Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Satan Carol by Alan S. Kessler

Title: A Satan Carol
Author: Alan S. Kessler
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing (December 26, 2011)
Available: $5.99 at Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4.5 stars
Rater: Lauri

Plot Summary
This book tells the story of several characters and their individual lives, and tragedies -- all of whom come together in the end. This is true horror – religious horror – with a plot that encompasses exactly what a horror plot should. Here, the devil is out to steal the world.

The good:
The stories of each character are well thought out, and blend well with the others. Each character has a voice, and is appropriately developed. 

The horror is at times quite chilling. This is not a book for kids.

The bad:
The writing is generally quite good, but it stumbles in some places. I felt the narrator shift from inside the story to an outside view at times, and it pulled me out of the story. 

The story itself is told from a very religious POV regardless of character. This is both good and bad, I suppose. I found it too sticky and thick to bear at times, and even a bit ridiculous once or twice, but this story does provide an inside view of several religiously-obsessed persons, which I found myself marveling at. 

In sum:
I read this book, then read several reviews of it because I wanted to know if others left this story wondering whether it was satire or not. One other reviewer did, but the rest seem to have taken the story quite seriously. 

The truth is that I don’t know whether it’s satire or not. I will say that the religious aspects at times reflect a mindset that I would expect to find in the furthest fringes, and at others seems to echo a more moderate perspective. That – the psychological wonderment – was part of the draw of this book for me. It’s crazy. Plain and simple.

If you like horror, and especially if you have a fascination with religious zealotry, this is definitely a book you need to read.

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