Book Review: The Friendship of Mortals by Audrey Driscoll

Next up in the awesome self-published authors series, I present to you my review of Audrey Driscoll’s The Friendship of Mortals. By the way, this book is currently FREE on Smashwords, so if it sounds intriguing, give ‘er the old download!

The Bookfriendshipofmortals

The Friendship of Mortals

The Genre

Literary Fiction / Sci-fi / Fantasy

The Author

Audrey Driscoll – a librarian and cataloguer, gardener and writer. She discovered the writings of H.P. Lovecraft many years ago, and after reading his story “Herbert West, Reanimator”, she began to wonder about Herbert – what motivated him to reanimate corpses? And thus the Herbert West trilogy began!

The Plot

Herbert West can revivify the dead – after a fashion. He persuades Miskatonic University librarian and aspiring alchemist Charles Milburn to help him, but risks their friendship for the sake of his experiments. When West prepares to cross the ultimate border, only Charles can save his life – if his conscience lets him.

The Review

The cover of this book does not do the story justice. This was one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking stories I have ever read. It’s told from the perspective of mild-mannered archivist Charles Millburn, but the real story revolves around the incredibly fascinating, mysterious Herbert West and his necromantic attempts. I absolutely loved this setup – Herbert West’s story became so much more intriguing when viewed through the eyes of another. This is definitely what the author intended when she wrote this gorgeous piece of literature, and I feel she pulled it off beautifully.

Herbert West alarmed, enchanted, and terrified me all at once. He is ruthless in his ambitions, confident that he will not be discovered, and willing to do whatever it takes to get his way. He should have been the villain of the piece but, perhaps because the story is told through his loyal follower Charles Millburn, I was instead sympathetic for him, and wanted him to succeed despite the fact that what he was doing was morally questionable at best.

The only complaint I can really make is that I felt the story dragged in places. The first half of the story was absolutely gripping, but once the characters separate and go their own ways for a bit, I wasn’t quite as enthralled – although once they get back together, the story picks up pace again.

Overall, a gripping and fascinating insight into a brilliant and disturbed mind (Herbert West, not the author!). I would definitely recommend this to any fan of H.P. Lovecraft, fans of sci-fi/fantasy, and anyone who just enjoys excellently written literature.

The Rating

5 out of 5 stars

Click here to visit Audrey Driscoll’s blog.

Click here to check out the book (currently free to download!)

Unrelated video of the day:

Thor 2: The Dark World trailer came out today! Words cannot convey my excitement for this movie.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “Book Review: The Friendship of Mortals by Audrey Driscoll

  1. Gwen

    Sounds cool! Great review.

    • Thanks 🙂 It was a really awesome book, not going to lie. I had literally no idea what to expect when I went in, and … blew me away. Just a fantastic story!


    My goodness me. *fans self*

    Also, great book review. But mainly I’m here for the god.

  3. I’m confused on one thing. Thor said that he told her he’d be back. Wouldn’t she already know he found a way back because of ‘The Avengers’? I’d think she’d be angry that he didn’t send her a message or visit before going home.

    • Oh, definitely she’d be angry. I’m sure that’s how their reunion’s going to go, too — Thor: “Hey Jane. I’m back.” Jane: “You jerkface. I saw you on TV. Why didn’t you come see me?” Thor: “But I arranged for SHIELD to protect you! And I was busy with my crazy brother at the time!” Jane: “Blah blah blah. Save it for some other girl.”

      • And then Hulk shows up to sucker-punch him again. They should do that to Thor in every movie, even the ones he isn’t in.

        • So in the Captain America movie, there should be Thor just wandering around in the background of one scene, and then Hulk rolls in, sucker-punches him, and they both roll out without any else in the scene noticing them? YES.

          • Exactly. I’m sure Chris Hemsworth wouldn’t mind the extra attention and pay. 🙂

            • So Chris Hemsworth and the Hulk would become the new Stan Lee — every Marvel movie from now on must have a Stan Lee cameo, and Hulk sucker-punching Thor. I could get behind that 😀

              • At least until Joss Whedon possibly kills one of them in Avengers 2. I don’t like that he’s already said a main hero is going to die in that movie.

                • He said that??? Geez. I have to assume it won’t be one of the characters with actual franchises, because … well, that would just be silly. I don’t see Marvel cutting off one of the characters lucrative franchises just to make the Avengers 2 more dramatic.

                  • Well, it’s Marvel, so they could always come back in Avengers 3 when they tackle Ultron. They really have these things planned out. I would place money on either Iron Man, Hawkeye, or Black Widow. Unless one of the other characters develops a stable relationship and then in true Whedon fashion, they’re doomed.

                    • Ah, good point. I had forgotten how much Whedon loves to kill off his emotionally stable characters. I’m betting on Hawkeye or Black Widow, since they don’t have franchises. But then, Iron Man seems to be about to have a really tough time in Iron Man 3, and he did try to nobly sacrifice himself in The Avengers, so maybe in Avengers 2 he’ll succeed.

                    • There will be some new characters too, but I’m leaning toward Iron Man only because his trilogy will be done by then.

                    • You think they’ll stop after 3 movies? I haven’t seen 3 yet, obviously, but I feel like the franchise could still go strong for another few movies. Iron Man is, after all, awesome.

                    • I think it’s dangerous to go further than a trilogy with a superhero. Didn’t work for Superman or Batman when they tried. Also, I think Iron Man is started to cool off due to over-exposure. I know around here, the kids are more into Hawkeye, Captain America, and Thor. At the very least, they should give him a break before people get tired of him.

                    • No kidding! And here I thought Iron Man was still going strong as the most popular. I clearly need to get back in touch with hip youth culture, lol.

                    • He’s probably still at the top because the guy that runs Marvel Comics loves Iron Man. He seems to hate Spider-Man, which is why all that comic disaster has nearly destroyed him for the older generation. Anyway, I could see Whedon killing Iron Man, Downey going off to do a few things, and then Iron Man returning as a surprise in Avengers 3. They could play off Downey being on the set as ‘flashbacks’.

                      Maybe I’m thinking about this too much and they’ll just kill off that female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Or Pepper Potts after Tony Stark proposes to her. I’m really not letting Whedon off the hook for his habit of killing love interests.

                    • Haha yeah, Pepper Potts could definitely work. And then Iron Man could spiral into depression (because he hasn’t done THAT enough yet), and become even grittier and darker and Batman-like with his vigilante justice. Oooooh I’m liking this idea more and more …

                    • I can’t see him as a gritty, dark hero, but I’m used to the comic version. He’d go more the alcoholic route and sleep with Black Widow, Maria Cross, Storm, and every other Marvel woman. That’s basically what he’s done in the comics over the years when he gets depressed. Besides, Wolverine and Punisher would come after him for gimmick infringement. Odd. Batman is in the spellchecker, but Punisher is not. Weird.

      • I just want to interject with: THIS. This is hilarious, and exactly how I want it to go. xD Although I’ll admit that there miiiiight be a little bit of Eris in that reaction… Or you, by association. 😛 I think we all wish we could say that. But Thor is HOT. I’d probably walk in fully intending to say that, then just end up pulling off his shirt and making out with him. *shrug* I’m only mortal.

        • Hahaha. And you wouldn’t even say hello, either. You’d be like: Must confront Thor, must give him a piece of my mind, must PULL OFF SHIRT AND SMOOCH ATTACK!!! And Thor would be like “Um … what is happening.”

  4. Thanks for the great review, Michelle. Yes, I agree that my homemade cover images need upgrading, in the form of new, professionally designed images. That’s one of my book-related things-to-do.

  5. Downloaded. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Thanks for the book recommendation, and yeah, I like Thor, I mean the new Thor trailer too. 😉

  7. This book sounds great, Michelle – I love the comment “this gorgeous piece of literature” WOW that’s an amazing compliment indeed 😀

    • It completely blew me away. I mean, seriously. I think the cover threw me off — and then I got to reading and I was like “Holy mother of sandwiches. This is a fantastic book. Who knew???”

  8. Great review. I might have to add it to my ever expanding TBR pile. 🙂

    • Do it! When I saw that it was set at Miskatonic U, I had to backtrack and be like … wait, this isn’t written by HP Lovecraft, right? Because it’s just a glorious piece of literature. Well, the review says it all, so I don’t need to harp on about it here, lol. Happy reading 🙂

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