Punishment by Hope by Erik Hofstatter


Nim is a master swimmer floating on waves of wet hope. His penance is to swim and carry, but his heart is held onboard a grieving ship in the aquamarine prison of her eyes.

She is his sentence and he is hers. Will a mysterious humanoid jellyfish reunite the star-crossed lovers?

This book contains graphic sex and violence, and is not suitable for readers under the age of 18.


“Punishment by Hope is a wildly poetic and surreal odyssey through sexual obsession, murder and retribution, set in a bioluminescent Dantesque world of fiery and aquatic horrors.”—Barbie Wilde, Author (The Venus Complex, Voices of the Damned) and Actress (Hellbound: Hellraiser II)

“A dreamlike seascape of desperate wishes, and a nightmarish vision of love’s life and death, this is a powerful, haunting tale.”—Tim Lebbon, Author of Eden

“Punishment by Hope is a vivid and erotic fantasy mystery. Hofstatter weaves a memorable spell.”—James Bennett, Author of Chasing Embers

“Punishment by Hope ebbs and flows in its oceanic imagery, giving you a taste of something you might want before churning in gore or the grotesque and then withdrawing back into its own uncanny depths like some kind of foamy blood tide. And like the vast ocean, the tale it spins is at once visceral, lustrous and literally unfathomable.”—Michael Arnzen, 4 x Bram Stoker Award-winning Horror Author

“Punishment by Hope is an erotic, splattery fever dream of a story. It gets to the core of what makes the very best horror. Underlying both is the sense that the universe isn’t orderly or benign, but rather chaotic and malicious.”—Tim Waggoner, Bram Stoker Award-winning Author of Winter Box

“A dreamlike seascape of desperate wishes, and a nightmarish vision of love’s life and death.”—Tim Lebbon

This is unlike anything I have read before, the first surreal genre story I have read. At first I wasn't sure what to make of it but the imagery is so rich it carried me along. This feels more like a poem than prose. 

Set in a mythical world full of magic we have a dark love story between two lovers who aren't always what they seem.  Nim is a master swimmer and hopelessly in love with Esiteri who is trapped on a ship far out in the ocean. Nim is tormented with her captivity but there is no way to free her without hurting her, but he still lives on hope that one day they will be together again.


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