Demons Review by Nat Whiston
Demons Never Die Review by Nat Whiston
Flash Fiction by P.J. Blakey-Novis - Storyteller
Artwork by David Paul Harris
Published by Red Cape Publishing
Cover Art By David Paul Harris
Demons Never Die is a unique collection of artwork and prose focusing on a range of subjects, split into three categories; Creatures features a selection of nightmarish beings coupled with creepy short fiction, Historical Figures brings the spotlight on to those human monsters from the past and the real-life atrocities they were responsible for, and Vices & Influences portrays inner demons and the dark side of the human condition. With stunning artwork from David Paul Harris and flash fiction from P.J. Blakey-Novis, Demons Never Die is a raw, disturbing, and often emotional collection.
Today I got a lesson in monsters I didn't expect; these two go hand in hand as collaborators. I mean, the art and the stories are incredibly well paired; I love these short bite-size stories. It left me craving more; the first part of the book explores actual demons, which taught me a few things I didn't know - but in all fairness, the whole book gave me the information I didn't know. Dr Griffin, in particular, I like the dark backstory, and I then learned that this was the name of the invisible man! I could have kicked myself. I know mom would be very disappointed in me for not picking up on that one as she's a massive old school horror fan. The best part about this book is how every story carries various meanings, for example, Hate in Silent. This explores the human condition and how hate in itself is a demon we continue to fight even now. Kiss me gave me visions of sleep paralysis, how the nightmare world can invade reality in so many ways. Bringing your demons to life and right in front of you, the illustration increased my belief. Let us out brings me visions of how we fight inner demons, such as depression and anxiety —clawing their way out of your mind. This one resonates with me big time, but like most writers, this became my inspiration for some of my darker stories. Dream Walker is another one I adored again me and my partner had different views of what it represented to us.
Then there's the equally horrid Historical Figures section, and the art was beautifully done, and so detailed helps immerse you in the stories that P.j puts out there. I also got a mini-history lesson about some names, ashamed to say google helped with additional research. But this is good because this means you're becoming more enlightened. Learning about these actual monsters that were once flesh, only by knowing that they exist can we be better and learn from their mistakes. Trying to avoid this kind of person once you know the signs, they were almost like speeches from beyond the grave. We talked to them and acknowledged the damage they did but that they will not win and we are better than these demons.
Then there's the section on Vices and Influences. Some of these were so hard to read. One Story that hit hard for me was A Mother’s Love; it was tragic and highlighted the effects of alcohol dependency. I won't give too much away, but my God, the emotion that's put into these pieces is astonishing. These are flash stories, but they hold the message for each vice and influence. Dark and beautiful in their representation of the demons that plague humanity and our daily lives. For one-piece, I felt an emotional attachment; having experienced abuse, this hit home for me. Luckily I escaped that situation and the dark place that followed, but some women still fight their demons. Honestly, for a short story with illustrations, I was blown away by the care in the art and the meaningful stories within. This one will be on my bookshelf and no doubt a talking piece for conversations with my friends.
#demons #flashfiction #artwork #horrorillustration #redcapepublishing