Occult nonsense and boring at that
Let’s instead start at the very beginning: The cover. It looks cheap and badly done. Tons of artifacts, especially around the arms. The text looks like it belongs to some romance novel, not a wanna-be occult horror “novella”.
And, oh, yes, it certainly is a “novella” which is good because much more than the about 24.000 words this thing offers would have been insufferable.
Since some endorsements are placed prominently at the beginning, let’s see what others have to say. A certain Gary A. Braunbeck states it’s “the best work she’s ever done” – well, thanks, Gary, for the warning. He adds another notable statement “Don’t start reading with any preconceived notions about horror *or* storytelling because they’ll be shredded into confetti […]”.
He’s completely right: I’ve always thought storytelling was about making the reader feel, breathe and live within the story. Gary wouldn’t agree, I guess, if he thinks what Morton does is storytelling.
According to some Ray Garton, Morton “has created something so strikingly unique that it stands alone in the genre.” – Yes, I don’t think I’ve ever read something so uniquely bad in the genre – congratulations!
Anyway, why is this book so bad after all? It’s full of pompous, self-important crap – most illuminating are the first two sentences:
“My name is Lisa Morton. I’m one of the world’s leading authorities on Halloween.”
Just prove it, Morton, don’t shove it into your readers’ faces like that. After all, you did some research after all. You have a whopping 21 footnote references – ok, 11 of them are references to this very book, other books written by yourself, other occult short-stories or just links.
Anyway, the story is quickly summarised (don’t worry, no spoilers) – the hero, the author’s alter ego, meets someone who found an age-old manuscript, that someone sets something evil free and the hero tries to fix that.
Unfortunately, our hero, who never believed in magic and thinks she’s a die-hard sceptic quickly starts believing any nonsense that gets thrown at her. She experiences (and does) something drastic but quickly shrugs it off to plan yet another atrocity. Very believable…
So, to banish something evil, she prepares to summon something even more evil without even really knowing if that’ll help or “damn the world” but, hey, who cares about logic!
And when the hero’s finally doing what she feels she has to do, the book dies with a whimper.
Coming back to the beginning and shredding something into confetti: If you bought this book, you know what to do. Or wait till Halloween and put it in your Jack-o-Lantern. Or delete it from your ebook reader and pretend it never happened – that’s certainly more suspenseful, exciting and logical than this entire “novella”.
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