The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty – Book Review

My apologies, but I’ve been a little busy lately, and I am running out of time to finish my current review of the fourth Magi Charter novel, The Elf Accord by Jordan David, for the Online Book Club. It has been a real struggle to read and has taken up almost the entire month, so unfortunately no new review this week.

Instead, since it is almost Halloween and time for scary horror novels I am republishing my review of The Exorcist. I’m sure most people are already familiar with The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty’s famous tale of demonic possession, but in case you’re not:

 

Father Damien Karras of The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is beginning to harbour doubts about his faith, and after his mother passes away, he finds himself relieved of his duties as counsellor and relocated to the Georgetown University to act as a Psychiatry Lecturer at the Medical School, as a form of rest and recuperation.

Unbeknown to Karras however, a twelve year old girl called Regan MacNeil resides just across the street from the University and when she begins to show signs of psychiatric difficulties, the distraught mother, Chris MacNeil calls in the Priest to examine her, and it soon becomes apparent that there are far more sinister forces at work.

The poor child is believed to be suffering from demonic possession and after ruling out mental health conditions, an exorcism is deemed the only course of treatment. With express permission from the Church, Damien Karras must put his faith to the test and perform an Exorcism on Regan MacNeil. Karras and his associate Lankester Merrin attempt to cast out the demon and save the poor girl from death, but will they be successful?

 

For the most part The Exorcist is a fantastic novel, full of suspense and terror as the demon gradually takes over the little girl and the two Priests attempt to cast it out and save the girl’s life. However, the novel takes it’s time to get the story started with rather a lot of unnecessary details at the beginning and Detective Kinderman’s dialogue tends to be somewhat garbled and confusing to understand. As a result I can only rate The Exorcist at 4 out of 5 stars.

However, if you enjoy demonic possession stories and are familiar with the film and/or the more recent TV series, then I would highly recommend that you check it out.

Usually I tend to prefer a novel to a movie, as there is normally much more depth and descriptive emotion contained within the pages of a book that cannot be expressed cinematically. But in the case of The Exorcist I lean more towards the visual aspects, and it is really the film which scares me the most. It has also been rated the ‘scariest movie of ALL time’.

 

World on Fire Series – Book Review

Since I am currently reading an ARC (advanced readers copy) of Lincoln Cole’s newest novel The Everett Exorcism, due for release later this month, I felt that this was a good time to republish my earlier review of his World on Fire series.

 

In Raven’s Peak the first instalment of the World on Fire paranormal fantasy series, Abigail Dressler is defying orders from the Council of Chaldea, an organisation intent on protecting the world from supernatural threats. Her mentor, Arthur Vangeest, has went missing after an altercation with a powerful demon, and despite being advised not to pursue that line of enquiry, Abigail is determined to find him. Her search leads her to Raven’s Peak where the local townsfolk are acting in a really bizarre manner.

The follow-up and second novel in the World on Fire series is Raven’s Fall. The Council places Abigail on trial to answer for her recent actions and dissent in the town of Raven’s Peak. Believing her to be a security threat to the organisation, Aram Malhotra, leader of the Council, petitions to have Abigail charged with treason and removed from the Order of Hunters, by having her executed. Can her friends save her before it is too late?

Raven’s Rise is the third and final novel in the World on Fire trilogy, and thanks to Aram’s deceit and treachery the Council of Chaldea now lies in ruins. A powerful threat looms over the few surviving members of the Council and the Order of Hunters, and the Catholic Church has turned against them. Can those remaining prevent the demon from completing the ritual and unleashing an evil entity upon the world?

 

At first I was sceptical of this series due to the religious cults and secret organisations, fearing that the constant talk of religion would result in a rather boring and disinteresting story, but thankfully religion doesn’t play a major role, as the book concentrates more on the emotional and physical after-effects of demonic possession and the psychic links between demons and their hosts, rather than on the banishments and exorcisms that you may expect from other demonic possession novels, such as The Exorcist.

 

Raven’s Peak is a riveting page-turner which constantly leaves you craving more, and with no filler material added to help bulk up the story, this is a fantastic, past-paced novel for fans of both horror and fantasy. You can read my full review of Raven’s Peak here at onlinebookclub.org.

Both sequels, Raven’s Fall and Raven’s Rise, continue in the same manner as the first, reeling in the reader with their strong, action packed storylines, keeping you on tenterhooks and cliff-hangers as the tale quickly unfolds.

Once you begin reading this series it will be a struggle to stop, until you have devoured all three books in quick succession. While not always a fan of the paranormal, I found Lincoln Cole’s World on Fire series to be a very surprising, thrilling and entertaining read, with all three novels scoring a full 5/5 star rating.

 

Please keep an eye out for my review of The Everett Exorcism which is due for release on October 24th.

The Death Wish Game – Book Review

Now that we are into October and Halloween is fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to focus primarily on horror novels for a while. The first of this months’ creepy horror stories is The Death Wish Game by Jonathan Chateau.

 

After losing his wife and his job, Rodney has hit rock bottom. Just as he is about to end his life forever, his sister, Becky invites him to live with her in Miami and offers him a chance at hope. As Rodney boards the Mane’s Transportation bus from South Carolina to Florida, he is blissfully unaware of the danger he will soon face.

Offered a free meal and a beer courtesy of Mane’s Transportation as the bus prepares to leave, Rodney thinks his life is beginning to improve, until he wakes up some time later, tied to his seat in the middle of nowhere.

Trapped on a bus with a group of complete strangers, Rodney soon discovers that he has inadvertently become involved in a deadly game, and that not everyone will survive. Can the passengers hold on for the night, reach safety by morning, and escape their fate?

 

This novel reads like a typical slasher movie, a bunch of suicidal people are trapped in the middle of nowhere, being stalked by lunatics, and must now fight for their lives. It is well written and compelling, reeling in the reader with its mystery and keeping you turning the pages, eager to find out what will happen next.

There are, rather unfortunately, a few spelling mistakes littered throughout the text, but if you enjoy slasher flicks or zombie horror, then The Death Wish Game would be a recommended read at a full 5 out of 5 stars.

Stay tuned for some more horror reviews throughout the rest of October.

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 1 – Blackmark (Book Review)

The first book review on the new Sci-Fi Kingdom wordpress.com site is Blackmark, book 1 of The Kingsmen Chronicles by Jean Lowe Carlson.

 

After being summoned to Roushenn Palace and an audience with the King, the King’s army, known as the Kingsmen, are dubbed traitors, mysteriously vanishing from existence. As a result, ten years later, there are very few Kingsmen and Kingskinder (Kingsmen children) still in existence who sport the famous brand on their chests – black tattoo’s which signify a soldiers’ allegiance to their King. Elohl is one such soldier, carrying the ink of the Kingsmen, despite being a year shy of fully completing his training. He is despised for carrying the ‘blackmark’, and after a decade of betrayal, Elohl seeks the truth behind the incident at the Palace all those years ago.

 

There is a large and varied set of characters within Jean Lowe Carlson’s Kingsmen Chronicles. This provides a lot of depth to the series, however it can be difficult initially to keep up with this vast array of complicated names and locales, making for slow reading. There are also a few inconsistencies in the spelling of certain names, a minor point, but rather irritating at times.

Now please don’t mistake me, this does not mean that Blackmark is not an enjoyable novel, far from it in fact. This is an extremely well written, researched and painstakingly planned out book which I have given 4 out of 5 stars. I just had to read slowly and carefully in order to keep up with all of the different aspects to the story.

In a similar vein to large, epic tales of war and strife, such as George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series A.K.A. Game of Thrones, once you grow accustomed to the plot and begin to differentiate between the houses, armies, names and locations etc. Blackmark is an enthralling start to a much larger series.

I now look forward to reading the follow-up, part two of the Kingsmen Chronicles, Bloodmark.

 

I received a free copy of this novel direct from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

See also:

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 2 – Bloodmark

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 3 – Goldenmark

Welcome to Sci-Fi Kingdom

Welcome to the new home of the Sci-Fi Kingdom book review blog here at wordpress.com.

 

First of all I would like to thank all of the people who supported the original website. Unfortunately, as you now know, I have had to relocate the blog. I have also decided to make a number of changes to the original format of my reviews by changing the rating system to a much more streamlined and practical 5 star system, rather than the complex 10 star system, as outlined below:

Continue reading “Welcome to Sci-Fi Kingdom”