It is the story of one young man's struggle for faith in a culture of corruption, his descent into despair and violence and his redemption within the tenets of a secret society that was created in the dungeons of "Castel St Angelo" (Rome, Italy) seven hundred years ago.
It is the story of a serial killer, of a tortured psycho-killer and of a striver after truth who is inducted into an ancient order to become one of the legendary Mortal Archangels.
A Catholic parish in present-day California is plagued by a serial killer who disguises himself as the Pope and slays pedophile priests. Is he a homicidal maniac or is he actually fulfilling the Ascension Protocols of an ancient organization of the faithful? The answer lies in Gill Stillwell’s story, the San Simone parish file clerk who dons the Papal garb and rubber mask and rains vengeance down on the corrupt clergy.
It is a story that is also told through the violent and parallel struggle of a young boy in 1400 Rome who began the ancient Order of Octavius to battle corruption. These two stories collide in present-day San Simone with the arrival of the mysterious Father Argus, an envoy from the Vatican. But is Father Argus trying to stop Gil or recruit him? The ultimate answer is only revealed in the aftermath of the Pope's final bloody telekinetic assault, a supernatural blood bath that leaves a trail of guilty bodies in its wake.
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Average rating from 5 members
I've enjoyed movies by Brian Yuzna, so couldn't wait to read his novel. This was a fast paced book, with characters that I enjoyed. It read a bit like a movie. Can't wait for more from Brian Yuzna. #ThePope #NetGalley
A fast, fun and gripping read. Once I started I literally couldn’t put it down and ended up reading it in one day. The story is inventive and unexpected, combining elements of horror, religious history, police procedural, secret sects, and more. It’s obvious that it’s written by someone who has had a lot of experience with storytelling and the horror genre. Deftly written.
While the name Brian Yuzna will be familiar with genre fans for films such as Society and classics from the Stuart Gordon back catalogue, he is venturing into new territory with The Pope. He has tackled the slasher sub-genre before with The Dentist films, The Pope is slightly more rich in its sub-text. We follow the residents of a California Catholic parish that is being terrorised by a killer dressed as the Pope plus a mask covering their face. The violence and the killings are brutal here but Yuzna does attempt to ground matters and focuses on a small number of people all caught in the midst of this rampage. He does make some interesting choices in terms of revelations about the killings and their purpose fairly early on, but this only helps enrich the story as we hurtle towards an action-packed finale. The Pope is also a brisk read and like all great horror reads it will have you up later than you should be to see what happens next. Brian Yuzna may be known for his special effects and directing but he could certainly gain a new following if he continues producing quality literary work like The Pope.