Book Review: Purgatorium

Our external reviewer Sara is busy working in a library and running a bunch of book clubs but she still makes time to do reviews for us every little while. Here is her review of Purgatorium by J.H. Caranathon.

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Synopsis: When his watch resets to zero, his morning starts again. A handsome, young urban professional awakens inside his cavernous high-rise apartment. He is an emotionless drone of a man content with his self-structured regiment and amazing wealth, and he is totally oblivious to his abnormal lifestyle. Every day lasts an hour with the time always ending right at 60 minutes, giving him only 5 minutes to stay at one specific time zone in his structured routine. He keeps reliving the same day over and over, barely able to remember anything from the day before and unable to maintain mental order as he stumbles through his strange existence.

One day, his routine is interrupted when seven strangers separately appear. Everything slams to a halt as they tell him that his physical body is in a coma and his consciousness is currently in a purgatory-like realm. As his body lies in a coma, his mind has been living a lavish lifestyle at a price: his sinful memories and his autonomy.

After finding out his life support is coming to an end in eight hours, he must now run a race to get his life back. He must rely on this group who seem to tender on truth and violence to get him to the finish line on time. He just needs to remember who he is and come to terms with what he has done if he’s ever going to decide if he is a soul survivor ready for a second chance at life or a lost soul bound by no redemption.

The clock is ticking, and if he is going to survive, he’ll have to face his demons and outthink the clock that has constrained him for so long. For each minute that passes teeters the fine line between his life and death.

In this book, the main character is trapped in a cerebral purgatory of his own making, while his body lies in a coma. He is followed around by perhaps helpful archangels that are trying to help him realize his situation so that he can escape, as well as terrifying monsters determined to keep him trapped.

This book is a very interesting concept, but rather confusing. I think that this would be a very interesting book if you were REALLY into science fiction, as this reads a lot like the classics of this genre. I also think this book would benefit from a second read, as it would probably be more enjoyable if you could understand it a bit more in the moment.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of jumping around, and as the story is narrated from the confused point of view of the protagonist, we travel through the story in the same sense of disbelief and confusion as him. I think that I really WANTED to enjoy this book, but I found it to require a bit too much focus to keep up than I found enjoyable.

That being said, it is well written, and the character development is strange and interesting, and the concept is very cool. I think that many people would enjoy this book if read by the right person in the right circumstances. I would definitely read more by this author, and probably even try to reread this in the future.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


I did my first ever reading vlog! It was a lot of fun to make and it was kind of like a review as I read the book. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

EIS - Book Cover (Small)

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