The Shadow of Hades by Paul C. Williams is a very interesting and dark book. Four stories, intertwined, but not in obvious ways (think Trick R’ Treat style story-weaving). Williams took on a huge challenge with this book and really showed his ability as a writer by creating a novel with such depth and strength. I love that he didn’t fall prey to having to have each page so action-packed that people mistake adrenaline for a good plot. The plot is exceptionally strong and draws the reader in if you’re willing to put in the work Williams demands (and deserves) as a reader.
The characters in this book are deep and diverse. I felt very attached emotionally to the majority of them and with the style of Williams’ writing, there was time and space to really learn about the character…but also wanting more. I wanted more because I cared about their story, I cared about who they were and I wanted to know everything about them.
This one is a hard part to attack. This book has multiple plots vaguely intertwined (until they are obviously intertwined) and the whole of the novel bounces between them. It is an extremely difficult undertaking to write a book like this with such complexity within the plots. With all that being said, the individual plots are fantastic. They are each strong enough to stand on their own and create their own story. Each plot is strong, and while there were a couple plots that appealed more to me personally, that’s just my personal taste. Each plot within this magical world is impressive, has depth and I found each one individually extremely entertaining.
I mentioned that this style of book is very difficult. Williams created a whole world complete within our world and filled it with characters, stories, drama and horror. This book is impressive. Take away the great plot(s), take away the strong characters, take away everything and the strength of Williams ability as an author, as a storyteller still impresses.
As much as I enjoyed The Shadow of Hades, it was not an easy read. It was slow and did take a fairly significant time investment. This slow-burn might not be everyone’s cup-of-tea, but I also think that, to create the world and atmosphere Williams intends, it was necessary to write it this way. So, while it’s not a quick, casual read, the effort is absolutely worth it.
Each story is very unique and the overall feel of the book really ties all the plots and characters together, everyone feels like they are in the same world with the same rules. I love the atmosphere Williams creates. It is dark and heavy and a world where horror exists. I am a fan of this book and I think anyone who loves to read and isn’t afraid to really take the time to dig into a novel will thoroughly enjoy this tale of magic and horror. Get it here!