John Langan’s newest collection, Sefira & Other Betrayals (published by Hippocampus Press) intertwines literary fiction with mythological gods and demonic deities, with a dabble of weird, providing readers with a fantastic collection.
Sefira & Other Betrayals is Langan’s third book released in the last six years, following his critically acclaimed and well received novel, The Fisherman in 2016, and his previously published collection The Wide, Carnivorous Sky (also well loved and received) in 2013.
The stories vary from literary horror involving demonic deities, like a succubus (“Sefira”), the Devil (“At Home in the House of the Devil”), and a vampire of a different type (“The Third Always Behind You”), to weird things that you wouldn’t expect to be terrifying, like balloons (“The Unbearable Proximity of Mr. Dunn’s Balloons”), and something similar to that of the shape of a jellyfish (“Bloom”), to the old gods, like Kronos, the father of the thunder and sky god, Zeus (“In Paris, in the Mouth of Kronos”).
Sorry, I’m rambling… There’s just so many things in this book that I could praise and go on about. It’s that good. So, I’ll wrap it up.
All the stories in Sefira are wonderful, digging deep into the characters and revealing the different layers that betrayal can be, in different times and settings. However, my personal favorite of this collection is “The Unbearable Proximity of Mr. Dunn’s Balloons,” the story that made me wonder the most where Langan was going with the story until the end, in which everything tied together to give a satisfying, albeit bittersweet, ending.
I highly recommend you purchase it, especially if you’re already a fan of Langan’s work.