Genre - Horror
Year Published - 2016
Length - 276 (digital) pages
Written by Sam Joyce
Rating: 3 Skulls
When journalist Catherine Cobb arrives in the East Texas town of Elena, she quickly finds herself fighting for her life. Something is spreading through the population turning ordinary civilians into murderers capable of committing the most heinous crimes.
As the body count continues to rise, Catherine walks into one nightmare after another, uncovering a secret plot involving a group of neo-Nazis, top federal government, and the strange world of the occult - with global implications.
Before long, Catherine finds herself trapped in a terrifying world that she doesn't understand; and might not escape from.
This is Sam Joyce's debut horror novel.
When he contacted me with a review copy of this book, I had no idea what it was about, (other than the above plot summary) and I am still wondering about the title.
Now, I love all things horror, however there is, for me, something truly terrifying about occult horror. I generally stay away from occult horror, as I believe that there is a real "darkness" behind it.
(A perfect example of this would be tomorrow's theatrical horror release 'The Witch' - I have heard nothing but good things about it, how terrifying it is, etc, but that is one movie that I will not be seeing, as black magic, etc is all too real, and genuinely disturbs my spirit!)
Let me get back on track. . .
This book is an occult horror read, and I could have said no to reading it, but by the time that I realized what was happening "behind the scenes", I was already intrigued. (guess that proves some of the writing talent that Joyce possesses)
At first, things seem normal, then seemingly random, gruesome murders begin taking place, all over town.
What is going on?
Why is this happening?
***Slight Spoilers Below***
Enter the character of Carmen D'Amato - a practioner of a black-magic known as Palo Mayombe (essentially a form of necromancy & animalism). Its practitioners communicate with the dead and the nature spirits.
I have heard of Santeria, but never of the above - basically Palo is an even darker (Afro-Caribbean?) religion.
As I mentioned above, Joyce, by this time, had intrigued me enough to wonder how it was all going to turn out. (there is an even more sinister aspect to everything that is happening)
As for the writing - the book is split into five parts, jumping all around, and this detracted from the flow of reading.
(The fourth part of the book was the most interesting, and is what solidified Joyce's writing ability, enough for me to check out what he comes up with next.)
Also, the ending seemed way to abrupt!
With all that said, not a bad debut!