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A Song For The Void: A Historical Horror Novel

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A Mind Imprisoned Is The Greatest Of Hells. 1853. South China Sea. While on patrol between the Opium Wars, the crew of the steam frigate HMS Charger pursues a fleet of pirates that have been terrorizing the waters surrounding Hong Kong. But now the hunters have become the hunted. Something else has come to the South China Sea, something ancient and powerful and malevolent. N A Mind Imprisoned Is The Greatest Of Hells. 1853. South China Sea. While on patrol between the Opium Wars, the crew of the steam frigate HMS Charger pursues a fleet of pirates that have been terrorizing the waters surrounding Hong Kong. But now the hunters have become the hunted. Something else has come to the South China Sea, something ancient and powerful and malevolent. Now, the crew of the Charger must face their worst nightmares in order to survive the terrible creature they come to know as the Darkstar. A Song For The Void is a haunting, terrifying historical horror novel that will keep you turning the pages and jumping at the shadows.


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A Mind Imprisoned Is The Greatest Of Hells. 1853. South China Sea. While on patrol between the Opium Wars, the crew of the steam frigate HMS Charger pursues a fleet of pirates that have been terrorizing the waters surrounding Hong Kong. But now the hunters have become the hunted. Something else has come to the South China Sea, something ancient and powerful and malevolent. N A Mind Imprisoned Is The Greatest Of Hells. 1853. South China Sea. While on patrol between the Opium Wars, the crew of the steam frigate HMS Charger pursues a fleet of pirates that have been terrorizing the waters surrounding Hong Kong. But now the hunters have become the hunted. Something else has come to the South China Sea, something ancient and powerful and malevolent. Now, the crew of the Charger must face their worst nightmares in order to survive the terrible creature they come to know as the Darkstar. A Song For The Void is a haunting, terrifying historical horror novel that will keep you turning the pages and jumping at the shadows.

30 review for A Song For The Void: A Historical Horror Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz

    A Song For The Void is an excellent example of cosmic horror. Filled with powerful, unsettling imagery, it depicts the horrors that come both from within the mind and from beyond the stars. What can I say? I enjoy being dragged into the dark corners of the world and the human soul, and this book has it all. The sense of dread, philosophical depth, and engaging plot. The story takes place on the high seas during the Opium Wars in 1853. The crew of the HMS Charger, a British warship pursuing pirat A Song For The Void is an excellent example of cosmic horror. Filled with powerful, unsettling imagery, it depicts the horrors that come both from within the mind and from beyond the stars. What can I say? I enjoy being dragged into the dark corners of the world and the human soul, and this book has it all. The sense of dread, philosophical depth, and engaging plot. The story takes place on the high seas during the Opium Wars in 1853. The crew of the HMS Charger, a British warship pursuing pirates, encounters a creature from beyond the stars (known as Darkstar) that drives them mad (I oversimplify things). Doctor Edward Pearce struggles with an addiction to opioids and with his past. When most of the crew members experience hallucinations, he must face personal and cosmic horrors to discover the truth and do something about it. Forced to stare into the nothing, he'll have to come up with a reason to live or die. We have all seen monsters rip people to shreds, but the truly horrifying thing is that we do not understand the very nature of the reality we live in. Andrew Piazza skillfully creates an atmosphere of terror and uneasiness. He pays attention to small details, but never forgets that the story must remain engaging and entertaining to hold the attention of the readers. He balances slower moments with exciting, energetic action, all leading to dark revelations. No scene is wasted here. Darkstar is a creature of lies and illusion. It loves to play with people and their limited perception of reality. It alters their minds and senses, making them see things that are not there or changing the appearance of objects. Darkstar perceives people as pathetic apes, deluding themselves with the illusion of transcendence, while they are nothing more than meat and bones driven by flawed senses. These plotlines allow Piazza to question the nature of consciousness and identity. What are we, really, when injury or mind-altering substances can transform our behavior and perception of reality? Why would anyone believe in a transcendent, permanent soul that lives within us when a stroke or brain injury is enough to dramatically (and permanently) change us? In other words: “There is no you, and there is no me. We’re all just clockwork marionettes made of meat, with gears inside that we don’t understand. We simply dance to whatever tune those gears tell us to, and make up a story afterwards to tell ourselves why." The book doesn't offer cheap consolations; It acknowledges that, ultimately, we mean nothing and there may be no intrinsic meaning to our lives. Each of us, can, however, find meaning for ourselves and make the life worth living. I loved this book; it kept me glued to the pages, genuinely crept me out, and, above all, made me obsessively think about it and its themes. With its excellent and psychologically sound characterization and fascinating plot, it's a true indie horror gem. A Song for The Void is one of the best horror novels I have ever read. The engaging narrative, suggestive descriptions, and disturbing atmosphere make reading it a pure pleasure. It’s intelligent (and hopeful!) take on nihilistic philosophy underpinning the cosmic horror genre.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Tucker

    One Last Gasp was one of my favorite surprise novels from last year so I was super excited to hear that Andrew C. Piazza was writing another historical horror novel. And it does not disappoint in any way. Piazza clearly did a lot of research to capture the feel of being on a 19th century naval vessel during the Opium Wars, even down to specifics of firearms and terminology relevant to the time. The horror part unfolds slowly as the crew and the unreliable narrator start to piece together weird hap One Last Gasp was one of my favorite surprise novels from last year so I was super excited to hear that Andrew C. Piazza was writing another historical horror novel. And it does not disappoint in any way. Piazza clearly did a lot of research to capture the feel of being on a 19th century naval vessel during the Opium Wars, even down to specifics of firearms and terminology relevant to the time. The horror part unfolds slowly as the crew and the unreliable narrator start to piece together weird happenings that eventually come together far too much to be coincidences. I dont want to give away any spoilers so if you enjoy historical fiction or horror, and especially if you like both, you should definitely give this book a try. The appendix on how the book came to be was also a very interesting glimpse into how the sausage was made or as Piazza puts it "seeing the gears of how something works can lead us to lose some respect for it." Personally I gained more respect for both the process and the author. Its fascinating to hear the specific details of how the ideas and creative process came together to make the book a reality.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Edwards

    An exploration of lovecraftian nihilism, that mixes elements of "The Fisherman" by John Langan and "The Terror" by Dan Simmons together in an enthralling tale. I highly recommend. Piazza is one of the premier neo-lovecraftian authors to date . I first discovered his talents with "One Last Gasp" and picked this up the day it released. There is no disappointment to be had here. There is not much I can say without giving away the book, but if you are a fan of historical horror, lovecraftian themes, An exploration of lovecraftian nihilism, that mixes elements of "The Fisherman" by John Langan and "The Terror" by Dan Simmons together in an enthralling tale. I highly recommend. Piazza is one of the premier neo-lovecraftian authors to date . I first discovered his talents with "One Last Gasp" and picked this up the day it released. There is no disappointment to be had here. There is not much I can say without giving away the book, but if you are a fan of historical horror, lovecraftian themes, and nautical overtones, look no further. Job well done , 5\5 stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darth Dragonetti

    "A Song for the Void" is a 2020 historical horror novel by Andrew C Piazza. Whether you've read Piazza's other fiction (some of which is in the same genre) or not, "A Song for the Void" is a truly outstanding work that is well worth your time. I was so delighted to see Mr. Piazza return to the unique (and under-served) genre of historical horror. His 2012 novel "One Last Gasp" is a masterpiece of the genre, a real groundbreaking effort that is equal parts historical fiction, action thriller, and "A Song for the Void" is a 2020 historical horror novel by Andrew C Piazza. Whether you've read Piazza's other fiction (some of which is in the same genre) or not, "A Song for the Void" is a truly outstanding work that is well worth your time. I was so delighted to see Mr. Piazza return to the unique (and under-served) genre of historical horror. His 2012 novel "One Last Gasp" is a masterpiece of the genre, a real groundbreaking effort that is equal parts historical fiction, action thriller, and horror novel. Now, with "A Song for the Void," Piazza gives a similar fictional treatment to a different time and place in history--the rather obscure conflict known as the Opium Wars. Set during the second of the two Opium Wars (somewhere between 1856-1860), "A Song for the Void" is told from the perspective of a British doctor who serves as an officer on a British naval ship tasked with hunting down Chinese pirates. After an intense battle with a sizable Chinese fleet, main character Doctor Pearce and the men aboard the HMS Charger notice a strange phenomenon in the sky. When hallucinations and other bizarre events begin to occur amongst the crew on the Charger, Doctor Pearce begins to suspect that the strange object in the sky may be connected. As events devolve more and more into the chaotic, Doctor Pearce and the crew must overcome a most powerful cosmic force and their own personal demons in order to survive a harrowing ordeal. After opening with a bang, " A Song for the Void" slows down to a more deliberate pace, and becomes an oh-so-satisfying creepy slow burn. This slower pace gives us time to get to know the crew aboard the Charger and gives us a taste of life aboard a British warship in the 19th century. Author Piazza quickly proves his masterful grasp of the setting and writes with a real sense of authority. The backdrop is a totally believable one, and you'll find you love spending time there. Quality of research is impeccable. Fortunately, though, it doesn't get in the way of the great storytelling, which "Void" brings in spades. When the book does pick up, however, you won't be able to pry your eyes from the page and will want to bask in every exciting, sordid, gory, frightening detail. Quality of writing in "Void" is very high, and helps the book stand out from the competition. In the modern world e-publishing there is some lackluster prose on the market, but Piazza proves once again to be one the best in the biz. Every description, every detail, every discussion is right on the money and puts you right in the thick of things. The combination of history, action, horror, and philosophy that permeate the pages of the novel is quite simply the best mashup of genres I've ever seen. I would caution the reader that there are some disturbing scenes of violence and gore in the story, so if that bothers you, take note. The more intense material is spread out enough that it doesn't lose it shock value, so each and every instance of violence is startlingly effective. There is also some incredibly compelling discussion in the story about life, death, loss, and transcendence. While it does slow down the story, the discussions are so elegantly written that I couldn't help but enjoy them and consider their implications in my own life. Said discussions also come to play an important role in the story. It's difficult to steal a show when the entire show is incredible, but Piazza manages to do it with characterization. Doctor Pearce is nothing short of phenomenally conceived. His past, personality, struggles, and everything else about the character are so well done. The author delves into the psyche of Pearce like a virtuoso psychologist, and turns over every stone in the protagonist's life in a manner believable and compelling. The struggle of addiction also plays an important role in the story; the protagonist is plagued by an addiction that turns out to be pivotal in the development of the plot. I always admire when authors use main characters with baggage. There is much believability to those types of characters and so much room development--as is the case in "A Song for the Void." Supporting players are also well-developed and there is not a two-dimensional character in the bunch. All this to say: heck yeah, read the book! Congratulations to Andrew Piazza for adding yet another winner to his stable of winners. "A Song for the Void" is the beau ideal of historical horror, the standard against which all others are measured. If you're looking for a master class on how to do something perfectly, you've found it. Please keep 'em coming, Mr. Piazza!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Not perfect. it still damn good Honestly I enjoyed this book. It’s Lovecraftian and it’s got pirates. What’s not to love. Where it loses itself though is in its execution of certain scenes. When the author dives off into philosophical ideas. But other than that it’s a good solid read. I enjoyed it. Kudos to the Thor.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Aidan

    A British naval vessel stuffed with confiscated opium off the coast of 1860s China provides the opportunity for an extra terrestrial bent on an apocryphal end for Earth. As the crew is persuaded to indulge in the opium it opens them to its psychological manipulation and hallucination, driving them to mutiny in the direction of a mysterious island where all their desires will be fulfilled. The main character, a doctor and former opium addict, leads a very small handful of officers in a desperate a A British naval vessel stuffed with confiscated opium off the coast of 1860s China provides the opportunity for an extra terrestrial bent on an apocryphal end for Earth. As the crew is persuaded to indulge in the opium it opens them to its psychological manipulation and hallucination, driving them to mutiny in the direction of a mysterious island where all their desires will be fulfilled. The main character, a doctor and former opium addict, leads a very small handful of officers in a desperate attempt to save the ship despite his own susceptibility to the drug and message of the alien force. A Song for the Void is a very telling title. The despair of deep postmodern thought is the theme of both the alien's message and the doctor's personal beliefs. The alien continually reminds those it controls that they are nothing but bags of meat which are, in fact, not really there...merely a self-delusion. The doctor had already decided that "...our consciousness, that unreliable narrator explaining our existence, may be nothing but an illusion." When all is said and done, the doctor has no real defense against the void except to claim the power of choice to create our own transcendent--which he has already admitted may be nothing but an illusion. And that is the message of postmodernism--Invictus, with nothing to rail against but the void

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Nelms

    I don't know who to recommend this to This was a pretty good book. The beginning is very slow for me. A lot about self-important white military men who think they're better than the people whose land they're invading. This includes our main character. But it evolves beyond that. The doctor reveals layers of himself as the story goes on. It explores themes like addiction very well. I enjoyed the main character not being "better" than anyone else. I liked that the only thing insulating him at times I don't know who to recommend this to This was a pretty good book. The beginning is very slow for me. A lot about self-important white military men who think they're better than the people whose land they're invading. This includes our main character. But it evolves beyond that. The doctor reveals layers of himself as the story goes on. It explores themes like addiction very well. I enjoyed the main character not being "better" than anyone else. I liked that the only thing insulating him at times is pure chance. I enjoyed the way the supernatural aspect of the story progressed and there were some very good elements of storytelling. Overall it's not a bad story at all. It tries too hard in some spots. The white supremacy, though fitting for the time period, was exhausting. But nestled in all of this is a pretty good story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Pospisil

    Such an interesting book. Having read a few books about the opium trade and war, it was a very accurate historical setting. A combination of seeking life's meaning and confronting one's demons, this was an intellectually challenging work. I enjoyed the well developed characters and the realization of the evil alien force. It is certainly a worthwhile investment of time to read this unique book. Such an interesting book. Having read a few books about the opium trade and war, it was a very accurate historical setting. A combination of seeking life's meaning and confronting one's demons, this was an intellectually challenging work. I enjoyed the well developed characters and the realization of the evil alien force. It is certainly a worthwhile investment of time to read this unique book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cherol A Grainger

    I simply love the way he writes. His main character is narrating a memory of a bizarre and haunting tragedy. He did this with One Last Gasp. Very difficult to put it down till the end.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Slick Dungeon

    In 1853 on the high seas, during the height of the Opium Wars, a strange comet, lacking a tail, is seen. The celestial body will have an incredible influence over the crew of the HMS Charger, a modern ship pursuing a group of pirates. A doctor with a tragic past, who is struggling with personal demons, will face horrors never before imagined and must use his own experience to pierce into the truth of the strange happenings that surround him. A Song for the Void is cosmic horror at its finest. The In 1853 on the high seas, during the height of the Opium Wars, a strange comet, lacking a tail, is seen. The celestial body will have an incredible influence over the crew of the HMS Charger, a modern ship pursuing a group of pirates. A doctor with a tragic past, who is struggling with personal demons, will face horrors never before imagined and must use his own experience to pierce into the truth of the strange happenings that surround him. A Song for the Void is cosmic horror at its finest. The narrative is pulse-pounding and the characters are well developed, three-dimensional people, that the reader cannot help but be interested in. Horrors abound and stakes are high and deadly. At the same time, the historical aspect of the novel is well played and the perfect setting for this type of tale. Horror on the high seas in the vein of the Cthulhu mythos works extremely well here due to the deft handling of the subject matter by author Andrew Piazza. The pacing is brilliant as the tale starts with exciting chase and battle scenes and it ever increases, making the stakes higher and the outcome more dangerous for the heroes at every turn. The evil faced in the book is well crafted and ominous. There are scenes in the book that will give the reader nightmares. When it comes to horror a reviewer can give no higher compliment than that. This book will scare you. If you love horror, that, after all, is the point. This is a masterful page-turner that delights and surprises as well as horrifies. It ends with a wholly satisfying conclusion that is pitch-perfect for the story. If you are a lover of cosmic horror or strange tales by the likes of H. P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker, you won't find a better book out there than A Song for the Void. It's cinematic in scope and personal in the narrative. This is a must-read for any horror fan looking for a story that knows how to scare.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Michael Osborne

    Poignant Lovecraftian Horror Mr. Piazza has earned another fan in me. At surface level, his prose and research are compelling and kept me engaged through the entirety of his book. It was, however, his running commentaries on reality, morality, and the more substantive subject of addiction that have me writing this review. Mr. Piazza has weaved these probings of human existence into the genre of cosmic horror in such a way that ranks among other favorites of mine by Stephen King and Peter Straub. A Poignant Lovecraftian Horror Mr. Piazza has earned another fan in me. At surface level, his prose and research are compelling and kept me engaged through the entirety of his book. It was, however, his running commentaries on reality, morality, and the more substantive subject of addiction that have me writing this review. Mr. Piazza has weaved these probings of human existence into the genre of cosmic horror in such a way that ranks among other favorites of mine by Stephen King and Peter Straub. A word of warning, however: this book is graphic in a number of ways, including possible triggers for those who have had personal struggles with addiction. The graphic violence and such are definitely handled with care and carry purpose in the story, but some of it was very hard to endure nonetheless. That aside, I must again reiterate that this was a fantastic read, and I cannot wait to dive into another tale penned by Mr. Piazza.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lonnie Huff

    I am a fan of navel history and have read many books mon the subject. I thought the book started slow, but if you have not read a lot of historical books on the navy its necessary so that you will be able to understand. The story moves along quickly and pulls you in. The first hint of the horror to come is when they keep seeing the strange star or comet. This is a well written exciting book that is a must read. I highly recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Reading "A Song For The Void" was, at the beginning, like the start of a swashbuckler, with swords and muskets. It moved along at a good pace, giving me time to get immersed- well, more like swallowed by the story. The other characters, besides the doctor, could have used a little fleshing out, but it was his story to tell. The intensity kept me into the story, all the way to the end. This book is terrific, and I would recommend it to anyone. Reading "A Song For The Void" was, at the beginning, like the start of a swashbuckler, with swords and muskets. It moved along at a good pace, giving me time to get immersed- well, more like swallowed by the story. The other characters, besides the doctor, could have used a little fleshing out, but it was his story to tell. The intensity kept me into the story, all the way to the end. This book is terrific, and I would recommend it to anyone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Morris

    A very different kind of horror! A full-blown historical adventure with a sci-fi backdrop. A 19th century Royal Navy cruiser, battling Chinese pirates at the end of the Opium War, encounters something that cannot be real. Just what is reality? Is life just an illusion? This story was filled with naval battles, war in all its aspects and a major philosophical conundrum. A very different kind of horror!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bobby

    History and Horror It is rare for a historical novel to include an alien but this one does....and is engaging. Darkstar is an interesting premise to build a story of the Opium Wars around. Dr. Pearce's matching of wits with the Allen is presented in a way that makes perfect sense. From chasing Chinese pirates to all of a sudden encountering total evil is the crux of the story and it will carry you along for an exciting ride. History and Horror It is rare for a historical novel to include an alien but this one does....and is engaging. Darkstar is an interesting premise to build a story of the Opium Wars around. Dr. Pearce's matching of wits with the Allen is presented in a way that makes perfect sense. From chasing Chinese pirates to all of a sudden encountering total evil is the crux of the story and it will carry you along for an exciting ride.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    The book is definitely historical horror. Be aware that there are definitely some gruesome scenes, graphically described. But the plotline was interesting and the story did not lag. My biggest criticism is that he pushed his metaphors and his points a bit to far. And why does it seem like you can't read a book that has had a final editor run through to make those minor corrections that are needed? The book is definitely historical horror. Be aware that there are definitely some gruesome scenes, graphically described. But the plotline was interesting and the story did not lag. My biggest criticism is that he pushed his metaphors and his points a bit to far. And why does it seem like you can't read a book that has had a final editor run through to make those minor corrections that are needed?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    A fantastic horror that teaches a little history This is an incredible and scary book. The writing flows smoothly and easy to read. Well paced and very gripping. If I have any complaints, the characters could be a little more defined. But if you are into weird horror and/or history, high recommendations

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robert Defrank

    A fun, well-written adventure with a lot of historical expertise. I commend the quality of writing and characterization. One other hand – slight spoiler – the weirdness doesn’t start until well into a third of the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul Saarma

    An excellent horror historical novel set during the mid nineteenth century opium wars between Britain and China. A well researched book, with deft characterisation and a good portrayal of life in the royal navy at that time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    luis

    Amazing trip to your imagination It is clearly that the author knows philosophy, and it write it down into this wonderful story really subtle. The great action parts and mystery, makes this book, worth reading

  21. 5 out of 5

    Darwin L. Andoe

    Watch The Skys Excellent story. A small part reminded me of a Star Trek TOS episode only told from Bones point of view. The imagery painted by the author is outstanding. Highly recommended.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Fantastic, in every sense of the word.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cody Meissner

    Different It took a long time to take off. But when it finally did,it was quite a ride. Or is that an illusion?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Torri

    This book was excellent. The story was original, captivating, sensitive and interesting. The characters were well fleshed out. I will happily read more of this author’s books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mona

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robs67

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  28. 4 out of 5

    Phillip Berry

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Morrison

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

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