Monday, October 26, 2015

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

The Demonologist A stolen child.

An ancient evil.

A father’s descent.

And the literary masterpiece that holds the key to his daughter’s salvation.

This novel has all the elements that I love: horror, demons, psychological terror, and an interesting main character. The execution of it, however, is what really keeps me from recommending it. 

The pacing could have been better throughout the last half of the book. It starts off well, with enough momentum to keep us reading but without overwhelming us, either, but it veers off into a race somewhere at the half-way mark. It is well written for the most part, but the plot is thin. Very thin. There is no real reason why any of it truly happens, why the protagonist goes to Venice, why he returns, or why he goes off into an endless cross-country road trip. This weakens the plot substantially. Most of the turning points in the story also come about my almost random guessing on the part of the protagonist, which takes away from the reader’s enjoyment. 

The ending, too, leaves a lot to be desired. It is wholly expected and bordering on the cliché. All of this makes the novel a pretty strong disappointment.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Brother by Ania Ahlborn

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…
This is a perfect read for the Halloween season. It has lots of horror (more Saw than The Exorcist) and psychological mystery, making it a great choice for those of you like me who love a bit of depth with their gore. 

The two main characters are fully fledged, and very real. As the story progresses and we learn more about the background of the Morrows and what Michael and Rebel’s relationship is like, the terror truly starts. There is a delicious sense of uncertainty throughout the pages which heighten the fear. 

Although the climactic revelation is foreshadowed much too early and takes away some of the surprise the author meant to give us, the very end, the last couple of lines, will leave you reeling. If you want scares and psychological terror, this is the one to choose this year.