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The Hour by Gloucester

When everything lies in the balance, an hour is not enough. 

Glyph Young awakes in a torture chamber with a demon who is intent on extracting information he doesn’t have. Glyph is forced to adapt as he is left with only one hour each day in his apartment before he is transported back again for more torture. Clinging to any scrap of reality he can find, Glyph embarks on a journey to save his sanity or risk losing it forever.

Note: The Hour contains pervasive harsh language; also, some graphic violence.

A serialized novel, updating fortnightly

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Listed: Mar 30, 2015

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The Hour’s got a spring-loaded premise, but too many bad cogs

By Patrick Rochefort, member

Jun 26, 2015: 2 stars out of 5

The Good: The initial premise and chapter presents with a tense, and interesting source of terror. A man wakes up to his life for one hour a day, and spends the other 23 hours of his day being gruesomely tortured by a demon. The why is unknown, and the consequences of such (literally) hellish torture are writ large on his life and mental health.

Later in the story, his sole and lonely hour of consciousness in the real world becomes more and more perilous, as the demonic forces reach out to claim his life through human intermediaries.

The Bad: The story swiftly descends into tropes so dense and plain that it left me repulsed. So he’s the Chosen One. So there’s a war between Good and Evil. It all hangs on him.

There’s some consistent formatting issues that make this a difficult read, and frequent homonym typos that have crept in. It’s a work in sore need of a proper editing, and parts of it need to move from exposition to interaction.

The Ugly: Not a lot of ugly, actually. The story needs a hard whipping by a competent editor, and I found the tropes mind-numbing, but this is a solid story currently weighed down by its own technical and stylistic problems. The characters are frustratingly one-dimensional, and moral conflicts and consequences aren’t sufficiently explored or reflected.

All that being said, I think this is a story that can be salvaged, between a thoughtful rewrite and a long, hard editing. The premise is really good; but the story needs to be much more than a premise to thrive.

4 of 6 members found this review helpful.
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