Greetings Fellow book nerds. I’ve had the recent pleasure of reading a book given to me by a friend who thought I would enjoy this book, and I am happy to say yup…I did! We are instantly thrown into a dark and poetic world where death is not the ending most would think it to be. There is an injustice that has been done and unlike where most people go on and leave all of our issues behind…(at least that’s what they tell me, seeing as I haven’t taken that eternal nap yet I can’t confirm this) but for the sake of this world death is usually the end, but sometimes something happens and the natural order says “Let’s make an exception in this case, no?” Jared Poe, yes that’s his name… is dead he was waiting on death row for his life to end by the State of Louisiana only that too was changed he is…was a controversial S&M photographer and not only was he condemned to die but to die for the killing of his lover. This is not at all a happy book readers. In fact this story is so gritty and so darkly poetic you will find yourself smelling the stink of human decay and will find no light casting shadows only darkness. The beginning is so descriptive and just plain… well inky black it definitely reminds me of the Movie The Crow from my childhood see also Sin City, The Shadow, and the dark world of Gotham in Batman Beyond to get a good idea for the festering hopelessness these people and their home feels if you’ve not seen the Crow. Or, go watch The Crow. The three who suffer the most it would seem are of course Jared Poe, his lover Benny and his twin Sister Lucrece each are part of this horror and the crow can really only help one of them… or can it? As I was reading I realize this book takes place in a time when the Gay and Transgender community was still very much bullied especially in more Southern Western states (they still are), but I kept having to ask myself.. what the hell is wrong with people? Especially since these are Supposed to be New Orleans finest…very disturbing readers, very disturbing. A few characters felt like red shirts from Star Trek they were easily throw away and lent no emotional contribution even the ones with names… You become quite attached to the World of the Lazarus Heart, but for the characters you mostly attach yourself to their pasts and even those are barely revealed. The present day characters are hard to get to know to understand and really build any relationship with even the master Killer of this book is so hard to get a fix on…the characters are just emotionally distanced from us it seems. Not saying their bad just that there’s a very particular way Poppy Z. Brite writes her characters as if they are stand alone in her world and so we as the readers can’t even touch them and we know all the secrets they all have. The ending was quite the finale but lacked something as after everything that happens it just well has to end doesn’t it? Even when the natural order of things is bent I guess in the end things must come to an end. I very much fell into Brite’s writing she creates some amazing scenery but again it almost overwhelms here characters. Still, I enjoyed this story and think I would like to visit Poppy’s world again.