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Sonja Ska Reviews, 5/30/2024

The White Bishop is one of the most claustrophobic books you'll read this year. The gruesome nautical horror places you amidst a rag-tag group of sailors hoping to score a payday that will leave their lives of hard work behind in exchange for delivering a mysterious package during one of the most treacherous times of the year. Unfortunately for Captain Antonio Danilo and his crew, the promise of a better life is quickly overshadowed by mass paranoia and the desperate struggle for survival.

One look at the cover should warn you that there will be blood within these pages. It's thick and viscous, gruesomely depicting the nightmare that is slowly having your flesh rot off. Although having teeth clattering onto the deck gives The White Bishop a gnarly backdrop, it takes a backseat to the true horror of the series: the desperation that comes from the creeping realization that you're helplessly trapped. Adrift with no breeze, dwindling supplies, and the growing threat of an evil entity potentially creeping through the galley, the crew of the de Chantal face the daunting reality that if starvation and disease don't get them, something else aboard certainly will.  

The dread-inducing hopelessness slowly turns into a steady descent into a hallucinatory madness that brings you into the center of the panic. The result is an unsettling and suffocating journey that's cinematic, horrifying, and surprisingly heartwrenching. Seriously, I'm still trying to stitch myself back together over the fate of one particular character, and I low-key want to send a bill for the therapy I need to get over it. 

If you're into cinematic, slow-burn but steady narratives that will leave you squirming with discomfort and dread, you need to pick it up.

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