Chris's Reviews > The Collected Songs of Sonnelion

The Collected Songs of Sonnelion by Lee  Thompson
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's review
Apr 21, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-reads, horror
Read from June 15 to September 01, 2012

With The Collected Songs of Sonnelion, the fifth book in the series that I have read, I am getting a sense of the magnitude of Lee Thompson's vision that is the Division Series. After I finished this book last night, even though it was after midnight, I went to Thompson's website and explored the landscape and characters of Division. I will caution anyone that hasn't read at least several of the books that there will be spoilers but I found it helpful in connecting these interlocking stories.

These novels and novellas fit into a patchwork and now I am starting to get a sense of the whole picture. And a dark and disturbing picture it is.

Songs is one of the bleakest of the set. Red Piccarilli (you will cry of this boy) is as tragic a figure as Job---and biblical references keep cropping up. Crucifixion imagery abounds. Red's powers emanates from a stigmata like wound in his hand, making him a Christ-like figure in this reviewer's mind. I am betting that this imagery is also present in the suggestively titled "Within This Garden Weeping"---the second in this series.

Songs is a rough book. Rough on the reader's emotions. I can only imagine how hard it was to write, but Thompson never shies away from the truth of the stories, no matter how dark and harrowing. At times I was shocked, at others I found myself almost pleading for certain events not to happen. But Thompson shows not mercy. Division is not a place of happy endings and some of the events that occur there will not leave your memory for a long time.

Like King's Derry, Division is a haunted, rotting, corrupted place where the veil between this world and the next is thin and at times non-existent. Ashes and the smell of burned bodies and rotting flesh permeate the air. The people that live there, a close-knit and damned group that interact and co-mingle with demons, are hardly ever what they seem. There are heroes of course, and they are powerful and courageous and desperately seeking protection for the ones they love and redemption for themselves, yet always outnumbered and often forced to make the most devastating of sacrifices. And no sacrifices are greater than those made by Red.

Red is a crucial character in the whole Division Mythos and perhaps its greatest hero. First appearing in Before Lenora Wakes we find him again after the action in the as-of-yet not released Within this Garden Weeping. We pick up the action when his family moves to Division after the tragic events of Garden--of which we learn tantalizing yet incomplete details. Red is powerful yet naive and easy prey for the demons that wait to feed on his innocence and delight in debasing and torturing him. But Red is more than just a confused and outnumbered boy. He has a wild power that must be respected and he has a place in the pantheon of the powerful supernatural creatures of Division and I want to see where his road takes him. Songs also brings us several new and very exciting new characters, particularly his powerful grandfather, the ambiguous and terrifying Gravesend, the deceiver Proserpine, the loathsome Abraham Nutley, and the powerful yet to this point shadowy figure of Legion.

Lee Thompson's Division series, in my opinion, is an important work of dark fantasy and should be read by anyone who follows and and is serious about dark literature. Required reading if you will.
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Reading Progress

06/19/2012 page 25
9.03% 5 comments
08/31/2012 page 81
29.24% 1 comment
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Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Dunbar Hey, Chris -- I hope you'll drop by the Literary Horror group and let us know your thoughts on this one. (And are you really reading Thomas Hardy? Wow!) ~ Rob

Chris I will, for sure. I read a few chapters but was worried that reading it only a week at a time might diffuse the impact---and the powerful emotional punch is one of the things that I like most about Lee's work.

I think he only has a chapter or two left so I plan on reading it right on through within the next week or so. I feel bad that I have been away from the group but the vacation was great. We needed it. I really enjoyed the horror museum at Universal. They had Lon Chaney's make-up kit and lots of stuff from the classic movies.

Well, Far From the Maddening Crowd is sort of Thomas Hardy---lite. Very entertaining story so far. I want to read The Mayor Casterbridge which I have been told is quite dark. I loved Tess when I read it years ago.

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Dunbar That's inspiring. I didn't think anyone still read Hardy willingly. (I have to admit to bogging down in the middle of the Madding Crowd.)

message 4: by Char (new) - added it

Char Chris, AWESOME review!
I haven't read this yet. I am sort of obsessing about reading them all in order.
However, when it comes out, please try When We Join Jesus In Hell. I am dying to hear your thoughts about it. It's not part of the Division mythos.
If I could figure out how to loan it to you, would you be interested? (I side loaded it, so I think I could send it as an attachment, if you're interested.)

Chris Nah, that's ok. I will buy it when it comes out this month. You are so lucky that you won that novella series! I am glad that it is someone that really appreciates it.

Paul Nelson Great review, Reading this at the moment. Riviting start as usual .

Chris How are you reading it? I read it in serial form and didn't think it was out in ebook or regular book form yet?

Paul Nelson Begged Lee to read it :-)

Chris That's great. Lee is a very generous guy.

message 10: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill It's amazing what a little begging can do. I did the same thing ;) btw, Chris, your review was fantastic!

Chris Thanks, Bill! Songs is one of my favorites from Lee.

message 12: by Char (new) - added it

Char Hmmmmm. :)

Chris Something tells me that you will have a copy of it very soon.....

message 14: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Nelson Charlene wrote: "Hmmmmm. :)"

Charlene if you're still interested in the signed copies I left the info for you on the Lee Thompson thread on Darkfuse, guess u missed it.

message 15: by Char (last edited Jan 24, 2014 12:33PM) (new) - added it

Char Shit, really?

Sometimes the button "Show new posts" doesn't work properly over there. :(

message 16: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Nelson Charlene wrote: "Shit, really?

Sometimes the button "Show new posts" doesn't work properly over there. :("

Any good to you Charlene. They still have them all except Jesus. Site is

message 17: by Char (new) - added it

Char Thanks!

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