Gore, Volume 1

Dark Medieval YA Fantasy Novel

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
85 Pages
Reviewed on 05/23/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Gore is penned by author Kane Szoke in the dark fantasy, dystopia, and adventure genres, and is the opening volume in a new series. The novel is intended for the young adult reading audience but can equally be enjoyed by adult readers. Set in a dystopian world plagued by malevolent forces, we meet Gore, a fierce warrior with exceptional fighting skills and a tragic past. Gore confronts the demonic entity Goredus and his army of minions to protect his loved ones and uncover the truth. Armed with only his mighty spirit and trusty black mace, Gore faces daunting challenges as he navigates a landscape filled with danger and deception.

Author Kane Szoke crafts an immersive journey into a treacherous new world. The intricate world-building is well-paced to deliver a slow build-up of ideas in this brave new world, and young adult audiences will enjoy the gradual introduction of different fantasy concepts that bring the dystopian setting to life. We find ourselves enveloped by its eerie atmosphere with some superb attention to detail in the cinematic descriptive language, and some visceral moments of action and terror. The character of Gore, with his complex backstory and unwavering determination, is confidently narrated with strong speech and thought presentation to allow readers to connect with him. The fast-paced narrative also kept me on the edge of my seat, eager to discover the secrets in between each chilling demonic encounter and heart-pounding battle. The novel delivered a thrilling and suspenseful reading experience from cover to cover and I couldn’t help but want more of it. Overall, Gore is a captivating introduction to a series that promises to enthrall readers with its dark and gritty fantasy elements, and I’d certainly recommend it.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Gore, Volume 1 is the first story in a fantasy series by Kane Szoke. Considered a Rage of Morgar, Gore is sidetracked from looking for a girl by a nemesis he thought he'd extinguished. Goredus, a powerful demon, draws Gore into his realm and tortures him with voices of guilt for months. After Gore passes Goredus's test, Goredus gives him a choice to see Frey, a woman Gore loves, or save Morgar. Gore chooses Frey, and Goredus sends him back to Morgar with instructions to eliminate two of his demon brothers. Through a talisman, Goredus can connect with Gore. When Gore returns, he realizes that the Blighted and Mordis the Soul Smith are formidable foes. Gore must try to defeat them, even if it means drawing power from an unfortunate source.

Kane Szoke shows what it would be like to fight demons and know about their presence. Szoke builds Gore's character through flashbacks, and his humanity is revealed slowly. The most painful moments of his life are remembered alongside the losses he endured as he moves through psychological and physical warfare until they are as common as breathing. Gore's internal struggle is the focus of this work, and it lays the groundwork for a successful series. Szoke describes the scenes with brutal details, giving a twofold meaning to the title. The veil between humanity and the supernatural is lifted as readers fall into the plot of this engrossing story. Readers who enjoy young adult fantasy with dark themes will love Gore, Volume 1.

Pikasho Deka

Gore: Volume 1 is an action-packed dark fantasy novella by Kane Szoke. Set in a brutal medieval world, the story follows Gore, a warrior beset by tragedy and bloodshed who seeks atonement for his sins. Born in a torrent of his mother's blood, Gore is a tormented soul, further scarred by the death of his younger sister at the hands of a monstrous demon. Working under the command of his company leader from the Rage of Morgar, Rosh, Gore searches for Frey, a woman he loves who has fallen in the clutches of Goredus, a mass-murdering, sadistic demon. Gore had previously killed Goredus, but he has somehow managed to revive again, and now, he wants Gore to take out his brother Mordis and his army of abominations. Meanwhile, Goredus continues to grow powerful even after death.

If you're a fan of Japanese manga or graphic novels, this short yet riveting novella will be right up your alley. Gore: Volume 1 is a stellar first installment of what promises to be a captivating dark fantasy saga. From the very first page, the reader is dropped into this brutally grim and twisted world featuring demons, fiends, noble warriors with bloodlust, and many other types of monsters. Kane Szoke's worldbuilding is truly remarkable. As a reader, you can't help but feel immersed in the setting. The story is relentlessly bleak, darker than the likes of manga such as Attack on Titan, and closer to something like Berserk. The action scenes are vivid and remain etched in your mind even after you've finished reading. I love dark fantasy tales and felt right at home with this one. Recommended to readers who don't shy away from R-rated antihero stories.