Bottled Abyss by Benjamin Kane Ethridge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was introduced to Ethridge's work last year with Black & Orange which easily became one of my favorite books of the year. Ethridge's talent for turning folklore and myth into his own device stays strong in his new book, Bottled Abyss. The story initially starts off about Herman and Janet, a married couple who lost their young daughter recently to a hit and run driver, and all the trauma which that entails. While looking for their lost dog, Herman meets Charon the Boatman, and learns first hand the power of the Boatman's bottle. This spirals Herman and Janet's life down a dark spiral of horror, insanely dark realms of Greek mythology, and a glimpse of how genuinely damaged people can be.
Honestly it was that last facet of the book that made reading it such a visceral experience. As mentioned before, Ethridge is a master of creating a new world out of old myth. His legendary figures take on a new life that is vastly entertaining to read. I, however, was just amazed at how well he fleshed out the four main characters of the book, and how each of them were experiencing lives that were broken to a point where the dark myths that permeated the story almost took a back seat. It made the book incredibly hard to put down.
The resolution of the story is as terrifying in implication as it is in what is made known. If he ever did a sequel to it, I'd honestly be intimidated to read it. All in all, a fantastic, dark read from a consistently talented writer. Five stars definitely.
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