Book of Paul-Richard Long
""Everything you've ever believed about yourself...about the description of reality you've clung to so stubbornly all your life...all of it...every bit of it...is an illusion." In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure "beyond all imagining"-- an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will...and attaining eternal life. When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book's occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul's clutches and Martin's destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul's sinister legacy. Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn't be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe--the Maelstrom."
here's a mini review:
frankly horrifying and revolting but with an utterly gripping plot written in too clear prose
Brilliantly written so I read it but the (admittedly very novel) plot was so horrifying that I can't claim to have enjoyed it. Trigger warnings for gore, torture, senseless death, rape, and mutilation