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They had escaped their country, but they couldn’t escape the past Having lost both her home and family to a brutal dictatorship, Isabel has fled to Spain, where she watches young, bronzed beauties and tries to forget the horrors that lie in her homeland.  Shadowing her always, attired in rumpled linen suits and an eyepatch, is “The Eye,” a fellow ex-pat and poet with a notor They had escaped their country, but they couldn’t escape the past Having lost both her home and family to a brutal dictatorship, Isabel has fled to Spain, where she watches young, bronzed beauties and tries to forget the horrors that lie in her homeland.  Shadowing her always, attired in rumpled linen suits and an eyepatch, is “The Eye,” a fellow ex-pat and poet with a notorious reputation. An unlikely friendship blossoms, a kinship of shared grief. Then The Eye receives a mysterious note and suddenly returns home, his fate uncertain. Left with the keys to The Eye’s apartment, Isabel finds two of his secret manuscripts: a halting translation of an ancient, profane work, and an evocative testament of his capture during the revolution. Both texts bear disturbing images of blood and torture, and the more Isabel reads the more she feels the inexplicable compulsion to go home.  It means a journey deep into a country torn by war, still ruled by a violent regime, but the idea of finding The Eye becomes ineluctable. Isabel feels the manuscripts pushing her to go. Her country is lost, and now her only friend is lost, too. What must she give to get them back? In the end, she has only herself left to sacrifice.  THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY asks: How does someone simply give up their home...especially when their home won’t let them?


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They had escaped their country, but they couldn’t escape the past Having lost both her home and family to a brutal dictatorship, Isabel has fled to Spain, where she watches young, bronzed beauties and tries to forget the horrors that lie in her homeland.  Shadowing her always, attired in rumpled linen suits and an eyepatch, is “The Eye,” a fellow ex-pat and poet with a notor They had escaped their country, but they couldn’t escape the past Having lost both her home and family to a brutal dictatorship, Isabel has fled to Spain, where she watches young, bronzed beauties and tries to forget the horrors that lie in her homeland.  Shadowing her always, attired in rumpled linen suits and an eyepatch, is “The Eye,” a fellow ex-pat and poet with a notorious reputation. An unlikely friendship blossoms, a kinship of shared grief. Then The Eye receives a mysterious note and suddenly returns home, his fate uncertain. Left with the keys to The Eye’s apartment, Isabel finds two of his secret manuscripts: a halting translation of an ancient, profane work, and an evocative testament of his capture during the revolution. Both texts bear disturbing images of blood and torture, and the more Isabel reads the more she feels the inexplicable compulsion to go home.  It means a journey deep into a country torn by war, still ruled by a violent regime, but the idea of finding The Eye becomes ineluctable. Isabel feels the manuscripts pushing her to go. Her country is lost, and now her only friend is lost, too. What must she give to get them back? In the end, she has only herself left to sacrifice.  THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY asks: How does someone simply give up their home...especially when their home won’t let them?

30 review for The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky

  1. 5 out of 5

    Char

    4.5/5 stars! "Misery is a condition that we are all promised." THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY is a beautifully written novella with rich, layered characters and an unfamiliar landscape. Two ex-pats develop a friendship between them. Isabel, an educator and Avendano, a poet, have both escaped a political coup in their home country of (the fictional) Magera. As their friendship deepens, Isabel learns more about Avendano's reputation and his past. When he asks her to watch his apartment so that he may 4.5/5 stars! "Misery is a condition that we are all promised." THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY is a beautifully written novella with rich, layered characters and an unfamiliar landscape. Two ex-pats develop a friendship between them. Isabel, an educator and Avendano, a poet, have both escaped a political coup in their home country of (the fictional) Magera. As their friendship deepens, Isabel learns more about Avendano's reputation and his past. When he asks her to watch his apartment so that he may return to Magera, she does so willingly. While so doing, she reads a few of the manuscripts he left behind. It's in these manuscripts that the true horror lies. Will Avendano ever return home? If he does will he find Isabel there waiting for him? You'll have to read this novella to find out! I loved this book and that's mostly because the characters of Avendano and Isabel are so deep and well drawn. I did not expect to develop such complicated feelings for characters in "A Novella of Cosmic Horror." But develop them I did-especially for Avendano. I disliked him quite a bit when the story began, but I empathized with what he went through later, (or actually, before), and my feelings for him changed dramatically. Whenever I see or hear the term "cosmic horror" lately, I find myself thinking of tentacles. But cosmic horror runs much deeper than that, and in this book it plays a small but certainly disturbing part of the narrative. When the miasma becomes so thick you can almost cut through it, watch out. There are things in that stinking fog, things existing just beyond the limits our visibility, but all too alive just the same. The real horrors here are executed by humans and they make tentacles and Cthulhu look downright silly. It's easy to overlook coups in other countries, easy to overlook the human rights violations and the often abominable acts. We don't seem them on our daily news, so to us they seem foreign and distant. But for the people living under military rule or the rule of dictators or religious leaders? They see these horrors every day and sadly, they are now just part of life. When anyone dares to look more closely, like Avendano for instance, who knows what horrors will befall them as a result? They may take the form of torture, they may take the form of torturing those you love, they can even make you torture yourself, and that's the worst torture of all. " The pain becomes an offering and sacrifice becomes a beacon." A beacon to what? That is the question. I've tried hard to impart to you the gravity as well as the beauty hidden behind that oh so lovely cover. I've tried to do it without spoiling anything, but I'm not sure I've succeeded. The writing is sublime and I got lost a few times, just ruminating on the beauty of the language. That doesn't happen often these days, but it happened several times within the pages of this beautiful, scary, depressing, lovely novella and for that reason I highly recommend this book. Get your copy here: https://amzn.to/2PsjNFX *I received a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Let me start with: Cover Love! It's exquisite. What is also exquisite is John Hornor Jacobs writing. It's truly beautiful. While the writing is beautiful the story held within these pages is not. It's brutal. Excruciating at times. Two ex-pats that have left their war torn country come together in an unlikely friendship. When The Eye, as he's known, leaves to return to their home country he asks that Isabel stay in his apartment. While there she comes across two hidden manuscripts in which she b Let me start with: Cover Love! It's exquisite. What is also exquisite is John Hornor Jacobs writing. It's truly beautiful. While the writing is beautiful the story held within these pages is not. It's brutal. Excruciating at times. Two ex-pats that have left their war torn country come together in an unlikely friendship. When The Eye, as he's known, leaves to return to their home country he asks that Isabel stay in his apartment. While there she comes across two hidden manuscripts in which she becomes obsessed. These manuscripts are absolutely horrific and profane but the longer she studies them the lure of home becomes almost compulsive and her fear for her new friends safety sends her back to Magera and the horrors that await. "The terrifying realization of madness crept in as I read - breathless and stunned, galloping down dark paths, a pornography of excruciating psychic pain - if not by him, then by me, as his audience." Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Voyager for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hicks

    Although H.P. Lovecraft is the most familiar name in the genre of cosmic horror, a number of other authors writing in this vein have shown themselves to be far better wordsmiths and storytellers - Victor LaValle, Brian Hodge, Laird Barron, and Caitlin R. Kiernan immediately spring to mind. I feel comfortable adding John Hornor Jacobs to this list now, with his novella The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky proving to be one of the best titles I've read in 2018 (and 2018 has been absolutely flush with incr Although H.P. Lovecraft is the most familiar name in the genre of cosmic horror, a number of other authors writing in this vein have shown themselves to be far better wordsmiths and storytellers - Victor LaValle, Brian Hodge, Laird Barron, and Caitlin R. Kiernan immediately spring to mind. I feel comfortable adding John Hornor Jacobs to this list now, with his novella The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky proving to be one of the best titles I've read in 2018 (and 2018 has been absolutely flush with incredible horror titles, I might add). Racism was absolutely endemic in Lovecraft's work, with the man's total fear of Otherness, which is to say blacks and immigrants, pervading his mythos. Jacobs, however, writes entirely from the perspective of The Other - his central characters, Isabella and Rafael Avendaño, are South American expats living abroad in Spain. Their home country, the fictional Magera, has fallen to a Pinochet-like military junta. If either were ever to return home, it would mean certain death. Isabella is a lesbian, and, perhaps worse for those in power, both educated and an educator. Avendaño is a poet and outspoken critic of the despot ruling Magera. Whereas Lovecraft's horror arose from racist anxieties, in Jacobs's novella, political anxiety is the topic du jour, and certainly one that's far more relatable for this reader. Although set in 1987, The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky is unfortunately timely. The far-right threats of political violence stemming from the fictional Vidal's rule that threaten Isabella and Avendaño echo current global trends and the rise of nationalism. Brazil recently returned to a military dictatorship with the election of Jair Bolsonaro, the 'Trump of the tropics,' and with him came military raids of that country's universities earlier this week, a turn of events that makes Isabella's fears of returning to Magera sadly relatable. The threats to Avendaño's life simply for being an outspoken critic of an authoritarian regime vividly echo life under Trump part and parcel every bit as much as they recall life under Augusto Pinochet, and one can't help but wonder if a bomb is going to make its way into Avendaño's mailbox at some point in the narrative. The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky functions as a fictional examination of historical incidents that occurred in the 1960s-1980s, while also encapsulating the worries of political extremism circa 2018. Much of the horror stems from the fear of the Mageran junta, with the comic elements playing only a minor role in the story's backdrop. The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky certainly has its share of horror, and a few squirm-inducing scenes to be sure, but it's of a quieter, slower, and highly literary nature. The characters come first in Jacobs's story, and we get small hints of their history and past lives in the homes they were forced to flee. It's not until nearly the half-way mark that we experience a fully unflinching view of the junta's atrocity as told through Avendaño's view, and the horrors that unfold therein are almost entirely human, with only brief glimpses of the supernatural. Primarily, we experience this story, and Avendaño, through Isabella's eyes. Her position as an educated woman informs Jacobs's style, as does Avendaño's pedigree as a poet, and the writing is whip smart with the prose taking on a deeply literary aspect. Avendaño speaks with a poet's grace, his words reflecting his perspective. When he speaks on even minor topics, such as the luchador horror films he routine frequents at the cinema, he speaks of grander philosophies: "Misery is a condition that we are all promised," he tells Isabella early on. "On the screen, painted in light, that misery is very small." Isabella lives the life of a professor, but is far from cloistered within the halls of academia - she has passions and love interests, and can be tough when required. Jacobs subverts one's expectations of the nerdy damsel in distress, and even Isabella reminds us in her narrative that "I am as sensitive to situation and intuition as any person. The idea that academics—especially female academics—are cloistered aesthetics that retreat from the real world to content themselves only with books is nonsense." The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky is a smart and deeply layered novella, and its depth routinely belies its page count. This is a lushly literary narrative, one that is first and foremost a character study of political exiles, and Jacobs's authorial skills are tack sharp. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Polansky

    Lovecraft meets Bolano in the waning days of the Pinochet regime. Fair warning, John is a friend or at least an associate, but all the same this was creepy and evocative, and indisputably better written than 95% of the genre. Good stuff.

  5. 4 out of 5

    FanFiAddict

    First things first: Thanks to the publisher and author for a bound manuscript of TSDIITS in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this advanced reading copy of the novella does not influence my thoughts or opinions on the work. Note: Prior to TSDIITS, I had not read any works by John Hornor Jacobs, but I had heard many glowing reviews from peers. Post-read: all of my peers are correct in stating that his works should not be missed. I have since added everything that he has published to my Amazo First things first: Thanks to the publisher and author for a bound manuscript of TSDIITS in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this advanced reading copy of the novella does not influence my thoughts or opinions on the work. Note: Prior to TSDIITS, I had not read any works by John Hornor Jacobs, but I had heard many glowing reviews from peers. Post-read: all of my peers are correct in stating that his works should not be missed. I have since added everything that he has published to my Amazon wishlist and will be starting a fan-club next week. First meeting is on Halloween. Be there of Cthulhu will feast on your marrow. Isabel has fled to Spain in order to forget the horrors left behind. A brutal dictatorship awaits her if she were to ever return. She befriends another expatriate, known simply as ‘The Eye’, who is a world-renowned poet with rather troubled past. Though their friendship is unexpected, the two give one another comfort over the mutual feelings of a home lost but not forgotten. Soon, The Eye receives a note from an unknown sender which emotionally forces him to return home. Left with the keys to his apartment and more money than she could ever spend, Isabel finds herself combing through manuscripts hidden from the eyes of the world. One, a brutal retelling of his capture during the revolution, weaves itself through Isabel’s mind and turns her focus to returning home as well. What she expects to find is anyone’s guess. What she does find is more than she could’ve imagined. I don’t know if going into this novella with 0 expectations, or knowing Jacobs’ reputation, was what put it over the top for me, but who cares. In the beginning, you think you are in for one thing, only to be completely blown away around the halfway point. The horror element is very subtle, like a slow burn, but oh so powerful. And that ending… The writing is exquisite and the storytelling is impassioned. You will not be unmoved. If you are a fan of JHJ, you probably already have this on pre-order; but if you are like me and have never given him a shot, this is, IMO, the best place to start. This will go down as the best novella of 2018 and may contend as one of my favorite reads of the year. Beautiful and terrifying, with prose like warm honey dripping over an open flame.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    "Violence leaves its mark, and horror makes siblings of us all." I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky, and I'm so glad that I picked it up. This story immediately drew me in, and I was hooked the entire way through. I'm impressed with the author's ability to do a great character study in such a short amount of time, along with having the horror of being exiled from a war-torn country surrounding it. I really enjoyed reading about the characters in this book, an "Violence leaves its mark, and horror makes siblings of us all." I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky, and I'm so glad that I picked it up. This story immediately drew me in, and I was hooked the entire way through. I'm impressed with the author's ability to do a great character study in such a short amount of time, along with having the horror of being exiled from a war-torn country surrounding it. I really enjoyed reading about the characters in this book, and I would continue reading about them if there ever happened to be more stories. This book is heartbreaking, and it's very easy to get wrapped up in what the characters are feeling. The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky is a solid story across the board. I wish some more of my questions had been answered, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you to Harper Voyager for sending me a copy in exchange for a review!

  7. 4 out of 5

    T. Frohock

    It's rare that I give any book five stars, but The Sea Dreams it is the Sky is the best horror novella that I've read since I burned through Stephen King's 1922 several years ago. Isabel meets a fellow ex-pat, who is simply known as the Eye. When the Eye receives a mysterious note, he returns to their homeland and leaves Isabel in charge of his apartment. There, she finds that the Eye is none other than the reviled poet, Rafael Avendaño. As Isabel reads the manuscripts the poet has left behind, th It's rare that I give any book five stars, but The Sea Dreams it is the Sky is the best horror novella that I've read since I burned through Stephen King's 1922 several years ago. Isabel meets a fellow ex-pat, who is simply known as the Eye. When the Eye receives a mysterious note, he returns to their homeland and leaves Isabel in charge of his apartment. There, she finds that the Eye is none other than the reviled poet, Rafael Avendaño. As Isabel reads the manuscripts the poet has left behind, the reader is immersed into a creeping sense of dread that intensifies with every page. Like Isabel, we are drawn into the terror of Avendaño's life during a military coup that left him maimed in body and soul. And behind the coup, seen only by Avendaño, is an ancient horror that Jacobs reveals to us by stripping away one layer of reality after another before our eyes. Equal turns poetic and hypnotic, Jacobs resurrects the surreal imagery of Jorge Louis Borges and couples it with visceral prose that cuts to the bone. Christ, it gave me nightmares. Don't miss it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Pages into a sensory journey of poet, and identity, writings and unravellings. A reading Interlude in sporadic inceptions amidst reverie of disquietness nightmarish and dreamlike through possibly artistry, deciphering grotesque, macabre, tortures and need for safety with poetic prose viscerally into depths of pain and joy with watcher and teacher of words, amidst rebellion and the arcane. Author has successfully crafted a memorable read that is gothic artistry, an inward and outward struggle and q Pages into a sensory journey of poet, and identity, writings and unravellings. A reading Interlude in sporadic inceptions amidst reverie of disquietness nightmarish and dreamlike through possibly artistry, deciphering grotesque, macabre, tortures and need for safety with poetic prose viscerally into depths of pain and joy with watcher and teacher of words, amidst rebellion and the arcane. Author has successfully crafted a memorable read that is gothic artistry, an inward and outward struggle and quest, a short work, writing about writers in framework of cosmic horror. Review with few excerpts @ https://more2read.com/review/the-sea-dreams-it-is-the-sky-by-john-hornor-jacobs/

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tim Meyer

    One of the best books I've read this year. Cosmic horror at its finest!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lis Carey

    The time of this story is presumably in the mid-eighties, though that's never explicit, except that key past events happened in the early 70s. Isabel Certa and Rafael Avendano are two very different survivors of a violent coup and brutal junta in their home country, a fictional country in South America, near Argentina. Rafael Avendano is older, a poet, who had never been overtly political, but who had been close enough to the former, socialist, president of the country that he was damned by assoc The time of this story is presumably in the mid-eighties, though that's never explicit, except that key past events happened in the early 70s. Isabel Certa and Rafael Avendano are two very different survivors of a violent coup and brutal junta in their home country, a fictional country in South America, near Argentina. Rafael Avendano is older, a poet, who had never been overtly political, but who had been close enough to the former, socialist, president of the country that he was damned by association in the eyes of the new rulers. Isabel Certa is younger, lost her mother and the rest of her family in the violence of the coup, and when we meet the two in Spain, she's teaching literature at a university. When she meets an older, one-eyed man in the plaza during her lunch, at first she doesn't know who he is. He is, after all, believed to be dead. They begin an odd sort of friendship. This leads, first, to him sharing his work with her. It's startling, gruesome, shocking. There's a translation he's working on, which is deeply unsettling. And there's his memoir of his experiences during the coup. In some ways, that's even worse. Then he asks her to stay in his apartment and feed his cat while he goes back to Magera, looking for someone he lost during that time. She reminds him he'll probably get killed. He goes anyway--and she doesn't find out till he's gone that he's arranged for his bank to pay her an extremely generous monthly stipend. He had told her to feed his cat, Tomas, "for your protection," and Tomas does prove to be a big, black bruiser of a cat. But what is he going to protect her from While continuing to read his translation and his memoir, Isabel also continues to teach her classes, see her girlfriend, Claudia, and have ups and downs in their relationship as Claudia is also happily involved with Laura. And we continue to learn more, through the memoir, of what happened to Avendano during the coup. It turns out there is something that Tomas needs to protect her from, and it's not of the mortal world. Jacobs gives us a strong, capable woman, secure in her sexuality at a time when that was still dangerous. When she needs to confront the threats out of her own past, and out of Avendano's, she's tough, smart, resourceful. Avendano is also interesting and complicated. This is an excellent novella. I received a free electronic galley from the publisher, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Weston Ochse

    I love cosmic horror. I heart conspiracies larger than ourselves. So, when I began reading The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky I fell immediately in love. A young teacher named Isabel meets a gnarly old one-eyed poet simply named Avendano. They've both fled their homeland in South America and now make their home in Spain. The cafe and literati scenes reminded me in all the best ways of Roberto Bolano's works, such as The Savage Detectives. The way Jacobs slides us into the setting is so gentle I feel as I love cosmic horror. I heart conspiracies larger than ourselves. So, when I began reading The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky I fell immediately in love. A young teacher named Isabel meets a gnarly old one-eyed poet simply named Avendano. They've both fled their homeland in South America and now make their home in Spain. The cafe and literati scenes reminded me in all the best ways of Roberto Bolano's works, such as The Savage Detectives. The way Jacobs slides us into the setting is so gentle I feel as if I've been there all the time.Then Avendano, like a cosmic lure, propels Isabel into such an otherworldy mystery that I actually found I couldn't breath in many places. I've read everything Jacobs has ever written. His writing was marvelous with Southern Gods and just keeps getting better. The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky is so fabulous, I can't imagine him achieving anything greater. For many, this would be the crowning achievement. The novella is dark and touching and lovely with enough conspiratorial nastiness that even this old soul was satisfied. All this said, I know he'll come back with something special. Might it be a sequel? I can only hope. I've read a ton of books this year and two stand out as incredible. Victor LaValle's The Changeling which won the American Book Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the British Fantasy Award, among others. The other is John Hornor Jacobs The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky, which hasn't won any awards so far. I'm thinking that will change. At least it should. At the very least, I encourage you to read this lovely dark cosmic novella and ask yourself, what is the price of home?

  12. 4 out of 5

    K.M. Alexander

    A masterpiece of modern cosmic horror that grounds itself in humanity. Jacobs does a lot with a little; his prose is lyrical and evocative. The setting and characters are captivating and unique to the genre. Moving cosmic horror away from the dreary hills of New England and to the streets of Málaga, Spain and the mountains of South America was a refreshing change. The result is a surprisingly deep novella that recasts cosmic horror’s themes with a raw originality. I was enthralled from start to A masterpiece of modern cosmic horror that grounds itself in humanity. Jacobs does a lot with a little; his prose is lyrical and evocative. The setting and characters are captivating and unique to the genre. Moving cosmic horror away from the dreary hills of New England and to the streets of Málaga, Spain and the mountains of South America was a refreshing change. The result is a surprisingly deep novella that recasts cosmic horror’s themes with a raw originality. I was enthralled from start to finish.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nóri Goreczky

    I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. Cosmic horror as a genre intrigues me because I think the fear of the unknown (and what lurks beneath) is so deeply entrenched in all human beings that, if done right, such a work can evoke emotions stronger than any psychological or gore-based horror novel ever could. That is why I’m so confused about and disappointed in this book, because at its most basic it had everything to tell an absolutely terrifying story, but instead it chose to meander and I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. Cosmic horror as a genre intrigues me because I think the fear of the unknown (and what lurks beneath) is so deeply entrenched in all human beings that, if done right, such a work can evoke emotions stronger than any psychological or gore-based horror novel ever could. That is why I’m so confused about and disappointed in this book, because at its most basic it had everything to tell an absolutely terrifying story, but instead it chose to meander and not say or do anything meaningful with the groundwork it laid for itself. All of this is pretty confusing without mentioning some specifics, so I will try to do so without really spoiling anything. The two main characters are exiles from a fictional South American country that has been torn apart by rebellion and the subsequent rise to power of a military dictatorship. At first I didn’t understand the author’s decision to invent a such country when there are so many where such a thing actually happened in real life, but over the course of the book I came to appreciate the additional layer of otherworldliness this choice has added to the story. Our protagonist, Isabel, befriends Rafael, a mysterious poet from her home country, who eventually leaves his comfortable life in Spain to go home and search for his lost family, which leaves Isabel in charge of his apartment. There she discovers a written account of his friend’s former life, and the strange and more than a little distrubing path that led to his exile. This is where the horror elements really start to come into play, not only through the vivid descriptions of torture he has endured at the hands of his captors, but also through the interwoven story of his attempts to translate an old manuscript. For some reason his captors are really interested in this piece of work, in fact they even suggest that him taking it on was what drew them to him in the first place. Naturally, Isabel finds the manuscript and begins to work on her own translation, which is when she is forced to realize that Rafael is not safe back home and she decides to go and find him. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Spooky, mysterious, bone-chilling even, thanks to Rafael’s memoir (you’ll see what I mean when you read it), this is the groundwork I was referring to earlier. Everything is in place for a spectacular conclusion where we finally get our answers for all the important questions, such as: Who are these people? What do they want with the manuscript? What IS the manuscript? What cosmic powers are at play here? Well, we never find out any of that. The ending of this book is a confusing mess, at least for me. I realize that so far I will be the only one giving it less than four stars, and I could praise the writing style and the character of Rafael (not Isabel, who was pretty bland in my opinion) as reasons why I liked the book overall – and I did, in a way, because it had beautiful imagery and kept me interested until the very end. But it had the potential to be so much more, and while I’m generally not opposed to open endings (sometimes I even like the whole „decide for yourself what happened after” approach), there was not even remotely enough material here for me to come up with anything that makes sense. (Review cross-posted to my blog) A thousand thanks to Edelweiss for my review copy!

  14. 4 out of 5

    John Robinson

    The first reviews I read of this had me interested. It redefines cosmic horror, they said. Well, they were right. If I need to point people to an example of what cosmic horror is, after the works of Laird Barron, and, hell, maybe before them, I'm going to point them to this. I hope it is released in print really soon because it is worth buying in paperback (or maybe even hardbound, which says something because I almost never buy hardbound stuff first run). This book starts in the south of Spain The first reviews I read of this had me interested. It redefines cosmic horror, they said. Well, they were right. If I need to point people to an example of what cosmic horror is, after the works of Laird Barron, and, hell, maybe before them, I'm going to point them to this. I hope it is released in print really soon because it is worth buying in paperback (or maybe even hardbound, which says something because I almost never buy hardbound stuff first run). This book starts in the south of Spain and then goes somewhere amazing. It is a short read, an easy read on one of those nights when you can't sleep because you need to read something that is good but not too good because then you'll be up all night reading it and exhausted as fuckall the next morning. Well, correction, it isn't an easy read. It is full of Very Hard Things that will, if you are easily triggered, possibly trigger you, so if you couldn't handle say Kiss of the Spiderwoman or Darkness at Noon, maybe...maybe skip this, because it is not a soft read, nor is it meant to be. It is a small easily consumable if hard to swallow jagged pill of a read. You'll want to take it with whiskey, probably, I know it would have helped me get through the rougher portions of this. John Hornor Jacobs has produced something that really should earn him a Hugo, Nebula, WFA or a new award they invent just for him with his likeness in bronze on it, because this is just that good. It is a high water mark in Cosmic Horror that will be rather hard to surpass.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kdawg91

    The recent spout of authors doing Lovecraft better than Lovecraft CONTINUES! This is a beautiful book, and it captures the pure dread of "cosmic horror" perfectly..it isn't the shock and blood and gore you read in some horror, it's the viseral punch, that slow sneaking itch at the back of your neck. It's the feeling that you are a small fish in a deep, deep body of water...THAT is the true horror that is throughout this masterfully told tale. top ratings, One eye written in blood over 5 glowing st The recent spout of authors doing Lovecraft better than Lovecraft CONTINUES! This is a beautiful book, and it captures the pure dread of "cosmic horror" perfectly..it isn't the shock and blood and gore you read in some horror, it's the viseral punch, that slow sneaking itch at the back of your neck. It's the feeling that you are a small fish in a deep, deep body of water...THAT is the true horror that is throughout this masterfully told tale. top ratings, One eye written in blood over 5 glowing stars...read this TODAY.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kevin L

    This novella is a dark and brilliant work by Jacobs. It has brilliant nods to the Cthulhu mythos and, like Laird Barron’s Old Leech stories, takes its own unique path and opening new unwholesome vistas for the reader to experience. I loved the protagonist Isabel, a great take on the classic mythos scholar and turned on its head. And The Eye? Well, I won’t address that character for fear of ruining other readers’ fun. I highly recommend this novella. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    A beautiful little story of human and cosmic horror. Two exiles discover each other years after fleeing their South American home to escape the junta. Of course, unhuman forces lure them back. One of the most gorgeous horror novels I've read. Aligning the Lovecraft-style monsters with the human monsters behind genocide makes the book much more emotionally satisfying. The end came about a bit quickly and suddenly for my liking.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky is an extremely good novella. I really liked the gentle pull of the plot that guided you until you are in a cosmic horror story without even realizing it. The prose was at times dark and disturbing and other times languid and rich, which gave depth to the two main characters, Isabel and the Eye.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Eichenlaub

    This book is an incredible piece of cosmic horror. Jacobs has a mastery of the language that is astounding and the imagery of this book is going to stick with me for a very long time. For better or worse.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Noigeloverlord

    J.H.J. does it again A beautifully written novella of Horror. I was given this book for an honest review. I don't know if I've ever read a Horror book where horrific acts were written so masterful.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Troy

    Atmospheric and unsettling, The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky is a must read. Setting the story in foreign locales only adds to the otherworldliness of this tale's tone. Strangely though, I want to visit these places. Highly recommended.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vigasia

    It was definitely one of the most beautifully written books I've read this year.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Review to come on vampirebookclub.net

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dan Stinton

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  26. 4 out of 5

    R0cketFr0g

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sjgomzi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Lawson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian Cowlishaw

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

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