Supernatural: The Unholy Cause by Joe Schreiber (Book Review)

The Unholy Cause is book five in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is the first of these books to be written by author Joe Schreiber. The monster-hunting duo return for yet another adventure in this unique tale, which takes place at an unknown point during season 5.

 

The Winchester brothers are led to Mission’s Ridge in Georgia, where some civil war re-enactments have become a bit too realistic. With two dead civilians and a pack of demons invading the town, can Sam and Dean figure out how replica weapons are killing people, before they end up arrested by the local Sheriff, Jack Daniels?

 

Favourite Quote:

“War is hell.” – Phil Oiler (p109)

 

At 2 out of 5 stars The Unholy Cause is ok, personally I’m not a huge fan of war re-enactment style novels, and since I’m not American the content doesn’t really appeal to me. However, it’s Sam and Dean Winchester on the hunt of the Supernatural, so I kept an open mind. The story did enough to keep me reading, and I kept waiting for something interesting or exciting to happen, such as a jump-scare scene or super-creepy monster, but sadly nothing of any real substance happened. In truth it was a little boring for me, especially compared with some of the other Supernatural books, and I can’t say I’m all that keen to re-read this one anytime soon.

Joe Schreiber doesn’t offer much in the way of backstory about the Winchester brothers, but since the only people likely to read these books are people who are fans of the TV show, this probably isn’t much of an issue. As far as characterisation is concerned Sam and Dean are portrayed very well, and the overall pace of the novel is quite swift, so I found this to be a relatively quick read. My final negative point is that we don’t know when exactly in the overall timeline this book is set, only that it takes place during season five, and this is a small, niggly detail that the perfectionist in me hates.

 

Anyone interested in war re-enactment style fantasy novels, can check out The Unholy Cause by Joe Schreiber here via this link to Amazon.co.uk.

 

See also:

Supernatural: Nevermore

Supernatural: Witch’s Canyon

Supernatural: Bone Key

Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon

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Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Book Review)

Heart of the Dragon is book four of the TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and the third book to be written by author Keith R.A. DeCandido. The monster-hunting Winchester brothers, Sam and Dean, take on another action packed adventure in Heart of the Dragon, which takes place during season 5, between episodes 8 (Changing Channels) and 9 (The Real Ghostbusters).

 

In this Japanese themed story, the boys travel to San Francisco, where an enemy previously thought defeated by both John Winchester, 20 years earlier, and the Campbell family, 40 years ago, has once again returned.

At their Angel friend, Castiel’s insistence the boys drive to California to hunt a demon that has returned to wreak havoc during the Demon-Angel war, which for those familiar with the backstory was accidentally initiated by both Dean, and then later on by Sam’s selfish handiwork – check out season 4 for further details on that.

 

While I enjoyed learning more about Samuel, Deanna and Mary Campbell, as they took down a vampire nest and faced off against the Heart of the Dragon during its first incarnation. This novel is really one story, split into three separate parts, and due to the various different time periods, there are a significant number of secondary characters. As a result Sam and Dean don’t really have that big of a part to play in the overall narrative, and aren’t in the story as much as I would like.

At 2 out of 5 stars I found the Heart of the Dragon to be an enjoyable and interesting enough book, which manages to successfully tie together a very basic story, which is told over numerous different decades. It also provides fans of the show with additional details of the Winchester brother’s family history, which we haven’t previously been offered elsewhere. However, it has a surprising lack of Sam and Dean – as well as only an extremely brief cameo from Castiel – and as most fans will know, the brother’s fraught relationship is a large part of the TV series. Therefore, this book doesn’t quite hit the mark for me.

 

If anyone wishes to check out The Heart of the Dragon by Keith R.A. DeCandido, they can do so via this link to the Amazon.co.uk product page.

 

See also:

Supernatural: Nevermore

Supernatural: Witch’s Canyon

Supernatural: Bone Key

 

World of Shadows: Book 3 – The Bishop’s Legacy (Book Review)

The Bishop’s Legacy is the third and final part of Lincoln Cole’s World of Shadows trilogy. Arthur Vangeest and Father Niccolo Paladina continue their quest to prevent Bishop Leopold Glasser’s evil plans against the Church from coming to fruition.

With the Bishop gone it is up to Jeremy, Leopold’s second in command and the most powerful of the Vatican Children, to finish what the Bishop has begun. Meanwhile, Arthur and Niccolo, with help from the Council of Chaldea and the Catholic Church, must find Jeremy and stop him from unleashing a demonic army upon the unsuspecting world.

 

The Bishop’s Legacy is a very short novel at around 200 or so pages, and in my opinion far too short. It takes a long time before anything of relevance really happens, and I would have preferred a lot more action and excitement in this concluding story.

One of my main peeves about the previous novel, The Vatican Children, is that we don’t receive much detail about the children with special abilities, such as what their abilities are, how they work and what the Bishop really wants to use them for. I had hoped that since these children play an important role in this final book, that we would learn a lot more about all of the different children. Unfortunately, only a small handful are discussed, and even less of those actually contribute to the overall story. This is extremely disappointing.

There are also a lot of loose ends, from both the World of Shadows and also the World on Fire series, which have yet to be concluded. Does this mean that a third trilogy is imminent?

 

One final thing to note is the large number of spelling and grammar errors within this rather short novel, well over 30 of them in fact. As a result, I feel that The Bishop’s Legacy, is an inadequate conclusion to an otherwise intriguing series at just 3 out of 5 stars.

However, those interested in discovering how the story ends can pick up a copy of The Bishop’s Legacy from Amazon here.

 

See Also:

World of Shadows: Book 1 – The Everett Exorcism

World of Shadows: Book 2 – The Vatican Children

The World on Fire Series

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. You can pick up a copy from Amazon here.

 

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.