God’s Demon, by Wayne Barlowe. It is the book I came across before I know there is a book. Well, you can be sure I love sci-fi and fantasy stuffs, especially flora and fauna, myths and legends. I first knew about Wayne was the documentary Alien Planet. I loved the show and went to ‘wiki’ it. When there’s a hyperlink on Expedition where Alien Planet is based upon, I found the name Wayne Barlowe. Being itchy for anything new, I clicked on his official website for a new work called God’s Demon.
The pictures amazed me so much that I had to get that book to read. It’s very fascinating, even quoted by Guillermo del Toro, director for Hellboy, Hellboy 2, Pan’s Labyrinth and the latest film: Pacific Rim. Guess what is so common among Barlowe’s works? Hint: Avatar, Pacific Rim and Alien Planet.
*Sigh* They are luminous creatures! Yes, Barlowe contributed on Pacific Rim as well as Avatar creatures and monsters (with collaboration with del Toro if I am not mistaken)!
God’s Demon (simplified as GD below) is one Hell-of-a-kind book. The story is set completely in Hell and the place is… fantastic. You have arteries and veins cutting across vast landscapes, a slow river made of tears which named as Acheron, a dull star that makes no difference to day and night called Algol etc.
From the first few pages, we can witness how Sargatanas (the main protagonist) build his empire Adamantinarx-upon-the-Acheron with souls almost immediately after he has Fallen from Above (heaven). He uses the souls and manipulates them into bricks! Piece by piece, unfazed by the wailing and whining of the poor souls, he compresses and squeezes them into cuboids.
Guess what, even when they are turned to bricks, they still can open their eyes or pop their ears as they are very much alive.
Here's a pic for you to see Sargatanas holding a soul-brick.
There’s one scene when a giant Demolisher gnawing its way through the city, the buildings started to tilt as each individual soul tries to run away. Imagine that! Look! Here's the Demolisher:
Oh, so you don’t know what is a Demolisher? Here’s the picture, a tank made up of thousands of compressed souls, chewing all the way and excreting necrotic flesh from its ‘anus’.
While everything in Hell is depicted as disgusting and hot, there’s one character I fell in love with: Lilith. Lilith is a being in white with no clothes on and with animal paws. Almost every demon yearn to copulate with her, but she is a strong, feminine and powerful being to be messed with. Here, let me show you:
Well, before the Fall, Hell is already populated with ancient fauna, like the Abyssals, which comprise of countless species and kinds where almost every ten pages you might find a new species. They are luminous (duh!) and many would use their skins as pouch or decoratives.
Here, Abyssal for you:
Speaking of skins, there is this antagonist place called Beelzebub’s Keep.
This is the Keep I am talking about:
There are flaps of skins hanging from the domed ceiling. Yes, those skins are from poor souls devoured by Beelzebub and they still sway around gently as they try to wrench free.
Eww. But cool.
Besides, the war scene is epic. I recalled a scene where a Pyromancer conjured the entire mountain of souls to wave their arms, each hand wielding a flaming spear and threw them against the enemy. Ouch! And please, if your imagination isn’t up to date, please do so. It’s amazing! We even have Emperor Yen Wang from the Eastern kingdom (in easier terms, oriental hell god) to bring us some delicious siege beasts called Behemoths, which are enlarged souls from Asian ruthless, evil and savage kings. Here, let me show you:
OK, enough showing off, the review is simple.
GD is a good, condensed and epic memoir of Demons. Their journey to attempt to reach the Above and their rebellion against the Regent of Hell. The plot is straightforward and simple but hefty. Worth it! It’s like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves where you know the plot is short but children love it. I love Sargatanas, especially the bromantic part with his apprentice/servant Eligor, the Flying Guard. I felt sad at the end even though it is a happy ending. Well, no spoilers, go and find the book and read it!
The bad part? No pictures in the book, but you have to look it up on his site. Booooooo. No, I didn’t say I hate novels. I love novels, it’s just that, when you know there are pictures on his site, you would wish he include them together in the book as part of it. It would be COMPLETE. =).
The part where I got my eyes into @@ is, hmm, well, number one: Lilith bends over a bed and she gasps as the movement becomes more urgent. But I see nobody with her. Is she masturbating or there is actually someone effing her from behind whom is not significant enough to be mentioned? Number two: Adramalik, a Demon Chancellor-General, has sex with an Abyssal till its death. Remember that an Abyssal is a creature? How can a Demon sexed an Abyssal till its death? Bestiality? No comment, perhaps I was too horny to interpret it right. Number three, Sargatanas dunks himself into the teary and salty river of Acheron. Why?
All in all, great book, great work, great artist. Even now, I wish I had a figurine of Lilith on my table whenever I see the book cover of GD.
Oh Barlowe, how can you be that good?
Sometimes Demons need some pleasure, like what Adramalik, a Demon, mentioned: "They deserve their entertainment. I use them like a knife [...] and like a knife, they need to be kept sharp edged."
More pictures can be seen from Godsdemon.com or just Google it.