Genre: Demons

Ominous October – The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

October 30, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Ominous October, Read in 2015 0 Comments

Ominous October – The Exorcist by William Peter BlattyThe Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Narrator: Eliana Shaskan, William Peter Blatty
Published by Harper Audio on 1971
Length: 12 hours and 51 minutes
Genres: Classics, Demons, Horror
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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three-stars

The phenomenal bestseller that inspired the classic motion picture, rereleased in this special 40th Anniversary Edition

Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist was not only a bestselling literary phenomenon, but one of the most frightening and controversial novels—and terrifying movies—ever created. Based on a documented case of demonic possession, it is the story of Regan, the twelve-year-old daughter of an accomplished actress who has become possessed by an ancient demon, and the Catholic priests—one elderly, the other conflicted—who will risk their faith and their souls to save her.

Four decades after its initial publication, William Peter Blatty's purposefully raw, profane, and utterly gripping novel remains a shocking and eerily believable literary experience. It is a powerful and frightening classic that continues to transfix and inspire fans worldwide.

“You don’t blame us for being here, do you? After all, we have no place to go. No home… Incidentally, what an excellent day for an exorcism…”

When Regan MacNeil, daughter of famous actress Chris MacNeil, becomes strangely ill, coming up with a reasonable explanation proves difficult. Chris’ original belief that this is caused by repressed anger over her divorce with Regan’s father because less likely as time progresses and Regan begins going through increasingly violent episodes and physical transformations as well. When modern medical treatments fail to provide any change in her daughter, Chris seeks out the help of a local priest by the name of Damien Karras. While Karras is also quick to disregard the notion that Regan could be possessed based on a personal crisis of faith, it becomes more and more clear that there’s nothing else it could possibly be. Blatty states that his idea for the novel came after reading an article which claims that a 14-year-old boy was successfully exorcised of the devil.

It might be obvious to say that this novel features heavy religious discussions and of the never-ending battle between good and evil. Even though I expected it, I felt it was done in a very maladroit way. Many horror novels I’ve read, and many of the classics I’ve recently read, tend to focus more on the actual horror. The Exorcist, I felt was attempting to be more literary and highbrow than was necessarily called for as well as overly excessive in terms of time spent instructing the reader in religious knowledge. For me, an air of mystery will cause more fright versus being explained the reasoning behind things in minute detail.

The actual horror of this novel was a lot more subdued than I anticipated. While I knew random bits of pop culture trivia even though I hadn’t seen the movie beforehand, the supposedly horrific aspects of this story were far more gross than scary. Particularly the scene where she vomits green stuff or where she does… bad things with a crucifix. Sure, it’s meant to be horrifying that she’s doing these actions unwillingly, and that it’s terrible it’s happening to a girl so young but it didn’t evoke any terror for me. Still, this was a definite “must-read” on the list of horror classics and I’ve successfully knocked it out. I should probably suck it up and watch the movie now. Knowing that her projectile green vomit was actually Andersen’s pea soup mixed with a little oatmeal will likely ease any potential terror. 🙂

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Ominous October – The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

October 22, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Ominous October, Read in 2015 0 Comments

Ominous October – The Amityville Horror by Jay AnsonThe Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
Published by Pocket Star on September 13th, 1977
Pages: 256
Genres: Demons, Horror, Occult & Supernatural
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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three-stars

The shocking true story of an American dream that turned into a nightmare beyond imagining...

In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their new home on suburban Long Island. George and Kathleen Lutz knew that one year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers, and sisters in the house, but the property - complete with boathouse and swimming pool - and the price had been too good to pass up. Twenty-eight days later, the entire Lutz family fled in terror...

This is the spellbinding, bestselling true story that gripped the nation - the story of a house possessed by spirits, haunted by psychic phenomena too terrible to describe.

The Amityville Horror is said to be a work of non-fiction as it is the story of the Lutz family and the 28 days they spent in what was supposed to be their dream home. The house on 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York already had a bad name when the DeFeo family was murdered there by the oldest son, Ronald “Butch” DeFeo, Jr. in 1974. In his defense he claimed to have heard voices telling him to kill his family but he was instead diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and sentenced to six consecutive life sentences. He remains in prison to this day. There was never anything mentioned about paranormal activity, just a horrifying mass murder. Whether the act of the murders is what caused the issues the Lutz’s experienced is entirely up for debate. When the Lutz’s moved into the house on Ocean Avenue in late 1975, their troubles began immediately. George Lutz constantly suffered from a chill and spent the majority of his time feeding the fire. Kathleen Lutz felt a presence in the kitchen which laid an innocuous hand on her shoulder only to feel that presence again later which squeezed the air out of her so much that she passed out. The two state that their emotions would often get the best of them for no apparent reason which led them both beating their children which had never happened before. But that was only the first few days of their stay.

This is the second read for my scary book month of 2015 and I’m beginning to think the fear part of my brain is broken. Or maybe this just wasn’t that scary? Either way, this is always on the list of classic horror novels and has always been one I’ve wanted to read. But the strange occurrences that happened in the house would have been more terrifying to have actually lived it, to have felt the wrongness of the house, and that’s simply something that couldn’t have been conveyed through the page. The odd things that were actually visible (the strange, tiny red room or the weird ghosty pig) weren’t actually terrifying. Even the green goop that ran down the walls failed to horrify but what did horrify me was when George actually stuck his finger in it and proceeded to taste it. Because that’s what normal people do. Taste random shit running down their walls. For fucks sake.

I did make the mistake of reading this in bed, in the middle of the night, only stopping at a part where a character woke in the middle of the night to find some ghosty child touching her foot trying to wake her up. Suffice it to say I felt little fingers touching my feet all night. Other than freaking myself out by being a dumb dumb and reading it at night, I didn’t find this terrifying. It would have helped, maybe, if Anson had eased up on his use of the exclamation points whenever something ominous happened in order to be taken more seriously. While I’m not completely sold on whether or not this is indeed factual, it was still an entertaining story that makes you wonder about the history of your home and what could have possibly taken place within its walls.

Next up, I’ll be watching the classic movie. I just did this with Psycho (the Hitchcock version, not the one with Aragorn) and enjoyed the hell out of it. I may even have to watch the newer Amityville as well because 1. the trailer actually does look pretty damn terrifying and 2. other, various reasons. *shrugs*

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Audiobook Review – The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness

September 25, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2015 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review – The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah HarknessThe Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: All Souls Trilogy #3
Published by Viking Adult on July 15, 2014
Length: 23 hours and 52 minutes
Genres: Demons, Fantasy, Vampires, Witches
Format: Audiobook
Source: Netgalley
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Also by this author: Shadow of Night

three-stars

The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

All Souls Trilogy

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) [Purchase]
Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)  [Purchase|Review]

Spoilers from the first two installments!

Since the beginning, we’ve followed in the steps of Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont as they seek out a lost manuscript called Ashmole 782, otherwise known as The Book of Life. In A Discovery of Witches, we watch the duo fall in love and setting aside Matthew’s exceedingly over-protectiveness we’re introduced to a most interesting world where vampires, witches, and daemons manage to exist in our modern world. In Shadow of Nightwe’re taken back through time to 1590 Elizabethan London to continue the search for Ashmole 782 and for an individual to help Diana control the plethora of power she now possesses. And with this installment, the All Souls Trilogy finally comes to a close. Diana and Matthew are back in the present day, continuing the seemingly endless search for the book that has become key to unlocking the mystery of the supernatural races and also ensuring the futures of Diana and Matthews unborn children.

While the plot was far easier to follow than Shadow of Nightwhere there were so many characters (and many historically accurate figures) that it required a glossary for them alone, The Book of Life was still convoluted and overly verbose. We have the continued search for Ashmole 782, much scientific research occurs in hopes of finding a cure for Matthew’s blood rage which he hopes was not passed down to the twins, an incredible amount of supernatural politics headed by the group known as the Congregation, and to make it even more labyrinthine we have a rogue vampire on the lose who is raping witches in the hopes of impregnating them. Oh, he’s also Matthew’s son. I honestly felt as if that whole “bad seed” storyline could have been dropped completely. I didn’t feel the addition of some supremely evil character had to be included to up the ante; it would have been just fine without.

What I did enjoy though is that this isn’t your typical fantasy taking place on some made up world. This is right here on Earth and the way in which it’s written makes the possibility of magic and supernatural beings all the more plausible, mlike how Harry Potter made me want to believe in magic. I’ve always appreciated how Harkness was able to incorporate so many supernatural creatures without it sliding into cheesy territory; the historically accurate detailing always made these stories feel of the highest quality. Watching Diana grow into her magic was wonderfully done as well and I loved the detail given to her spellcasting. While I felt the Life was unreasonably elaborate and the ending left little in the way of surprises, it was still satisfying to see Diana and Matthews story come to an end.

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Short Story Review – Daimon (Covenant 0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories, YA 0 Comments

Short Story Review – Daimon (Covenant 0.5) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutDaimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Spencer Hill Press on May 10th 2011
Pages: 62
Genres: Demons, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
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three-stars

"Love in my world usually ended up with someone hearing 'I smite thee ' as she was cursed to be some lame flower for the rest of her life." For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals--pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty. According to her mother, that's a good thing.But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return-the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death... because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill. The daimons have found her.

I’ve recently stumbled upon several series that offer little prequel books like this. I absolutely hate finishing a book, hating it, and feeling like I’ve wasted time in my life that I’m never going to get back so… I’ve begun reading prequels. I feel prequels give you a good sense of how the series is going to go and whether or not it’s worth pursuing. Fortunately, Daimon didn’t feel like a big time waster and I’m actually interested in continuing this series.

Daimon tells the story of Alexandria “Alex”, a child of a demi-god and a mortal, so not quite a demi-god but still has some of the powers. Alex and her mother have been hoping to escape detection of the daimon’s for the past 3 years while living among mortals after they fled in the middle of the night from the Covenant for a reason that Alex’s mother never explained. After being discovered by the daimon’s, Alex is forced to run away to escape them, but she has nowhere to go. The only place she knows to run is to the Covenant, but it’s the one place her mother always told her she could never go back to. The prequel ended with Alex still trying to reach the Covenant and outsmart the daimon’s chasing her. Very interested story, will definitely be adding the other books to my to-read list. 🙂

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