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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Book review: Inkarna

Tonight Nerine Dorman launches her novel Inkarna at the Book Lounge. Nerine is the mastermind behind the Bloody Parchment horror anthology, coming to you soon from eKhaya, and is the author of several titles of horror and erotic fiction. (See her Goodreads profile to check them out)

Before I get into the review, I’d like to say a few things about Nerine. I’ve known her for years. Well, I’ve known of her for years. She was always this larger than life figure that existed on the fringe of my wearing too much eyeliner and patent leather boots days, who everyone admired, and who was very much accepted as the writer among the alternative community which I had only just joined. Friends of mine even had a massive portrait of Nerine painted by her husband in their lounge that cemented the idea in my mind.

Of course, I was far too shy to ever admit that I was a budding writer myself. I kept the publication of my first book a secret, because well, I didn’t want to seem to be competing with this person I had never met, and secondly, none of it was real to me yet.

I met Nerine years later at an Adamastor Writer’s Guild Meeting which she facilitated herself. I remember reading some of the youth novel she was writing and really enjoying it. Then I ran into her at the Cape Town Book Fair, then again when she organised the Horrorfest Lounge of Horror event. Since then we’ve grown close, and I’ve sent Nerine some of my own writing to beta read. I’m glad our journeys have finally converged.

Inkarna is just one of many novels but it’s also a result of many years of hard work and perseverance. It can only go up from here. Nerine is already hard at work on the sequel, which I’m sure is going to do brilliantly.

So I’d like to wish Nerine good luck with her launch tonight. Wishing you all the success you deserve, and a million celebratory bubbles to christen this book’s voyage into the world.

Now for the review.

Inkarna is a modern horror that tackles Egyptian mythology and what happens when reincarnation goes wrong.

Elizabeth Rae Perry is a member of an ancient Egyptian cult who is about to die. She expects to reincarnate into the body of a three-year-old girl, but instead wakes up to a world she doesn’t recognise in the body of unscrupulous goth boy Ashton Kennedy who has more enemies than friends.

What I really liked about this book was the concept of a prim and proper elderly woman reincarnated into the body of a very, very bad man. Lizzy Perry’s attempts to come across as a confident young man are hilarious, especially when it comes to her interactions with Ash’s devoted girlfriend, but it was also extremely frightening because as a reader I couldn’t help but see myself in that situation, and to be honest, I have no idea what I would do. It was masterfully done.

Nerine’s knowledge of ancient Egyptian mythology was evident, and it worked well against the modern South African setting. Lizzy’s misadventures in a Cape Town she doesn’t recognise or understand is something many of us can identify with.

Poor Lizzy has to deal with a rival cult out to destroy her, a vengeful ghost, and a string of damaged people left in Ash’s wake. It’s an exciting ride that will leave you feeling the effects for days after.

Buy your copy of Inkarna here.

See Nerine’s article on electronic publishing here.


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