionally invested, but the storytelling was well done and I think Levi Black will continue to produce some pretty great books.