The Vorrh

The Vorrh



The Pequod Review:

Brian Catling's The Vorrh, the first of a trilogy, is set in a fictional pre-war German colony (Essenwald), which has been transported from Europe and rebuilt in central Africa. The transplanted city is situated adjacent to the Vorrh, an imposing forest full of terrifying creatures, parallel worlds, and possibly malevolent spirits. Catling's book has some stunning moments of magical realism and an imaginative setting, but its narrative is weak and the overall story is not as strong as its parts. Nonetheless, Catling's prose is so good it nearly doesn't matter. 

For so it is among those who shed lives every few years: they keep their deflated interior causeways, hold them running parallel with their current usable ones; ghost arteries, sleeping shrunken next to those that pump life. Hushed lymphatics, like quiet ivy alongside the speeding juice of now. Nerve trees like bone coral, hugging the whisper of bellowing communications.