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review 2017-12-27 23:09
Queer, Demon-Summoning Bohemians of the Victorian era ^^;
Creatures of Will and Temper - Molly Tanzer

Absolutely outstanding writing. I'm always impressed when an author can tell a story I can't help but respect and enjoy, even when I don't really agree with the philosophy, themes, or messages it expresses.

 

Creatures of Will and Temper is the story of two sisters in Victorian England growing into themselves and finding their place in the world. It has a highly unique, essentially amoral take on demons, and some excellent trickery in its direction, setup and twist. I almost stopped reading at the beginning, as it does open with a scene that doesn't involve either of the sisters, but rather a middle-aged lesbian demonologist, which made me think I wouldn't be interested in the story, but then things broadened rather.

 

This was a good effort as far as historical fiction goes; even the linguistic style lends itself to period writing (as opposed to the anachronistic use of too much modern language), and historical worldbuilding and background detail was flawless. Very interesting and well-explored human relationships, flaws and proclivities.

 

There is very strong homosexual (male and female, possibly implied bi) content, so if that's not your thing, be warned. Not too much highly explicit content, intimate scenes are mostly fade-to-black.

 

As far as historical fiction goes, it's an interesting angle on the more bohemian elements of Victorian society, and extrapolates that amoral and artistic attitude in a new and creative direction. In my opinion, a worthwhile and entertaining read whether or not you agree with the conclusions the author heads toward, and extremely well written.

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review 2017-04-20 21:20
Too Spooky
The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren - Gerald Brittle

So we all know I am fascinated by the warrens. When this book came off the conveyor belt at work, I couldn't resist checking it out and read it during my lunch breaks. It wasn't what I expected but interesting none the less. 

 

The Demonologist discusses the work of the Warrens, the nature of the supernatural, and how paranormal investigations and exorcisms really work. Apparently it is the main work the cast and crew of The Conjuring films used for research, which makes sense. The book does discuss the Annabelle case, Amityville, and the Enfield Poltergeist, all of which are famous cases that are brought up in the movie. Also briefly discussed is the history of how exorcisms, ghosts and demons were viewed in the past. 

 

I expected this book to be a collection of stories about their different investigations, like Ghost Hunters was. Instead what I got was more of a text book on paranormal investigations and demonic activity. That's not exactly the right term, text book, but a lot of the book was dedicated to simply explaining how demons can be recognized, the different types of spirits, etc., with anecdotes used to prove the points. That kind of disappointed me, because I wanted less of their religious philosophies and more stories of spooky ghosts, but it was interesting to read none the less. 

 

The biggest drawback to the book is the Warren's opinions themselves. I'm a big believe in the paranormal - ghosts, possession, the whole shebang. I won't touch a Ouija board and firmly believe I captured an EVP. But there were times during the book where I couldn't help but go, "Do you seriously expect me to believe this?" And everything was demons with them, which could get frustrating, especially in the case of Annalise Michel.

 

It wasn't just the stories they told, like of ghost cars. What was more frustrating was the fact that frequently the Warrens claim to have captured entities on film, but refused to put the pictures in the book. That was just teasing and I didn't like it. I understand their philosophy is, "If we show you these images it can put you at risk", and I do honestly believe they 100% believe that and aren't just saying that to get people of their backs. But if you're not going to show the things you mention, then why bring them up in the first place, especially in a book that's supposed to educate? It was frustrating and irritated me on more than one occasion. 

 

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5. It's a good book for those interested in the Warrens and the Paranormal. Definitely helps you to understand their methods more. I'll stick to the collections of spooky encounters though.

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review 2016-01-28 00:00
The Demonologist
The Demonologist - Andrew Pyper Imagine reading about demons at 2 a.m. in the morning. You're alone at your bedroom. The night is eerily silent... and your cat makes noise all of a sudden just to keep you at the edge.

That wasn't enough to scare me. Although "The Demonologist" is not a bad read, it was delivered in a way that just failed to speak to me in a deeper level.

It was like a wrong book at the wrong time.

Wrong book for the weird sensorial parts (a place "smelled like past"), the proverbial articulations with abstractions that lacked some bite ("a mind is your own place"... or something like that) and the under use of physical descriptions of the demons involved. Besides, it was telly for a genre so visceral like horror. Not exactly bad, just not my taste.

And I just discovered I don't mind that much about Christian mythology. Even though the Miltonian vision of Satan was complex and very, very interesting. Definitely not what we learn about the devil at church school.

Nonetheless, some passages can turn credulous religious into paranoids. And the Brazilian edition was beautiful:
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The binding emulated an old book.

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Creepy.

Imagine seeing this after a violent cliff hanger.
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And this demon lounging just before the last page!
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Nice job, Darkside books.
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review 2014-12-25 21:14
The Demonologist - Andrew Pyper

I wasn't surprised at all to read in the author interview in the back of the book that the author is a fan of Stephen King. Literary horror, cerebral and fun.

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review 2014-11-03 00:00
The Demonologist
The Demonologist - Andrew Pyper One of my favorite horror reads of the year. Very literate with quite a bit of exploration of the literary source of demonic activity. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of how demonic entities enter into and control a person's life. Whether you attribute these influence to an intelligent entity or individual psychosis, the concept provides much food for thought on how we allow ourselves and our lives to spin out of control.

This novel was great in every way, in my opinion. I would class it along with The Club Dumas as thinking person's horror. Now I just need to get his other books.

5 stars and one of my favorites of the year.
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