Stygian

  • by Santino Hassell
  • Narrated by Geoffrey Alan
  • 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

DNF - Terrible Narration

I usually love this author's work. The content is an interesting departure for him, a Southern Gothic. However, I am unable to pass judgement on the writing as the audiobook is so poor. So I gave it 3 out 5. The reading is completely alienating and prevents the listener from engaging with the text. Although part of me wanted to get through it just to see how it ended, I gave up about 3 hours in.

The book is not actually narrated, but rather read, and not even read fluently. Despite the fact that the main characters are Texan and the setting is Louisiana, and that their voices and accent are mentioned in the text, there is virtually no attempt to differentiate between them. It is often difficult to discern which character is speaking during dialogue and I was confused for at least the first half about how many characters there were in the band and what their names were.

Aside from the failure to provide distinct voices to the characters, the narrative also provides little evidence of reading comprehension. Listening to it is not like being immersed in a story but more like listening to learners reading in a stilted fashion as they try to decipher the words. Reading on quickly and without pause when able, then stumbling over a few words. There is hardly any attempt to provide emphasis to words in sentences, let alone any conveyance of tone.

The 'narration' is no better than a text to speech program. It's a shame that we lost the opportunity to hear this book read competently. Hopefully it will one day be re-recorded with a different narrator.
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- Ben

Creepy and frightening with sexy edge

What did you love best about Stygian?

The flow of the story. Each piece of the puzzle is put in place at the exact, right moment and it left me on the edge of my seat throughout.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Stygian?

When Jeremy finally put all the ill fitting pieces together and figured out a key thing in the story. As I said above, this is a very creepy book. I mean, you know something is amiss pretty much from the start and as more secrets are revealed and more questionable things start to happen you're just drawn further into the web the Author has woven.


Have you listened to any of Geoffrey Alan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, this was my first from him and I quite liked it. Definitely be on the lookout for more from this narrator.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Oh yeah, when Kennedy finally opens up to Jeremy. Kennedy keeping his feelings buried is partly why Jeremy finds himself in.... danger. But then it takes Kennedy being honest for Jeremy to open his eyes and see the danger for what it truly is.


Any additional comments?

Stygian is an up and coming Indie Rock band that recently lost their drummer in a car accident. When Jeremy showed up to audition the guys hired him on for a few reasons. Not only was he a good drummer, he was the first one their ill tempered lead singer Watts could say anything nice about, and he just happens to be the littler brother of someone else that was close to Watts that died way too young. To stir things up and try to get the group to merge, Watts rents a run down, broken and mysteriously creepy plantation in Louisiana for the summer. Bad tempers, drugs, alcohol and a couple of landlords that redefine the term hovering all work against the group to ensure that they continue to disagree. In fact, the arguments and fights reach an all time high pretty much the minute they step foot on the tainted soil of the rental.

I was intrigued with this story from the start, perhaps because I'm from the deep south, but the way the book opened with Jeremy and Kennedy dragging everything out of the van, the stifling heat and the fact that the plantation home did not have air conditioning. It all rang very familiar to me, so I could kind of picture the four guys from the beginning. Watts is the ill tempered lead singer of the band. His favorite things in life are bitching, yelling, moaning, complaining and snorting coke up his nose every hour on the hour. Quince is the resident door mat, meaning that he willingly allows Watts to use and abuse him, in more ways than twenty. Kennedy is the enigmatic guitarist. He is very mellow and laid back for the majority of the story. And then there is Jeremy, the newest member of the band. Jeremy only wants three things in life. To play the drums, to have Kennedy return the love he feels for him, and to belong. So it is quite easy for the Caroway's to play off of Jeremy and Quince's insecurities and willingness to belong.

As the story progresses, more and more secrets are revealed, and they are all perfectly timed and placed to keep the flow steady and engrossing. While there were a few things I figured out early on, there were still some surprises. Hassell definitely left himself open to write another book for Stygian, especially fans of the Jeremy/Kennedy romance saga. I will admit, I wanted to choke Kennedy a couple times, but he finally pulled his head out of his ass by the end. There is mystery, suspense and out right terror involved as well as a few steamy encounters here and there. If you like scary stories with a paranormal type of edge, then I think you'll really enjoy this one. It is one of my top reads of 2015!

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- Tams (TTC Books and more) "Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-30-2016
  • Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC