Melissa’s Review: Incarnadine by S.M. Guariento

written by S.M. Guariento
published by CreateSpace, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Yes and no.

You know that one friend you have that calls movies “films” and books “tomes” in a non-ironic way? You let it slide because he’s mostly a cool dude, but deep down you sort of want to smack him. This book is like that. The story itself is awesome–disappeared people, Rome, alchemy–very cool. But the prose. Man, the prose is nearly inaccessible. It’s lovely, don’t get me wrong, but without a dictionary I suspect the average reader would give up before the story gets good.


Would I recommend it: Not without an embedded dictionary app.




About the book – from Goodreads: *WINNER OF THE 2016 QUAGGA PRIZE FOR FANTASY*

“The ridiculous, in particular, has the right to exist.”

The time: an alternative present still ruled by Imperial Rome. Over half the world’s people have vanished overnight, in a forgotten catastrophe known only as the Amnesis. The survivors share a common affliction: a pervasive sense of déjà vu, making the faces of strangers seem oddly familiar…

Stranger still is the Paradigma: a formula devised by elusive magus Zerkalo Incarnadine, and delivered to Caesar in his underground fortress. Before long, the true power of the Paradigma begins to reveal itself. It can turn the written word into a force for creation – or destruction.

When alchemist, intriguer and full-time rogue Andreas Stahlherz learns of the Paradigma, he is catapulted into an adventure that will soon see him fighting for his life. Darkly obsessed with the sister he has lost, and resolved to see her live again, Stahlherz must track down Incarnadine to find the answers he needs. His search will take him beyond the limits of the known cosmos – and further still, towards his own forgotten heart of darkness…

A wildly original and gripping debut, INCARNADINE is a novel of murder, obsession – and transformation.


Happy 2