Written by: Mack Moyer
In the tradition of American Psycho, author Karina Sims gives us Sinners Circle, the tale of torture-loving rape-monster Amanda Troy.
Amanda is a psychopathic lesbian-in-denial. Her mother died after being tortured and gang-raped by Mexican children (which sounds like a bad 4Chan joke but is totally what happens here). This – of course – drives Amanda to go on a rapey crusade of torture and murder against her local lesbian community.
You’ve likely noticed I’ve used the words rape and torture several times already. That is not due to editorial laziness but grammatical necessity. Rape and torture is what you get with Sinners Circle.
Which isn’t to say there isn’t more here. Amanda’s violence toward women is a metaphor for her troubles coming to terms with her sexuality, albeit not a subtle one.
There’s also plenty of dark humor, like when Amanda’s love interest attempts to make breakfast after a night of sweet womanly lovin’, which is a problem, seeing as how Amanda’s fridge is packed with human remains.
The world of Sinners Circle almost completely lacks any sympathetic characters. All the drunks and druggies, losers and kinky sexual freaks – usually my favorite kinds of people – skate by mostly un-murdered while Amanda hacks away at unassuming, innocent women without an antagonist in sight until late in the novel.
And that’s what made Sinners Circle hard to digest. The few nice people in this story are just cannon fodder for Amanda. To reference American Psycho again, yeah, Patrick Bateman was a murdering asshole, but the sickening greed and decadence around him made you root for Patrick to chop up a few yuppies.
I didn’t root for Amanda until about three-quarters into the story, when she finally meets a chick she doesn’t want to kill and butts heads with a sociopath just as insane as she is.
Had the author not tried to drown me in a lake of torture-rape for most of the novel, I would have enjoyed the story far more. I wish Amanda’s opposition would have appeared earlier in the story as well.
Because I can take grisly violence, sure. But I also enjoy pizza, but after my fifth slice I start getting tired of it. And pizza is way more pleasant than torture and rape.
Yet this isn’t a bad story. I know there’s an audience for this stuff, particularly the Saw crowd or Patrick Bateman fans. For me, though, it was all a bit much.
Rating: 2.5/5 (But if I were a torture-porn enthusiast: 3.5/5)