First edition cover of the 2012 Berkley Books release
|September 4, 2012|
|Followed by||Gabriel's Rapture|
Gabriel's Inferno is an erotic romance novel by an anonymous Canadian author under the pen name Sylvain Reynard. The story was first published in novel format in 2011 by Omnific Publishing, with further publishing rights to the series being purchased by Berkley Books. The work was first published on 4 September 2012, along with the second book in the series, Gabriel's Rapture.
The series has been compared to Fifty Shades of Grey because both originated as Twilight fan fiction, with the International Business Times reporting that Gabriel's Inferno differs in that it bears "few similarities to the story that inspired it". The novel was originally published online as a Twilight fan fiction entitled The University of Edward Masen (Edward Masen being Edward Cullen's human name) under the pen name of Sebastien Robichaud. Gabriel's Inferno and its sequels appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list.
Gabriel Emerson is a brilliant and enigmatic professor of Dante studies at the University of Toronto. His cold, aloof exterior masks dark secrets he successfully hides, though he has never overcome them. A lovely, intelligent graduate student in his seminar triggers a dim memory - one he cannot place, but which is key to the happiness he long thought was impossible.
Julianne Mitchell is a compassionate, kind young woman still struggling to overcome a childhood of neglect and abuse. When she enrolls at the University of Toronto, she knows she will see someone from her past - a man she met once, in an encounter she has never forgotten. Gabriel cannot recall what Julia knows: that they have a shared history rooted in an important moment of their lives.
The story unfolds around the electrifying connection between Gabriel and Julia and their increasingly passionate affair. Gabriel sees her unconditional love as his path to salvation even as he acknowledges his selfishness in doing so. Julia struggles with her own self-worth as she grows to trust Gabriel's feelings for her. Determined to capture the happiness that eluded them when they parted years ago, they must defy their own painful pasts as well as obstacles which now conspire to keep them apart.
When initially writing the novel, Reynard tried to "explore the themes of redemption and love with respect to two flawed people." The author also chose not to focus on the "mechanics of sex," viewing it as potentially detracting from the "mysterious and sometimes transcendent aspects of it." Reynard drew inspiration for the novel from the relationship between Dante and Beatrice Portinari.
Reynard has stated that the series was written as fanfiction as "an opportunity to try my hand at fiction writing."
Fan reaction to the series has been positive, with some readers staging Inferno-inspired tours of Toronto. When Reynard chose to release the series for publication, some readers expressed disapproval over fanfiction being published for profit akin to the backlash Fifty Shades of Grey also received. As of October 2012, the book and its sequel were numbers 12 and 17 on The New York Times paperback trade fiction list.
The second book in the series, Gabriel's Rapture, was released alongside Gabriel's Inferno on 4 September 2012. A third entry in the series, Gabriel's Redemption was released on 3 December 2013. It also leads to a supernatural spin-off series centering a character introduced in Gabriel's Redemption, who is later revealed as a vampire known as The Prince, and his lover, Raven Wood, beginning with the novel The Raven.
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- "Mysterious Author Scores Seven-Figure Deal for ‘Fifty Shades'-esque Novel". Hollywood Reporter. 2012-01-08. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- Dawn Calleja (2012-10-05). "Erotic novels set in Toronto burn up the bestseller list". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- Costanza, Justine. "'Twilight' Inspired Erotica To Be Published; FanFiction Based On The Series Becomes A Genre". IB Times. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Carolyn Kellogg (2012-08-01). "The '50 Shades' effect: 'Gabriel's Inferno' lands major publisher - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "Interview: Sylvain Reynard, author of 'Gabriel’s Inferno' - USATODAY.com". Books.usatoday.com. 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- Counter, Rosemary. "How long can the rich and famous ‘Gabriel’s Inferno’ author stay anonymous?". Macleans. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Boog, Jason. "Twilight Fan Fiction History of Gabriel’s Inferno". GalleyCat. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Costanza, Justine Ashley. "Is Gabriel's Rapture' Sexier Than Fifty Shades Of Grey? Author Sylvain Reynard Says 'Seduction Begins With The Mind'". IB Times. Retrieved 21 November 2014.