ARC Review: A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell, novelette, by Luke Tarzian

MY ⭐️ RATING: 5/5

Format: Advanced Reader Copy


Order is the focal point around which existence revolves. Without order there is only chaos. And in the halls of Damnation (pronounced Dam-NAWT-ion, thank you kindly) the first sign of impending chaos is a cup of tea made without the water having first been well and properly boiled in a kettle.
Why is this relevant, o nameless narrator? you ask. Who cares about the preparatory order of tea in the fires of Hell?
Lucifer, dear reader. After all, how does one expect to properly greet the newcomers to Hell without having first had a hot cup of tea to bulwark the cold?
Behold The Morning Star, frantic on the annual Morning of Souls, the arrival of Damnation’s newest recruits.
Someone has misplaced the kettle.


🚨 I received an advanced reader copy, provided by the author for an honest review. 🚨
This did not impact my rating in any way.

This is available for $2.99

I’m a sucker for good covers, so when I saw this cover, I knew immediately that I HAD to read it. Along with the name which is very unique as well, I knew this was going to be something different and interesting. It had that feel of being a whimsical yet an oddity of a story. What I got was a beautiful tale that was tragic and emotional that demanded my attention the moment I started reading it. There is a lot of passion put into the pages by Tarzian, and I noted early on that it felt almost as if it was real life experiences being used to tell this, and once it ended I realized that this was more than just a story, but a metaphoric autobiography. I wasn’t expecting to be in tears reading this, but Tarzian did that to me with this story. I resonated a lot with this story since I lost my dad in 2015 to colon cancer, so it definitely hit a string for me, and I too have a song by The Beatles that is actually tough for me to listen to now, The Long and Winding Road. I cry every time I hear it.

“There was a boy with a fishing rod who wished to catch a star, for doing so would make his wildest dreams come true.
However, try as he might, he could not catch a star. He asked his mother why and she told him stars, like all things, are free-willed.”

It wasn’t all emotional though, there were many parts that made me laugh, like the aptly named phallic Forest, there was so much in that sequence that I just kept giggling at. The names of chapters and the “sub-name” I don’t know what else to call it, so I’ll just go with that. Also, the pronunciation of certain words that Stoudemire, the MC, lets us know about. Tarzian’s prose is very eloquent and at times poetic, I could probably read this over and over with how smooth and harmonious the words fell onto paper. While reading this I also felt like it had a very Neil Gaiman, Sandman-like quality to it, as it had a certain type of darkness to it that still told a beautiful story. Reading this has made me a big fan of Tarzian and I plan to read much much more of his work going forward.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s