I’m writing this after a little over one bottle of Smirnov Peach Bellini finished and about a quarter of the way through the first book. I’m feelin’ that bellini, yo. But now it’s noon and I’m waiting for the oven to preheat for my green bean casserole. I’m probably not doing this drunk blogging thing right.
But fuck, y’all, one bottle for a quarter of the first book. I bought a six-pack thinking two bottles per book would be enough. Fuck. Granted, I took a sip at about every mention of a pentagram, but little tropes count, too.
The biggest flaw in this book I can ascertain so far is that Carver really did not think out what a Satanist culture/mentality would look like. I don’t think he’s even sure what constitutes Satanism, especially considering that Satan has manifested on earth and can give pointers for what is acceptable homage.
But let’s get this straight: Atheism ≠ Satanism (unless we’re talking about the metaphorical Satanists who use Lucifer as a symbol of rejection of God); Paganism ≠ Satanism; atheism ≠ anti-theism (can include, but is not the same thing). And it will always be a jump of logic that the existence of a Satan “proves” the existence of a god, especially a specific God like the Judeo-Christian one [drink!].
But, plot summary. Satan manifested and destroyed Notre Dame. Europe and Asia are officially Satanic. The New World and Australia are safe havens for the remaining religionists. Nothing is mentioned about Africa, and of the “New World,” only Canada and America are mentioned specifically, so I have no idea yet if Central and South America are special (godly?) enough to have escaped Satanization. Fuck, Satan, all it takes is some salt water to dampen your ambition?
Patric is a young French dude who takes the hedonism of Satanism to heart. He bangs hookers, snorts cocaine, et cetera [drink!]. But for some reason he hides this from his Ukrainian fiancée, Natasha, despite her being a zealous Satanist, which makes me go WTF. Seriously, she’s a Satanist, surely she’d be behind the concept of hedonism even if she gets jealous of the polyamory. From what I understand, the zealous types just double-down on the precepts, so I’m surprised Natasha doesn’t have some orgies [drink!] on the side like Patric does. From what I understand, being preggers doesn’t necessarily smother the drive, yanno?
I find it pretty hilarious that “Hell on Earth” mostly consists of red light districts and formerly illegal substance abuse [drink!]. I mean, that’s the best—no, worst you can manage, Carver? Pffffffffffffffft. Or was that just the most you thought you could get away with in the Christian fiction genre, just following the checklist suggested by ranty old white men?
But Patric’s brother, Tourec, is a tattooed, zealous Christian warrior-monk-type who goes around murderin’ the shit outta Satanic priests. So I picture Tourec like this:
Yeah, that’s all that needs to be said about Tourec.
So, breakdown of alcohol consumption so far:
Preliminary sip: 1
Satanist tropes: 21 (mostly pentagrams and orgies and black robes and shit)
Run-of-the-mill Christian tropes: 9 (mostly along the lines of nonChristians are nonChristians because they don’t want to follow the moral rules of no hookers or blow)
Sexist, racist, other –ist tropes: 2, which is fewer than I feared. There’s a general disregard of non-Western religions/viewpoints, but I can’t blame him too much for not delving into that potential confusion. Though why the hell would the Satanists work to destroy Hindus and Buddhists but leave Pagans in Scandinavia alone? But then I remembered that Carver doesn’t seem to know what Satanists are supposed to be.
Not to mention this thing is written with thick melodrama. That’s a relatively superficial style thing, but I do not care for melodrama. And even if Carver means to go beyond the Satanic Panic bullshit of the eighties and nineties, he still uses it as the basis of his worldbuilding and expects us to take it at least some degree of seriously. Hahahahaha, no.