NEVER have I been so unsettled reading a book narrated by a 14 year old girl. But perhaps that is because Elizabeth is not your ordinary teenager. She's descended from a long line of witches and is now discovering the power within her. Or is she? You'll have to read this to find out!
The prose in this book is simply outstanding. It's chilling at times because the narrator seems to have no feelings whatsoever. She talks about sex, acts of violence, and eating breakfast all in the same tone. Sometimes I would need to read a sentence or paragraph over again to be sure that I read it correctly.
Then, there's the sex. It's not graphic at all, there are no mentions of sex organs or the mechanics of the act itself...it's just there. Perhaps that is why it never bothered me, as sex between a 14 year old girl and adults should. Then again, perhaps it is because Elizabeth herself never expresses any feeling about it, she only mentions it as a...tool, (please forgive the half-hearted pun), to get what she wants.
The entire time I was reading, I was wondering if Elizabeth, indeed, possessed supernatural powers. Was everything going on simply a matter of coincidence and her overactive imagination? Or were these things actually happening because of her actions? (In this regard, Elizabeth reminds me of one of my favorite books, THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons.) It was the masterful writing of Mr. Greenhall that had me turning this fact over and over again in my mind. I know what conclusion I came to, I'm interested in yours!
This novel reminds me of why I became a horror fan in the first place, it wasn't the gore or the blood, (though those DO have their place and I love them too), it's human nature and what people can be capable of, underneath their ordinary facades. These days we have tons of books and TV shows about sociopaths/psychopaths/personality disorders-all of which are trying to explain things to us. Mr. Greenhall wrote this back in the day, (the 1970's), before FBI profiling and Criminal Minds. Even without all of those studies and the psychiatric manuals, he had this criminal profile down PAT.
Is Elizabeth continuing on her family's tradition of witchcraft, or is she another type of animal altogether? I HIGHLY recommend you read this book, and then come talk to me. We'll discuss it together!
*Thank you to the most awesome Valancourt Books for the free review copy in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*
**Furthermore, thanks to Valancourt for bringing back these horror gems that may otherwise have been entirely forgotten. Bravo, guys! Bravo!**
In the late 70's, I started reading horror in earnest, and I honestly thought I was familiar with most horror writers of the time. I was wrong. I'd never heard of Ken Greenhall until Valancourt Books brought him to my attention. Now, I want to get my hands on everything he's written.
Baxter, the bull terrier, is a sociopath. But he's just a dog, you might say! It's true, but he's observant, willful and extremely dangerous. With some portions of this book being from his point of view, the reader gets a clear look into what's going on in that doggie head of his. I know this book sounds cheesy, and perhaps like a rip-off of Cujo, but the facts are that it's not cheesy at all, and it was written before Cujo. Featuring keen insights into human behavior, precise but spare prose, and bringing to the reader a growing sense of dread and horror, I'm pretty sure this will be among the best books I will read this year.
My highest recommendation! You can get your copy here: Hell Hound
*Thanks to Valancourt Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
Little by little, one of the world's most powerful families is being destroyed. And no one seems to know why. Those who suspect the truth do not live to reveal it. — Only thirteen-year-old Damien Thorn seems immune from the bizarre accidents claiming the lives of those around him. Damien, whose own father tried to kill him seven years ago... Damien, whose loving foster family is learning the meaning of hellish fear... Damien, who is leaving behind the seeming innocence of youth to fulfill the terrifying prophecy foretold long ages ago... Damien, who is discovering that it is not, after all, the meek but the master of ultimate evil who shall inherit the earth!
I was on the second book of one of the most famous fiction antichrist Saga's known the Damien Omen saga, there was 6 book's written by different authors i'm not going sit here and say the book's were based on the film or vice versa when I don't know. The thing I do know though, is the sega is amazing!! It has that kind of retro Horror feel about it that has been copied a lot, but this is the original and it's held it's craze as a classic.
Damien is now 13 in this book. And for some reason doesn't actually know he's the Antichrist. To me that seemed a bit out of place as I'm sure in the 1st book he is actually told.
The plot, it's self was fantastic, it didn't quite focus on the main protagonist Danien but mainly on those around him and for the family he was adopted into the 'Thorns' and the Thorn's corporation, it had a quite of up to age feel that I liked considering this book was written by the author in 1978! It didn't have a drudging polt and the paperback was slim and easy to read. I'm actually so hyped I now own this whole collection! As it really is classic horror read. I just have to watch the films now!