The Scarlet Gospels (Book review)


The Scarlet Gospels was written by Clive Barker and was published in 2015. It tells the tale of the death of Pinhead (or the Hellpriest as he is also known). It tells the story of Harry D’Amour who has to travel through hell to rescue his friends from Pinhead or the Hellpriest.


The scarlet gospels had a long period of gestation since it was first announced until when it was released.  At one point it was believed it would never be published as Clive Barker’s health took a turn for the worst and Clive stated before that The Scarlet Gospels would be his last entry in his “Hell-series” as he feels that part of him is done.


If you haven’t read the Hellraiser comics in prelude to The Scarlet Gospels you might be very confused as to what is going on. It paints a picture of Hell more in line with how the comics depicted it than the movies and the novella The Hellbound Heart.

The content of the book feels like classic Clive Barker with the depiction of Hell like only Clive Barker could imagine. If you have never read a novel from Clive Barker you might want to pick up something else first. I would suggest The Books of Blood as the content of the book might disturb you.

The book successfully ties together two of his most famous characters, Pinhead known from The Hellbound Heart and the Hellraiser series of movies and Harry D’Amour from the movie Lord of Illusion, The Last Illusion (from The Books of Blood Volume 6) and Everville.

The book is not for everyone. Die-hard fans of the movies will be wondering what exactly is going on with Pinhead and I will admit the ending did feel a bit rushed. I would have loved to have it bit more fleshed out – especially with the way it ended. But then again with a book this long in development it would make sense that it would not live up to all the hype.

So in the end The Scarlet Gospels is a must read if you follow the comic series and the movies. Just don’t put your expectations too high and you will be pleasantly surprised.

rating 4/5

The Scarlet Gospels
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