Stygian by Santino Hassell ~ Book Review by Beverley

StygianFSTitle: Stygian

Author: Santino Hassell

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Damonza

Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 10/26/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Paranormal


Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music, but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroways’ secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

My View:

I really liked this novel by Santino Hassell – I’ve rated it 4.25*, a very good rating from me. However, I would like to add this book to my personal book club – for discussion.

The beginning scene setting of the book is excellent. I felt the heat and sweat, could easily imagine the long moss that drapes from trees in Louisiana, and the antebellum mansion in all it’s fading splendour. The characters were fascinating, Watts the obnoxious, loud, rich boy, the lead singer, hiding from his pain with drugs and sex; Quince the good looking, wholesome american  – gentle and good humoured, seemingly unaffected by his past in social care; Kennedy the strength in the band, quiet, broody, loyal, keeping his pain and emotions under wraps, but needing the band. Into this walks Jeremy, the weird emo kid desperately looking to belong. Jeremy who still bears the fragility of someone recovering from mental breakdown and ill treatment, scared of his own mind…

You can tell by how much I have written about these characters that they are beautifully drawn by Santino Hassell…The characters and their back-stories are quite simply wonderful. I would have followed their story – of gripping sexual tension, guilt, loyalty, pain, and the search for love – through a series very happily. They are the story to me.

The owners of the mansion The Carroways, and their place in this story, are not necessary for me. The story is the band Stygian. This writer has a gripping, raw style. Well suited to the excellent Sutphin Boulevard, and I cannot wait for the next in that series.

There is a shivery delight in reading raw New York style writing in a novel set in Louisiana, about a band from Houston, Texas. This is a book to discuss, to cogitate over whilst revelling in your favourite passages – I loved the spine tingling paranormal sections, concerning Jeremy and the Black Family – I just didn’t need the Carroway element.

A special mention must go to that cover! If there are any ‘Best Cover’ polls coming up for 2015…this has my vote – hands down the best cover of this year.



Stygian on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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