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That being only one example of how far the society has regressed. But I guess that this book taking it to the extreme in order to get the message across, and if the primary goal was to get me thinking it definitely did succeed. The lessons here on religion and government are valuable. I appreciate an author that keeps pushing the envelope, but for some reason this felt off to me, so I believe this is just a classic case of it's not you, it's me. Recommended for anyone that doesn't mind a book that makes you think through the use of copious amounts of gore. My original The Acolyte audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

I always like a good book that gives the religious-right a much-deserved solid kick in the tuchus. The Acolyte is a dark work of dystopian fiction, and also one that is bleakly satirical. Separation of Church and State is no more — in fact, The Church is the state, and the US operates under the biblical mandates set forth in the New Republican Testament.

After enduring a brutal interrogation, and plenty of string pulling for those On High, he is allowed to be reinstated as an Acolyte and charged with finding the perpetrators behind the increasing spate of terror attacks. What follows is a twisty, noir-tinged narrative that follows in the mold of classic detective fiction with plenty of violence, femme fatales, con artists, and criminal conspiracy. The world Murtag inhabits is very well realized, with Cutter drawing on Biblical elements that most believers gloss over or outright ignore, crafting New Bethlehem has a horrendously regressive, pre-Englightment dungeon of sorts.

Acolyte (New Earth)

When Murtag goes to confession after murdering a Scientologist, he has to pick a properly-sized animal to sacrifice in a spiritual blood cleansing ritual. The female Acolyte, Doe, Murtag tells us, has hit the limits of her profession thanks to the glass ceiling put in place by Leviticus, which demands she earn less shekels than the men around her because she has the wrong set of genitals.

One bombing victim is left to the care of a hospital where nurses are praying for him around the clock and even have their best practitioner sitting at his bedside. Actual medicine, along with forensic science, has long since been outlawed, you see. Cutter gives plenty of details on life following The Purge, most of them horrifying, to illustrate how badly the nation has fallen and in which religious extremism is a part of daily life, infecting the minds and actions of the entire society.

Confidential by way of religious fundamentalism vibe. The production values are top-notch, too, with nary a hiccup in the nine-plus hours of listening time. Part horror story, part word of warning, listeners of The Acolyte should at find themselves thankful that this story is only fiction. Mar 09, Alissa Patrick rated it liked it. Another really disturbing piece of work from Nick Cutter. A book set in a dystopian society where religion rules, and I mean, really rules.

The Acolyte Imperiled

Jonah is an Acolyte, which is a member of the police force in New Bethlehem that arrests people and destroys all artifacts, books and all notions of a different religion than the one that has been branded The One True Religion. They aim to eradicate all other religions and practices.

I wouldn't consider this is a horror novel, but then again it's almost hard Another really disturbing piece of work from Nick Cutter. I wouldn't consider this is a horror novel, but then again it's almost hard to categorize Nick Cutter's novels. He is one sick puppy. But I can't get enouugh of his writing and its characters.

Triggers: Serious religion goes may be really upset at this book. Also, the violence is pretty gory, including an abortion scene that was just not needed, IMO View 2 comments. Mar 30, Eleven rated it liked it Shelves: netgalley. This was a unique story focusing on the evils of organized religion in an imaginative way. The cover alone gives you a pretty good idea of where the author goes with this one. With ISIS on the march, I was a little surprised at the particular religion we should all be fearing and couldn't help thinking of actual religious police that already exist in parts of the Middle East but I guess that's where the imagination part comes in.

Free copy courtesy of Netgalley. Oct 10, Gabrielle rated it it was amazing Shelves: thriller , horror , spooktober-books , speculative-fiction , reviewed , own-a-copy , read-in , dystopian , sci-fi , mystery. Well, that was messed up. Now I need a book about rainbows and puppies Vegetarians and people who are triggered by violence against animals should not read this.

Actually, only read this if you have a really strong stomach. Fanaticism, theocracy, police corruption, violent extermination of heathens, lack of freedom of religion The story takes place in New Bethlehem, which was part of the Unite Well, that was messed up. The story takes place in New Bethlehem, which was part of the United States at some point. Before the Purge. That was when Church and State were merged and the New Republican Testament was written and imposed as law on this new city-state's citizens.

Now the ultimate authority is the Prophet Murtag is an Acolyte: that means he's part of a special police force, who's role is to find and eradicate heretics. That includes people who do not live by the True Faith, as well as homosexuals and Darwinists; you know, people who could potentially make you doubt your beliefs, or simply don't live by this revised and improved version of the Bible everyone is now reading.

Jonah Murtag is a rather typical noir novel police officer: sullen, jaded, depressed. Not alcoholic, but only because the city-state has outlawed booze.

Audio Editions

He is stuck between highly forbidden feelings for his partner Angela Doe of course, sexuality is also highly regulated, and copulation outside the bonds of matrimony is enough to get you ritually mutilated or worse and the massive disillusionment that comes with working behind the wizard's curtain. There's something about knowing how the sausage gets made that takes away your taste for hot-dogs, and being the muscle of a religious dictatorship is no different. So when he gets caught up in an investigation on a string of bombings, originally attributed to fanatics of other faiths, his shaky faith and ability to deal with the system he is a part of starts unraveling fast.

Because evidence begins to indicate a different kind of perpetrator, more dangerous than your run-of-the-mill jihadist.

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And extreme circumstances call for extreme measures: Heaven's very own creepy "enforcers" Religious fanatics scare me, for many reasons. The idea of born-again Christians with guns is enough to make me lose sleep, so this book was basically tailor-made to traumatize me.

The Acolyte (novel) - Wikipedia

It's a hard-boiled detective story, a scathing commentary on extremism and a horribly realistic speculation on what happens when critical thinking and objective reality are thrown out the window in favor of bigotry and violence. The world-building is succinct, but spooky and believable. I suppose all dictatorships headed by megalomaniacs are the same on the surface, but Cutter really nails what it would be like if all the Bible-Belt Jesus nuts were armed, organized and decided to take over. And holy cow is it ever disturbing and gory!

Add to that the old-fashioned noir atmosphere that permeates the book: everything is dark, dirty His twisted choice of subject matter resulted in a unique and terrifying dystopian tale. Highly, highly recommended! May 01, Maxine Marsh rated it liked it Shelves: horrordarkfiction , netgalley. Courtesy of Netgalley. A weird story. The first two thirds of the book were paced more slowly than the last third, which explodes off the page in a rather intense and harrowing manner.

I felt that the worldbuilding was problematic. There was a larger world outside of this one, but it was almost never mentioned. Also problematic was the protag's voice. The book is written in first person but there is almost no insight into the narrator's emotions, thought process, just description of action. Wheth Courtesy of Netgalley. Whether this was intentional or not, it is a huge hole in the structure of the story. That being said, the plot was interesting and engaging, and moved along--I was definitely never bored.

I appreciate when an author does something different. Sep 17, Chandra Claypool wherethereadergrows rated it really liked it. As an Acolyte, Jonah Murray's job is to eradicate all heretical religious faiths,etc As someone who is not religious, I'm always fascinated by reads regarding religious fanaticism and blind faith. It can seem extremely cult like with people using these beliefs and twisting them to suit their own selfish wants.

I couldn't even imagine living in a world where everything looks like As an Acolyte, Jonah Murray's job is to eradicate all heretical religious faiths,etc I couldn't even imagine living in a world where everything looks like one big cult. If you've read Nick Cutter before, then you are already familiar with the way he is beautifully disgusting in his detail of the macabre. He's especially talented in doing this with animals and children. There's one scene in the first pages regarding animals that made me cringe There were even a couple of scenes that put me into an Enter the Void kind of mind This book probably won't be for everyone, but I absolutely loved it.

The only reason I don't have this as 5 star review is that I wasn't as engaged with this one as I was with his other work. Now that I've read everything under this pen name, I should probably now add his other work under his real name, Craig Davidson. Jul 04, Marc-Antoine rated it really liked it Shelves: signed-by-author. Nick Cutter has written quite a scary world.

A dystopian crime noir novel that doesn't let up for a second, a literal page turner. Ultra violent, and raises a lot of questions on organized religion, therefore probably not for everyone. Jan 14, AH marked it as on-hold Shelves: did-not-finish , arc-netgalley. The Troop , The Deep OK, I tried this and either I was not in the mood or this book was not for me.

It happens sometimes. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book. It was simply a good read, well written,creepy,fresh. This is not a horror novel, even though it has several gory and sick moments, it felt more like a crime or thriller. The story takes place in a future society governed by catholic fanatics: everyone who commits a crime against religion is hunted down, several books are banned and most has been burned , the practice of science is forbidden and people from other religions are forced to live in ghettos.

The protagonist of this book is Jonah Murtagh. He work as an Acolyte, some sort of elite police force that chase down "heathens" and investigate others crimes against religion; the story begins when Murtagh start investigating a series of suicide bombings across the city of New Bethlehem. This was a very entertaining book and an extremely fast read, the kindle edition has only or so pages and the chapters are very short so I kept reading like a madman wanting to know what was going to happen next. The setting was another strong point. Cutter describes a very dark and sinister society governed by a mad religious zealot called The Prophet and we really don't know how the church took over since every source of information must be approved by the government, we can only guess what happened: some of the characters remember how life was before the Republic, this gives us the hint that the new society is still in development and the church doesn't have absolute control.

I found this uncertainty very interesting because it reflects the ignorance and confusion that our main character suffers. So why didn't I rate this book higher? The short chapters make this a fast read but it also made the story sort of messed and disconnected, the way how Murtagh meets some of the other characters wasn't convincing and felt rushed. All in all, I think it was an entertaining story and this society created by Cutter was great.

I congratulate him for trying to write something different from horror even though I enjoyed The troop and The Deep more , this book is disturbing in a different way: it shows a society where all hope is lost and the only true word comes from The Prophet, it's a good critic about how many people uses religion for their own benefit.

Also I warn that this is not a book for everyone. Even though it's a crime or thriller novel, it has a lot and I insist A LOT of gore, disturbing scenes and profanity, so don't read it if you're easily impressed by violence. What is the most effective system of annihilation? It's a tool, and any tool has right and wrong use Fear, obedience, sacrifice, fanatic loyalty: these are fruits religion cultivates in a nurturing hand.

And the greatest part is that the nurturer doesn't need to promise anything tangible: the reward is only delivered in death. It all rest in the bones of belief. And those bones are unbreakable. Jul 13, A. The third book by this master of horror creates a world where religious fanatics rule by law--a real-life nightmare, hell-on-earth. This created world chills the blood and captivates from first page to last, with a staggering plot twist at the end. Apr 05, Marjolein rated it really liked it Shelves: arc , dystopia , read-in-english. And if I could only say one thing about it, it would be that it's certainly not something you read everyday.

Jonah is an Acolyte, member of a special religion police force that puts the Dystopian into this Dystopian society. As he fails to protect a very important person at 3. As he fails to protect a very important person at a bombing Muslim terrorists are the first suspects.

But the evidence might point in a completely different way, and besides Jonah has bigger problems. He's lost his faith. One thing that's certainly creepy about this kind of dystopian stories is that it doesn't feel like something that could never really happen in one way or another. As opposed to let's say a zombie apocalypse. The Acolyte started really good and I thought it was going to be a very good read, perhaps even more than 4 stars, but the second half was very weird.

Don't get me wrong, I like weird as much perhaps a bit more as the next person when it comes to books and movies but not everything made sense to me, even after I considered that there were religion fanatics and terrorists in play. I never understood exactly why the Quints needed to be added to the story. Near the end there's a gruesome scene that makes me conclude this review with a warning that it's not for people with a weak stomach. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Jun 09, Chinook rated it really liked it Shelves: net-galley , america , dystopia. Holy shit. That was not what I was expecting at all. As religious dystopias go, that one was brutal. Once I started reading I couldn't look away. May 04, Jonny Magnum rated it liked it. Nick Cutter is a pseudonym of Craig Davidson , created so he could write horror under a crisp, punchy name the genre deserves.

After a wave of bombings start to shake the system, he has to fight to uncover the truth. Understandably, The Acolyte is not a easy novel to stomach as even Cutter himself admitted that it was not easy to write. The streets are adorned with neon lighted crucifixes and every product is marketed to aid in the religious agenda of its rulers. Suicide bombing is not an easy subject, given the current events of the last decade. Just like Fahrenheit , Brave New World , and Nineteen Eighty-Four are being read by high-school students as a dystopian cautionary tale, it's not hard to see The Acolyte there some day.

It had some pacing issues, especially the last third feeling a bit too rushed, yet it still completed its mission of instilling fear and posing huge questions about religion and its place in government. I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Aug 20, Tobin Elliott rated it it was ok Shelves: hard-copy , fiction , sf , horror.

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  5. I swore I was done with Nick Cutter after The Deep , but a friend of mine kept going on and on about this book and how it wasn't like Cutter's first two books, and he described it as "dangerous" and "amazing". So, four days ago, I relented and bought it. I must admit, the opening was shocking, horrible, and every bit as dangerous as my friend had stated.

    Hmm, I thought, this really isn't like the other two books. Maybe I really will enjoy this one. So, I settled in for the long haul. There were thi I swore I was done with Nick Cutter after The Deep , but a friend of mine kept going on and on about this book and how it wasn't like Cutter's first two books, and he described it as "dangerous" and "amazing".

    There were things--as in all the Cutter books--that were brilliant. The set up and basic concept of this book are phenomenal. The same could be said for both The Troop and The Deep. Unfortunately, for me, there were things--as in all the Cutter books--that rang so totally false and against all the rules of logic that they kept yanking me out of the story. For example, when the first bomb goes off, Murtag and a fellow Acolyte, Doe who are the law in this scenario , having survived the devastating blast, and as officers of the law, decide the smartest thing to do is But they don't run far.

    So, why? It really had no impact on the rest of the plot. They both came right back on the force and kept plodding. Hell, Murtag was almost immediately put into a position of dangerous authority when he helped carry out a covert mission shortly afterward a mission, I might add, where others were shot to avoid the information leaking. Cutter also goes to great lengths to point out that in this new world, science is essentially shunned.

    There are no modern forensic crime solving techniques anymore, nor life-saving drugs. Yet, there are computers, cell phones and video games. That makes no sense. Things all happen around him and he's pulled from situation to situation, with no control or fight in him. And, though he should die at least a couple of times, he's always, inexplicably, let go. His only real decisions in the novel aside from the end are to stupidly run from a bomb blast crime scene, and to take in some birds and animals and a homeless girl--all for no apparent reason and again, with no impact to the plot.

    I felt like much of this novel was written on the fly, with no real planning. The author states that the novel came from a dark place, and I do believe that. He touches on themes that are insanely relevant right now. Blind faith in religion. Bias against religions other than your own. Outright hate of that which you don't understand.

    Church corruption. As usual, I believe Cutter had the opportunity to create something great, a classic of the genre and a novel that speaks intelligently of our times. But instead, it's basically Logan's Run with a religious slant. Once again. A novel I desperately wanted to love. But didn't. I will say, however, it's likely the best book of Cutter's I've read. Apr 17, Tracy rated it it was amazing Shelves: dystopian. Brilliant, brutal, mildly horrifying; at times savagely funny…I think I have another favourite author in Nick Cutter.

    In a country ruled by fundamentalist Christians, Jonah Murtagh is an Acolyte, an officer of the Faith Crimes Unit in the City of New Bethlehem - a unit which enforces religious conformance and operates outside the law. I could not put this book down. The scariest thing is that I can see how you could extrapolate our current world into this dystopian vision.

    The characterisations are wonderful and the story is fast paced. I loved every minute of it. Five out Five Stars. Brutally Awesome. Release Date: May 5th, Apr 09, Anne Monteith rated it it was amazing Shelves: arc-reviews-ebook. There were parts of this book that read like one of my worst nightmares and I wondered if that author and I had some of the same fears for the future.

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    With religious intolerance in some countries, the idea of there being some type of fundamentalist that control an area in the future. I found the characters to be well-developed and despite having to put the book down at times because the scenes were so chi There were parts of this book that read like one of my worst nightmares and I wondered if that author and I had some of the same fears for the future.

    I found the characters to be well-developed and despite having to put the book down at times because the scenes were so chilling that I needed a break, I found myself caring about some of them. In caring, I was concerned about what could happen to them in this type of society. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. II, July Works by Thea Astley. Hidden categories: Articles needing additional references from June All articles needing additional references All stub articles.

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