Sabbath by Nick Mamatas

My parents lived for a time in Argentina and when they moved down there I went with them for a couple weeks. When we got there my father went to work and my mom and I would look for houses to rent. One afternoon we decided to go see a movie, which was not a difficult proposition for two high-school Spanish speakers because most just had Spanish subtitles. My mom picked the film and when I asked her what movie it was she told me it had Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt in it and that it was called, ‘Siete.’ I knew the film. I hadn’t seen it but I knew about it. I asked my mom if she knew it, and she just replied, ‘It’s got Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt in it!’ I told her that she would probably want to cover her eyes at some parts… and she would probably want to cover her eyes at times when reading this book.


Hexen Sabbath is a man ripped from his comfortable fighting and womanizing ways in the 11th century to be transported to modern day Manhattan. (Just go with it!) He lands naked in an alley, but he’s given some advice and a deal from a pretty enlightened angel. (He and Sabbath get in some great philosophical discussions throughout the course of the book.) Sabbath needs to find the physical embodiments of the 7 deadly sins within 7 days or the world will end and he will be denied entry into heaven. Armed with a handy radar/ map thingy inserted in his wrist, Sabbath wanders around NYC with a sword and dirty mouth.

A crazy urban historical fish-out-of-water fantasy… Mamatas has a good way of envisioning each vice as a figure in contemporary society. The lusty massage parlor madam, the glutinous Michelin chef, and a wrathful MMA grappler. From the fighting styles to their seductive, creepy, and intoxicating faces, these characters create atmosphere and interest.

Overall. Sabbath. It’s funny… It’s got some depth… It’s imaginative… It’s a fast and fun read. For me, it was one afternoon’s worth of sex, drugs, and gore. And that’s never bad!

4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Edelweiss, Macmillan/ Tor, and the author for a copy for review.

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