Cover Image: Shadows of Pnath

Shadows of Pnath

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Member Reviews

I love seeing new titles from the Aconyte Arkham series - because there has yet to be a bad book among them. I'm glad to say that this episode is no different.

I've enjoyed Josh Reynolds' writing for many years, and it only seems to be improving with his horror work. This book is all about atmosphere, but with a fair bit of action as well. I kept thinking 'this would make a great movie!'

I suspect that the similar comparisons will come up in different reviews of this book: notably 'Lara Croft' and 'Indiana Jones.' Because yes, there's an adventuress seeking treasure and encountering danger. Beyond that, though, the tale is its own.

Countess Alessandra Zorzi and her Boston former-cabbie companion Pepper are hunting for an artifact that turns out to be far more than just an ornament. It's mentioned by the Miskatonic University, and strange hooded figures are after it too - clearly the Great Old Ones are involved somehow!

While the heroes are brave and the baddies are rotten, every character in this is entertaining, if not necessarily likeable. The villains are insane or in thrall; everyone is working for someone else, with mysterious societies apparently pulling strings behind the scenes. 


Fun from start to finish, with boat chases, fires and explosions, escapes across rooftops and chases across the globe. 

It really would make an excellent movie!

As with all the other books in this series, it's a stand-alone, but definitely consistent in quality with its supernatural brethren. If you like the Mythos with a good dose of Things HPL Definitely Wouldn't Like (ie strong non-white, non-heteronormative, non-male characters) then go pick this up and enjoy.
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Alessandra Zorzi and Pepper Kelly are back in another fast-paced adventure, this time far from Arkham but not free of eldritch horrors. Zorzi has begun stealing back the various occult objects she acquired for dodgy clients, hoping to bring them somewhere they won't be used. This brings her and Pepper into the orbit of a former client with plans to start a war between humans and occult monsters, a war humans are unlikely to win. Shadows of Pnath brings together characters from the short story collection Adventures in Scarlet with our heroes, expanding the Arkham universe while laying out an excellent adventure story.
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arc very kindly provided by the publishers via netgalley!

This is my first venture into this author and series, and I really enjoyed it!

I think this isn't necessarily as scary as I anticipated, but it actually ended up working in the favor of the story. I would definitely say this is more noir with horror elements. Which was so incredibly interesting to me!

As someone who has not read the other Arkham Horror novels, I can say with certainty you really do not HAVE to read the others in order to enjoy this story.

Zorzi was a strong female main character along with Pepper, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with her as she outsmarts many a men. To me, they are THE definition of a "good for her!" character!

This read like a movie, and could easily picture everything that was going on. I applaud the author for setting up a world and characters that leap so vividly off the page.

Overall, I very much enjoyed my time with this and would recommend if you are looking for something different!
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A review of Shadows of P’nath by Josh Reynolds
cover by Daniel Strange…
First off, thank you to Aconyte Publishing who provided a preview copy of this release for a review. Per Aconyte’s site…
“An expert thief outwits foes old and new to defeat a sinister summoning, in this hair-raising noir-thriller from the bestselling world of Arkham Horror
Notorious thief Countess Alessandra Zorzi has a new vocation: reacquiring the occult artifacts she once stole in order to put them in safer hands at Miskatonic University. With new apprentice Pepper Kelly by her side, Zorzi heads to Paris to find her next target. But the city is rife with spies and the countess has many enemies. When Pepper is kidnapped by an old foe with a grudge, Zorzi’s plans are thrown into chaos. Now she must rescue her apprentice, recover the ancient tome Cultes des Goules, and prevent her former flame (and newfound nemesis) from summoning a ghoulish horror from the depths. Growing a conscience has never caused so many problems…”
Since first reading Josh Reynolds’ “Wrath of N’kai”, the 2020 debut release in Aconyte’s Arkham Horror product line, I have been looking forward to returning to the perspective of the Countess Alessandra Zorzi and her cohort Pepper Kelly. With his pulp adjacent thriller style writer Josh Reynolds always provides an enjoyable story arc of humanity’s exposure to the arcane within Fantasy Flight Games’ Arkham setting. Reynolds has returned each year to provide a new take on the setting. With “The Hounds”, part of 2021’s collection “The Devourer Below”, he gave readers the first detailed look into life with Phillip “Wolfman” Drew, who features in the LCG’s core box, while 2022’s “The Red and the Black”, part of the “Secrets in Scarlet” collection expanded upon Trish Scarborough’s entry in 2017’s “The Investigators of Arkham Horror” release. With this week’s release of “Lair of P’nath” Mr. Reynolds uses the opportunity to build upon his prior work in the setting to deliver a continent spanning thriller about relationships in the greater world that Arkham Massachusetts inhabits.
 	“Lair of P’nath” picks up a year after the events of “Wrath of N’kai” and, as stated in the marketing blurb, we find Countess Zorzi and Pepper tracking down occult objects that Zorzi had previously acquired for her clients. After her time in Arkham the Countess has had a change of heart and seeks to make sure objects of power are kept safe moving forward. To do this she has tasked herself with removing items from collections that she had a hand in providing in the past. As Zorzi and Pepper reestablish themselves in the setting the story quickly advances as threads from the first novel are called upon and the two leading ladies find themselves separated from each other.
 	The split story the readers are then presented with allows for the characters to interact with both new and returning associates. Trish Scarborough, picking up shortly after where “The Red and the Black” left off, joins the Countess in the hunt for the macguffin allowing for several interesting beats between the perspective of the government spy and Zorzi the intercontinental thief. Those that enjoyed Chauncey Swann’s interactions with his fellow acquisitionist in “Wrath of N’kai” should be excited for his additions to this much large story too. It is clear that Mr. Reynold’s enjoyed his exposure to the secret societies of Arkham from his work in “The Scarlet Keys” as the actions of those societies play a significant role in this story. Our antagonist is the awesome Henri-Georges Balfour, the Comte d’Erlette. Readers learned in “Wrath of N’kai” that the Comte d’Erlette was someone who had ill will towards Countess Alessandra Zorzi and in this sequel Mr. Reynolds gives space, to great effect, for the Comte to develop and readers to understand his hatred for Zorzi. Readers learn the details of Henri’s life, how he got to this point and why he has chosen the path ahead. This gave me the benefit of understanding just how broken the Comte had become when this story reached its violent conclusion. When it comes time for me to give this book a second read it will be to revel in the lunacy of Henri-Georges Balfour, the Comte d’Erlette. Mr. Reynolds’ use of his character’s interactions to expand the world and provide narrative background on the actions taking place is really well done. The context he provides to ghoul society is of particular note in my opinion as it will have an impact on how I see ghouls develop in the immersive game play of my plays of the FFG game line going forward. 
“Shadows of P’nath” surpassed my expectations as a sequel to my first exposure to Aconyte. The story arc allows readers to see just how much both the Countess and Pepper have been changed by their initial experiences with the Mythos while also driving forward additional development as they handle their new ordeal. As excited as I was for “Shadows of P’nath” I find myself even more excited for a potential 3rd novel from Mr. Reynolds after enjoying this release.
I hope you enjoyed this look at “Shadows of P’nath”. If you would like more updates about the history of Arkham, its residents, and the events tied to the area please check out @arkhamhistorian on Twitter and bookmark this site for future updates. If you have any questions or wish to request specific content, please use this contact form. 
Best regards
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Alessandra Zorzi is a countess, adventuress, and thief. Even if she’s trying to leave her “job” behind her, she finds herself contacted by three different people looking for the same relic, one that she’s stolen before. With threats to her life and her trainee's life as motivation, she attempts to track down the item with the enemies she’s made during her career. 
I really enjoyed the characters. Their personalities, backgrounds throughout the entire cast is so fascinating. I enjoyed how action packed this work was without feeling overwhelming. The author did a fantastic job at weaving a spectacular book like this and I loved the monsters in  this book.

If are looking for some easy and entertaining reading, check this out!
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This book is a fun adventure set in the world created by H. P. Lovecraft. It would be most enjoyable for those who are somewhat familiar with the works of Lovecraft or the game Arkham Horror, as they provide good background information to many of the organizations mentioned, the entities discussed, and the world itself. It could probably still be enjoyable if you go in knowing nothing about these things, but I don’t necessarily recommend that.

I quite enjoyed the characters. There was a great range of personality, background, and depth throughout the entire cast. As this isn’t the first book in this series, there wasn’t much active character growth/development for the protagonist within this book, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the read. I enjoyed how action packed this work was without feeling overwhelming. The author did a fantastic job at weaving elements of Lovecraft’s original writings into this work without feeling clunky or forced, and I loved the lore surrounding the main "monsters" of this book.

If you like the world of Lovecraft, atmospheric noir reads, or are looking for some easy and entertaining reading, check out this series! You can read this book as a standalone without losing any enjoyment, though this work did reference events that occurred earlier in the series.
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Another great addition to the Arkham Horror novels. I have never played Arkham Horror but I buy every novel that comes out and am never disappointed. This is exactly what I expected and loved every step of it. I’m awaiting my physical preorder to arrive to add to my physical collection.
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Shadows of Pnath is a spiritual sequel to Reynolds' prior Arkham Horror novel Wrath of N'Kai. While neither of these characters are directly in the Arkham Files board game series yet the inclusion of Trish Scarborough helps nail down fans of the game and gets them invested in the characters they might not yet know if they haven't read Wrath of N'Kai. 

Countess Alessandra Zorzi, with her new apprentice Pepper Kelly, is tasked with recovering an occult tome that she previously stole. A book that she stole from Compte d'Erlette, Henri-Georges Balfour. In exchange for the kidnapped Pepper, Alessandra is tasked to retrieve the "Cultes des Goules" tome which was written by the Compte's ancestor. Suddenly everyone is interested in this book and keeping it out of Henri's hands. But Alessandra needs it to save Pepper.

Shadows of Pnath was a different animal from the rest of the Arkham Horror novels that I've read. While all of the books have the eldritch horror vibe I love that they bounce around in genre. Shadows of Pnath is an adventure heist and was pretty fun to read. It did drag a tiny bit around the 60% mark but nothing really felt entirely unnecessary. I hope to read more books with these characters in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aconyte Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I’m new to the Arkham Horror universe/games and I had no expectations when I started reading Shadows of Pnath. The book didn’t take itself too seriously—think Bond villain, hordes of smokers and cheesy dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, the book was a noir story, but it was also cliché and very reminiscent of Indiana Jones. I don’t think Shadows of Pnath is intended for a broad audience and is probably a good read for fans of 1920s, stand-offs, and heists. Albeit a bit slow, I still enjoyed reading the story.
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I'm afraid I had to DNF halfway through... I was so excited to read this as I love the Arkham universe and this story wasn't terrible (if terribly cliche lol) but the formatting makes this impossible to read. For three months I have tried again and again to go back to this but it is, essentially, a giant wall of text because the line spacing and indentation are too subtle. Literally the only breaks are the chapter breaks! I'm unsure if this is also an issue in the print version but I am likely to try it out, if it goes on sale - this issue IS present in the ebook, however, and no amount of fiddling with the settings my ebook apps (Kindle and NetGalley Shelf) helped to fix it. 

But I would still like to comment on what I did manage to read - a fun, pulpy tale of adventure where the femme fatales are the main characters. My only issue with the content is that Reynolds leans far too hard into cliche era-speak, idioms, and metaphors. I did occasionally cringe because of it, but in the end it really leant to that pulpy feeling and I think it's intentional, given the setting and story. 

I'm sad I wasn't able to finish it...
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I was given a copy to review via Netgalley and Aconyte Books. My reviews are always honest and all opinions are my own. #ShadowOfPnath #ArkhamHorror #JoshReynolds #Netgalley #AconyteBooks   #BookReview
The Wrath of N’kai by Josh Reynolds was the first book by Aconyte I read and I am so glad I did. When I learnt that Reynolds was back writing for Arkham Horror but more importantly my favourite expert thief, Alessandra Zorzi was back I was more than I little excited. Thankfully Shadows of Pnath did not disappoint.
We see Zorzi return with a new vocation, securing occult artifacts she had once stolen to put in the safer hands of the Miskatonic University. With her new apprentice Pepper Kelly (another reason I adored this book), Zorzi is on the trail of the Zanthu Tablets which leads her to Paris. The task is not an easy one made more difficult when Pepper is kidnapped by an old enemy of which the countess has many. In a race against time Zorzi must rescue her apprentice, find and secure the tablets and stop an old enemy from summoning an army of vengeful ghouls from the depths of the catacombs. But if anyone is up to the task it is Zorzi.
I was overjoyed to have Alessandra and Pepper back on the page again. This dynamic duo make for such a fun noir-esque read. Add into this the horrors that only Arkham can provide and you have a rip-roaring thriller that will keep you hooked. Reynolds is brilliant at combining the historical setting and melding it with the occult horror you come to expect from the Arkham Horror games. It was a joy to see Alessandra taking Pepper under her wing and Pepper coming more into her own as a character from the previous novel. The relationship between the pair also added to the story by giving a feeling of tension of if Alessandra would be able to rescue her apprentice and friend in time.
The novel is well paced and while it is not exactly hard to see some twists coming it fits the pulpy noir genre perfectly. I also enjoyed the more sinister aspects of the horror in this one. It is more true to the genre and Lovecraftian horror than the general horror tropes. I certainly wasn’t expecting to end up liking a ghoul for example but here we are.
I loved reading this one and hope we get more adventures of Zorzi and Pepper in the future. I’d definitely read them!
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Wow amazingly well written, loved the writing style. Loved the setting, period and characters. Really enjoyed it so I’ve now purchased the other book in the series to read Wrath of N'kai.

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This is what fun fantasy is all about. If like me you like books with the style and humorous vibe of Raiders of the the Lost ARC and The Mummy then you’ll enjoy this as much as I did. Contessa Alessandra  Zorzi, thief extraordinaire in both her skills and the things she steals, is trying to keep herself and her friend/protégé safe from Eldritch horrors. Thank you to Aconyte Books and NetGalley for the ARC. The views expressed are all mine, freely given.

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This review was originally published on I was given an ebook freely by NetGalley and the book’s publisher in return for a voluntary and honest review. 

Shadows of Pnath: An Arkham Horror Novel
By Joshua Reynolds

I had fun reading this book. It blends pulp and horror in a great yarn. It’s definitely book 2 in a loose trilogy. Joshua Reynolds does a wonderful job of mentioning events from the previous book so you as the reader aren't lost. 

Reynolds has three strong women playing the major roles in the book which is always refreshing when most of the time the women in pulp need to be rescued. 

The characters had some depth but not as much as I prefer and the plot was easy enough to see coming with several obviously stupid decisions. That said it’s pulp horror and not Updike so you ignore the wrinkles and enjoy the journey. I loved the scenery of Europe for the story and wasn’t disappointed in the monsters or creepy crypt. 

I will be reading the first book and hopefully the third. I give it a strong recommendation for fans of the genre.
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Review 📖🖋️
Shadows of Pnath by Josh Reynolds is one of the latest novels to come off the Arkham Horror conveyor belt.
Adventuress Countess Alessandra Zorzi has a new vocation, reacquiring the occult artifacts she stole to put into the safer hands of Miskatonic University. With her new apprentice, Pepper Kelly, Zorzi tracks the infamous Zanthu Tablets to Paris. But the city is rife with spies, and the countess has many enemies. 
When Pepper gets kidnapped, it becomes clear that someone is out for revenge. Alessandra was never going to it lying down. (Well, she might, but what she does in her private life is her own business.) When Peppers captor says she will suffer a fate worse than death, you have to take that under serious consideration: This is Arkham, after all.
So, Alessandra must rescue her apprentice, find the tablets, and prevent an old enemy from summoning an army of vengeful ghouls from the depths of the catacombs. Stealing relics is a lot harder the second time around.
Shadows of Pnath by Josh Reynolds is not the first book to feature Countess Alessandra Zorzi, the international adventurer and thief. She first appears in an earlier Arkham Horror novel, Wrath of N'kai. A pretty decent book in itself and well worth a read.
Alessandra is a strong independent woman with an attitude. But she carries with her that calm exterior and elegant manner that tends to put the male of the species at a slight disadvantage. She doesn't tend to be manipulative as much as she ought, considering the power she possesses at her fingertips.
I enjoy the humour tossed around within the pages, whether meant or otherwise. Alessandra and Pepper have a rapport that lent itself to clever banter between the pair. Alessandra's snarky attitude was evident throughout the narrative, and Pepper wasn't averse to using the odd snide remark. This pair made for a worthy double act and no mistake.
The author has the characters nailed down to a tee. Alessandra, Pepper, Trish and even the miscreant Bera are perfect. A pure joy to read of their exploits. Having Trish in the equation was a joy. I enjoyed her no-nonsense philosophy and die-hard mindset. Probably prospectives shared with Alessandra, and that's why they get on, sometimes.
Shadows of Pnath is another cracking and adventurous read. And although not what I would call horror in the true sense of the word, it is still creepy and sinister, with plenty of tension and suspense.
I would suggest reading Wrath of N'kai, but Shadows of Pnath works very well as a stand-alone novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it without question.
Thank you, NetGalley and Aconyte Books, for the advanced copy.
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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Aconyte Books for an advanced copy of this book of horror and excitement set in France during the 1920's.

Thought the Old Gods seem to enjoy the comforts for New England, spending most of their time haunting the environs of Arkham, Massachusetts, evil is international, their reach infinite crossing the globe, other worlds, other times and even the land of dreams. The city of lights, grown dimmer as Paris, France becomes the latest front in the war against those from beyond, when a human takes the lessons learned in World War One could lead to dominion over those that feast on the dead, and their eldritch masters. Shadows of Pnath: An Arkham Horror Novel, by Josh Reynolds moves the adventures of stalwart heroes against the darkness to Europe, mixing familiar characters, new sects and organizations, and lots and lots of evil.

Countess Alessandra Zorzi has a new mission, a new companion, a new locale, but a lot of old enemies. Zorzi, was, well still is the best acquirer of magical artifacts, though now she does it for Miskatonic University to atone for her early thieving ways. An old enemy sets a trap for Zorzi in Paris, trapping not the the thief but her new companion and trainee Pepper Kelly. Zorzi is made a deal, find a book that Zorzi once stole from him, along with his heat, not literally but I should make that clear since this is Arkham, and bring it back to him in three days or Ms. Kelly will suffer a fate worse than death. Soon Zorzi is making new friends, joining with semi-acquaintances, in pursuit of a book that has more than one group eager to possess it. For in the shadows, creatures are stalking the Countess, creatures that feed on the dead, and will not be stopped.

Another fantastic entry in a series I look very forward to, by an author who has traveled up my list of favorite writers in quite a few different series. Reynolds has a real gift in making topical references that fit the ear, can mix humor, action, quips, and disgusting imagery, sometimes in the same sentence, and do it well. The characters are all well sketched, good, bad, or just minor. An antiquarian bookseller is given more of a backstory in his two chapter appearance, than most major characters get in 700 pages. Reynolds knows his Lovecraft and his Cthulu lore, dropping names, places and storylines from other works to fill things out in his story, and to add to the unease of the story. The plot is good, moves well, with lots of icky, lots of thrills and lots of fun. The pulp sensibility in this whole series is quite enjoyable, and I really look forward to these books.

Recommended for those that play the game these books are based on without a doubt. Also for fans of Cthulu, horror, and people who just want good stories that are fast paced and well written. I really enjoy the works of Josh Reynolds, and can't wait to read more.
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I found myself really enjoying this book when reading it. It made me want to read other books like this. I’ve already recommended it to 3 people.
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Shadows of Pnath is an adventure full of horror. Adventuress Countess Alessandra Zorzi is a master thief, a compelling mix of Catwoman and the Tomb Raider. There is not an artifact she cannot nab but a past theft has her in hot water. An ex beau and a mark steals Alessandra's sidekick Pepper and demands the book back she stole in exchange. The Countess embarks on a mission that will leave her torn between opposing forces as shady government agents and real monsters sneak out of the woodwork trying to lay hands on a life altering book. Horror and adventure combine in a tale that embraces the supernatural. for a page turning, pulse pounding read. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
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a fantastic story from start to finish, I can't recommend this enough. the combination of supernatural horror in the roaring 20s was a combination I had never seen before and one I wanted to see again.
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Yet another worthy addition to Josh Reynolds's ever-growing bibliography, this was my first time reading one of his Arkham Horror books(which is odd because I'm a huge Lovecraft fan), I had read the vast majority of his other titles, and I found the characters pretty engaging with me wanting to know more about the Countess and the various factions on display in the novel. I especially liked his characterization of ghouls within the book. It left me wanting to pick up his other Arkham books to see some more about these already-established characters, I thought it was pretty cool the reference to the black chamber. Also very intrigued to see where that storyline is going with Pepper, I found her quite amusing, and I loved the use of bygone colloquialisms. Interested to see things come to a head between the various occult factions on display.All in all a really fun book!
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