Updated: Jul 10
Those Who Go Forth into the Empty Place of Gods by Curtis M. Lawson and Doug Rinaldi is not a Kabbalistic book. Nor is it an ancient Egyptian text like Spells for Going Forth by Day (not sure why I equate this to the Book of the Dead title…maybe it’s the ‘Forth’ or length lol). T.W.G.F.I.T.E.P.O.G. (for short) is a humorous and bloody take on cosmic horror.
Brewster Gilligan is brilliant. He’s also a cocky asshole with no friends. T.W.G.F.I.T.E.P.O.G. opens with Brewster on a gameshow called Stump the Brain, hosted by Wick Nightingale. After competing better than anyone in the history of the game, Brewster is finally stumped by a question about physicist Maxwell Xanthopoulos. With the clock ticking on live TV, he reaches back into his brain for some kind of answer, eventually settling with: “The answer is The Order of the Nine Lunar Mansions.”
Not only is Brewster’s answer wrong, but with those words, he triggers a diabolical, cosmic plan that has been in the works for ages. The words are a secret that was planted in his head by a dark magician, who also happens to be Brewster’s grandfather Cameron. Now that the words have been spoken, Cameron has been resurrected from his deathless slumber. In response, the nine guardians of the lunar mansions are also summoned. Both parties are on a mission to find Brewster and…kill him, recruit him?
Now the curmudgeon Brewster is caught in the middle and as the supernatural beings battle each other, Brewster is going to have to choose a side.
Lawson and Rinaldi do a great job creating the sarcastic humor of the reluctant Brewster. And there are plenty of blood and guts moments for you gore whores to revel in. Bodies exploding constantly.
On another note, I am fascinated by co-authored books and how two voices can come together as one seamless flow. I’m involved in two co-written books myself at the moment, and I always wonder if other co-authors are doing it similar to us—or if I’m way off the mark, lol. The only time I noticed a break in the flow of T.W.G.F.I.T.E.P.O.G. was toward the climax of the story. The pace sped up, which is good for a climax ;) but some of the plot became a bit abstract.
I really enjoy dark occult books, magic rituals, and metaphysics, but I’m not sure if my feeling of being a bit confused at the end is due to the authors or maybe just me not knowing, or not being able to wrap my head around, what cosmic horror truly is. I never read Lovecraft, but I assume T.W.G.F.I.T.E.P.O.G. has a similar feel based on what I hear about Lovecraftian mythos. I don’t want to give too much away, but the villain wants to birth the creator god into this world so he can kill it and assimilate its knowledge. How can you kill a creator god though? It’s the creator. It’s everything that is, was or ever will be. Then again, I’ve never transversed the dimensions of the lunar spheres, so maybe it’s totally possible.
Either way, I think you will have a fun time with Those Who Go Forth into the Empty Place of Gods. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
And fun fact, if you phonetically chant the acronym TWG-FIT-EPOG nine times into a scrying mirror, you will summon a demigod.
Don’t believe me? Try it…or just check out the book here
Also, be sure to check out Curtis M. Lawson's guest blog about school shootings and the inspiration for his Stoker-nominated novel Black Heart's Choir here