A few thoughts on Nick Mamatas’ Love is the Law


“The mystic sees the world as an illusion—but the magician must look reality square in the face.” — Nick Mamatas, Love is the Law

Before I get down to my thumb up or down thoughts on Nick Mamatas’ Love is the Law, here’s the publisher’s back copy for your reading pleasure:

In 1989, punk-rock girl “Golden” Dawn has crafted an outsider’s life combining the philosophies of Communism and Aleister Crowley’s black magic.

One fateful day she finds the dead body of her mentor in both politics and magick shot in the head, seemingly a suicide.

But Dawn knows there’s more going on than the Long Island cops could ever hope to uncover. In setting out to find the murderer herself, she will encounter dark and twisted truths for which no book, study, or basement show could have prepared her.

Award-winning prose author Nick Mamatas crafts a raw, hilarious, original mystery!

My immediate reaction upon completing Nick’s latest was posted on twitter thusly — “On a scale of 1 to 5, ‘ Love is the Law is a 666. Really. Most likely the best novel I’ll read this year.” Now, writing this review many days later, I realize that was a somewhat disingenuous tweet. While it is possible I may read a better book this year, the likelihood of such an event is quite unlikely. I’m tempted to say there won’t be a better book written this decade, but then, Nick’s still young, in his writing prime, if you will, so he just might scale these heights (or depths depending on your point of view) once more.

Love is the Law hit me in my sweet spot. See, I dig a good murder mystery, and if you’re going to mix in heaping doses of Aleister Crowley, sprinkled with late-eighties counter-culture, then you’ve probably made a friend for life.

Nick did his research on this one, mostly likely because he lived it. And it shows. The prose reads like it should, like something real, visceral, you know? These are real, gods be damned characters, living, breathing, fucking. There’s nothing resembling cardboard between these pages.

And the magick? Suffice to say, Nick didn’t thumb through The Book of the Law or Magick Without Tears and copy down some of the naughty bits. He didn’t spend the weekend before bleeding onto his keyboard by reading wikipedia entries on the Master Therion. Nick understands Crowley and Thelema and presents it in a subversive, tongue not quite in cheek, but middle finger prominently displayed for all to see way. He gets it. Or if he doesn’t, he’s a damn good bullshitter, and that’s pretty much one and the same.

Love. It’s a four letter word. And there are four words in the book’s title. Book 4. Love is what I felt for Love is the Law, and for Amaranth. She’s a fucking genius, you see. The only one on Long Island, guaranteed.

Nick’s a genius too. Don’t believe me? Read Love is the Law. You’ll be convinced, if you’re not driven mad.

Love is the Law is available for pre-order via Amazon and other such outlets. It’s due for release on October 8.

ADDENDUM (8/22): It occurred to me, late last night that, if Elmore Leonard and Robert Anton Wilson were to beget a Moonchild, it would bear a striking resemblance to Love is the Law.


One Response to “A few thoughts on Nick Mamatas’ Love is the Law”

  1. […] LOVE IS THE LAW by Nick Mamatas — Not only the best occult novel, but best novel period. Why? Read my review HERE. […]

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