The Final Reconciliation by Todd Keisling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Metal band the Yellow Kings are on their first tour when they meet Camilla Bierce, the woman who will be their downfall...
I was tangentially aware of The King in Yellow for years after playing Call of Cthulhu: Horror Roleplaying and my interest was further piqued by True Detective. When I read the synopsis for this, I was all in.
Told by the lone survivor of the band thirty years in the future, The Final Reconciliation is the tale of the disintegration of a band as they record an album, both personally and mentally as the walls of reality thin and fray. I knew they were fucked when Camilla called Los Angeles Carcosa but the depth of the penetration was still pretty surprising.
As the dreams and visions of red-robed faceless things in an alien golden city become more and more intense, things go so far off track the rails are no longer visible.
The writing feels more like noir than horror, not a bad thing in my book. There's just enough foreshadowing in the narration to make you dread the ending that's barreling toward you. I had an idea about what Camilla's goal was fairly quickly but the ending was still a punch in the sternum.
I've read other mythos stories involving musicians, Bleeding Shadows and Crawlin' Chaos Blues springing to mind, but The Final Reconciliation is the best so far. Five out of five Yellow Signs.
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