Thursday, January 30, 2014
Review of Demon Of The Fall by R. P. Kraul
One of my favorite genres is horror.
I know! How politically incorrect of me. It's now called Dark Fantasy. Urban Fantasy...blah blah blah. It's horror people! Horror! As in Stephen King was the King of it! You know horror!
Can you tell that I am a little upset about the current hibernation of my favorite genre? I'm tired of glittery vampires, and muscular lupine young men. I don't care how well it sells or how many young and mature women's fantasies that particular type of writing satisfies. I want my monsters undiluted!
Undiluted I tell you!
And then, my wish was heard and granted.
R.P. Kraul, author of Mirrors of Anguish came out with a new book, and it is a kick in the pants to anyone who thinks they write horror. Kraul writes some scary, uncomfortable stuff. No kidding.
His new book is called Demon of the Fall and it is crafty, scary piece of horror, for those of you that like their horror, at turns scary and moody, and at the same time, visceral and disgusting.
Book Description from Amazon:
Lucio "Toxic Lou" Pardine, a hoodlum from Albany, steal’s money from the Delamino Family’s most feared contract killer and, hoping for a new start, flees to Purity, Pennsylvania. But Purity has a history of darkness dating back to the Civil War, when it inherited its name from Adam Purity, the Confederate Colonel who took refuge in the mountain village. Colonel Purity eluded the Yankees but succumbed to the ancient evil residing in the town.
While Purity prepares for its annual Hallows' Eve food offering to protect themselves from evil spirits, an enigmatic grave robber—the police refer to him as “Necro Nick”—threatens the festivities. Toxic Lou, after he’s accused of being this grave robber, breaks into an abandoned church—once the scene of a horrific murder—to investigate the source of a strange mystical light. Unknowingly, he frees the town’s ancient evil from its prison in the church.
Gabriel Vance, the cold philosophical killer who Lou swindled, has traced Lou's whereabouts to Purity. The two men prepare for a blood-spattered battle to the death, but the ancient evil known as The Demon of the Fall will use one of these men—perhaps both of them—as pawns in its bid to destroy Purity.
So let's get into what I liked about this novel:
Characters: I loved the characters in this novel. Everyone in this novel is a little criminal, in an emotional way, or in an actual way. Lou is a thief and a killer, a criminal from New York running for his life, because he stole money from some more crooks and killers. You would think that you would hate everyone in this novel. But you would be wrong. Kraul pulls off what is difficult for seasoned writers, and he does it in his second novel. He takes an anti-hero, the criminal Lou "Toxic Lou" Pardino and turns him into someone you rout for throughout the novel, even as he's trying to keep the money he stole hidden. How does he do that? Easy. He makes everything else hideous, odious. Gabriel Vance is as cold-blooded as he can be. Taking the one thing from Pardino that means the most to him. This makes Pardino the hero of the story and a capable one at that.
Setting: Much of this book takes place on the estate grounds of Edmund Graves, a well-to-do man. Lou is the hired help on the ground. The setting of this estate was a real as it could be and I never had the problem of wondering what the place looked like. I had a solid picture of it throughout.
In fact all of the desriptions of places in this novel were gripping from the description of a police station as, "A small dingy building with a single jail cell, already occupied, and two ancient desks arranged in he center of the floor," like in The Andy Griffith Show, to the description of the abandoned church near the property where flashlights are "illuminating the unreserved eyes of broken angel statues," this novel is way wicked in how it pulls you in and sets you right into the town of Purity.
Formatting: Solid formatting from the folks at Immortal Ink Publishing. As an aside, I would say that Immortal Ink has been emerging as a player in the indie publishing game. They have some solid titles and you should take a look. Several of them will be featured here! Pretty awesome.
Now, for why this book has an awesome format. It's pretty damn flawless with some of the coolest, creepiest, chapter heads I had seen in a long time. I can't even describe it. Check out a sample of the book and you will catch it for yourself. I know that these little things aren't what make a good book, but they sure as heck create a subliminal thought or two in thee old noggin'. The editing is pretty flawless, with only a few mistakes here and there. About as much as you would find in any traditionally published novel.
In totality, this book is a solid foray into some uncomfortable, squirm-worthy horror. I'm thank ful for R.P. Kraul and the folks at Immortal Ink for being willing to call this book what it is...horror, and for not being afraid to publish it. Mr. Kraul, I.ve said it before...but you have revived the genre of horror for me, my man. Truly.
Folks, check this out as soon as you can, but don't say I didn't warn you. This book is not for the squeamish or those who don't like foul language.