REVIEW: Nightshade’s Emporium (Grotesqueries)- Hayden Thorne

Nightshade's Emporium Book Cover Nightshade's Emporium
Hayden Thorne
Historical, Paranormal, New Adult Fiction, Gay Fiction
Hayden Thorne
March 1, 2024

When the kindly old ferryman to the underworld injures his ankle, primordial gods come together to help guide the newly departed to their final journey. To make the task more interesting to the deathless, a quaint little shop hawking ephemera becomes the vehicle through which breadcrumbs to the underworld are scattered. All this is a temporary situation, meant to end when the broken ankle is healed.

It sounds easy and simple enough. Or so it seems.

The Nightshade family, headed by Barbara Nightshade, the most feared matriarch of an eternal bloodline, are dragged into the twenty-first century from their comfortable existence in Chaos. And it's through this shop and their day-to-day dealings with mortals that the children—now young adults—learn something new about themselves.

Time moves differently in Chaos, and maturity drags for primordial gods. Now that Viktor and his twin, Narcisse, have turned twenty in immortal years, their physical forms scramble to catch up. Hormones are roused, hearts learn to feel, and minds struggle against prejudices learned through the centuries, and, boy, is it a pain.

It's a sore trial especially for Viktor when he crosses paths with a sweet and shy potter and finds himself behaving quite out of character. There's something else at work here, however. Something meant to guide him down a road he refuses to travel—a road where love comes with a price tag too dear even for Death to pay.

True, there are perks to being immortal, but no one outruns Fate.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Barbara Nightshade, the most feared matriarch of an eternal bloodline is opening a retail store in the town of Muir called Nightshade Emporium. When Josef the ferryman was injured and unable to ferry souls until he was healed Barbara decided to open a store offering ephemera which when a mortal died would lead them back to the store and lead them to their resting place. Her three children, Viktor, Alma and Viktor’s twin Narcisse are not happy about working in the mortal world and having to deal with mortals daily.

Viktor decides it is the perfect time to run away and winds up joining his brother and sister who had the same idea but were all stopped. As immortals’ boredom is a constant and although their mother, Barbara understands she doesn’t give in to their demands. Viktor is death, Alma goes on hunts to find those in need of restitution, and she collects trophies, various body parts that I won’t describe.

Narcisse is mortal’s favorite he gives a sense of comfort.

The store is turning into a huge success and Viktor leads the dead through a door to their final journey. As powerful immortals and the strongest the Nightshade family has little feeling for mortals but now that they are dealing with them one on one things begin to change. Narcisse delivers a note to Viktor from a man named Myles who saw him through the window and wanted to meet him. Viktor ignored the note since there was no way he was going to deal with Mortal emotions.

When notes keep being delivered Viktor is pushed for a meeting and he is surprised to find himself wanting to see more of him. Myles is a potter and business picks up when Vicktor buys half his inventory. When the store closes each night the family returns to their home in Chaos.

In immortal years Viktor is twenty so regardless of him being immortal and living centuries he is still lacking maturity.

The characters are the author’s take on Greek mythology but using different names i.e., Barbara Nightshade, Nyx. It was amazing to see how this immortal family got a firsthand interaction with mortals and a new appreciation for what they go through in life and death.

This story was quite different from most I have read and as a mortal I also saw a new look at what it is when you face death and how difficult life is for some more than others.

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