If you haven’t seen The Sixth Sense, some of the ranting in this post won’t make sense. Even if you HAVE seen The Sixth Sense, it might not, but I feel like it has to be said: Somebody’s a Fuckin Thief. More on that later

This book is actually composed of two novellas. The first is called Sabella: The Bloodstone and is a gothic sci-fi mystery romance. Sabella is the preternaturally beautiful and seductive focus of the tale. She narrates the course of her life in vignettes and outtakes slowly revealing that on her far space colony of Novo Mars, she is in fact one of the old inhabitants reborn; She’s a vampire.

It has it’s advantages, but she’s fairly paranoid all things considered. As she puts it “I’m a lady who’s past is all littered with dead gentlemen callers” She didn’t start out as a vampire, and what happened to her is part of the mystery, but she carries around a palpable sense of guilt for her feeding habits and tries in various ways to repent for her sins.

Ultimately she finds herself with a nemesis, Jace. He’s hot on her trail and seems to have a good idea of what she’s been up to. Jace is determined to make her answer for her actions. As she runs away from her pursuer, she runs toward the remnants of the Christian faith, imported from Earth. She finds herself sitting in a church whispering in Latin

De profundus clamave. Ad te domine. Domine exaude voca meam

Out of the depths oh, lord I have cried to you. Hear my voice.*

When Jace finally catches her, he does not punish her as she expects, but shows her a truth that sets her free of her guilt and teaches her a new way to live. And rather than being based on religion, it’s all about sex. I’m for it.

The second novella is Kill The Dead

In this story Parl Dro is a famous exorcist who travels the landscape leaving his legend to grow as long as his shadow at dusk. His history is melancholy and mostly solitare, but when he does come into contact with other people, his energy and seventh sense tend to impact the course of events rather profoundly.

We begin on a hillside on the outskirts of a small village. When Parl comes down out of the mountains, he can sense the presence of the undead in a leaning house by the wayside. It happens that unlike in some cases, where his services are welcome and wanted, here the ghost in residence is there due to the conjuring of her still living witch-gifted sister. She was called back from the spirit world as means to assuage the guilt the still living sister Ciddy felt after she killed her sister Cilny in the first place. She’s a charming girl, really.

When Parl sends Ciddy on her way to the next world, Cilny is incensed and driven to a mad rage that no human means of revenge could ever satisfy. She goes to the length of drowning herself to exact the particular brand of retribution she has picked out for the ghost-killer.

Meanwhile, back in the village, Parl has made the acquaintance of one Mayal; a minstrel who’s skills mark him as singularly gifted, but leave him generally despised. He hopes to write a song which will make his fortune, and when he sees the famous Dro, he decides to follow him about and try to make a ballad from his exploits.

Less than thrilled with this addition to his journey, Parl attempts to leave Mayal behind more than once. Somehow though, Mayal manages to find him nevertheless. After he catches Parl up a second time, it become clear that not only is Mayal following him, so too is the vengeance bent Ciddy. Dro attempts to exorcise her in the customary manner, but for some reason fail to send her away entirely.

Worried that Ciddy has latched on to Mayal as a source of ongoing energy for her weird pseudo-life Parl keeps the minstrel with him to try and rid them both of her presence once and for all.

Various and sundry transpires, but the ultimate confrontation reveals that Parl is no ordinary ghost killer; no indeed much to his own and everyone else’s surprise he too is a ghost**
There are other revelations I’ll spare you, but it is an engaging tale with more twists than I just gave away for the sake of the following rant…
The Sixth Sense is a move about a kid who is having a hard time because he has the uncanny power of being able to see the spirits of dead people. He has various adventures in the course of coming to terms with this truth. Like when he goes into a church, and in the background we hear the following phrase in Latin:

De profundus clamave. Ad te domine. Domine exaude voca meam

Out of the depths oh, lord I have cried to you. Hear my voice.

Huh. Okay. “But Autumn,” you say “Latin phrases appear everywhere! This isn’t that unusual!”
We are forced to remember that the person who is most crucial to the process of saving the charming young fella much to his own surprise, he too is a ghost
When I watched this film, I SCOURED the credits for ANY MENTION of Tanith Lee (the author of the book that is herein reviewed) and there was none. Therefore, someone is a fuckin’ thief. Because even though there are lots of differences and plot elements and blah blah blah, there is CLEARLY some inspiration drawn from this book, and no acknowledgement of same and that pisses me off. Plus, anyone who goes by M.Night is a wankjob anyways.

But, despite the ranty digression, I do love this book.

*This will be important for the ranting

**This too.