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Katalepsis by HY

A web serial of cosmic horror, urban fantasy, and making friends with strange people 

Nightmares and hallucinations have plagued Heather Morell all her life.

Diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child after the loss of her twin—a sister who never really existed—now struggling with her mental health at university, Heather teeters on the verge of giving up on life. A chance meeting ends in a revelation: she is not crazy, her visions are all too real, and probably want to eat her soul.

Embroiled with a crippled, bad-tempered magician and her self-proclaimed ‘bodyguard’, Heather rapidly descends into a world of terrifying magic and otherworldly monsters, in an effort to stay sane, bring back the dead, and maybe, just maybe, make out with cool older girls.

Note: Katalepsis contains some graphic violence and harsh language.


A serialized novel, updating sporadically

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Listed: Jul 15, 2019

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Compelling and gay: the two things I look for in a story

By Anna, author of Fishbowl

Sep 17, 2019: Katalepsis tells the story of Heather Morell, a college student tormented by nightmarish visions she believes to be schizophrenic hallucinations. After a chance encounter with an attractive young woman, Heather learns that her visions are real, and she is thrust into a world of monstrous spirits, horrifying alien dimensions, and unexpected friendships.

From the first chapter, this is an extremely engaging story. The author does a great job striking the right balance of withholding enough information to intrigue readers without confusing them. I’m a big fan of stories that pique my curiosity, and Katalepsis does a great job of this. I didn’t initially intend to read the whole story, but the first chapter left me with so many questions about Heather’s story. Much like Heather herself, I was haunted, and found myself drawn back to the story, desperate to learn more about Heather and her world. The author has a fantastic imagination, and the descriptions of the monsters and other worlds are vivid and terrifying, which made the story all the more intriguing.

For the most part, the writing style is good, although there are a few places that needed a little polish, particularly near the beginning. One thing I have mixed feelings about is the way the author will begin a section by stating what is about to happen. For example, the story’s first line is "On the day I met Raine, the first thing I did was jerk awake in bed and vomit nightmares into my lap." On the one hand, this is intriguing; the reader wants to keep reading to find out who Raine is. On the other hand, it can feel a bit awkward in places.

I really enjoy the characters; they’re all interesting, and have unique personalities. It’s rare to find a story with so many compelling female characters, and even rarer to find a story with compelling lesbian leads.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the story often reads as a romance as much as a cosmic horror story, which I feel is worth mentioning, as it isn’t necessarily evident from the description.

WLW (lesbians in particular) are pretty clearly the target audience here, and as a lesbian, it’s a pleasure to read something so well done featuring characters that are like me. However, the lesbian characters are one of many things about the story I enjoyed, and I think non-lesbians will find plenty about the story to enjoy as well. I’d recommend this story to anyone, regardless of sexuality (provided they’re not a jerk who’s put off by lesbians in fiction, in which case—their loss!)

Overall, this has rapidly become one of my favorite stories, and I would enthusiastically recommend it to fans of horror or urban fantasy, or to anyone who thinks fiction could use more compelling lesbian characters.

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