Reviews

 

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Shanannigan’s review in READS & REELS

Shanannigan’s Thoughts…

What a perfect location for a story as old as time. A story about ancient evil on a continent shrouded in traditions, mythology and superstitions. Seeking Samiel is after all, a horror story of mythical proportions… Or truths, depending on what you believe.

Seeking Samiel is not a light read, so be prepared to put on your thinking caps. It is very dense, thoroughly researched, and extremely well written. It is quite obvious that the author was very careful with every detail, which is wonderful, but you will need to dedicate some time to it, and it deserves it.

The characters are rich and complex. Eva is exactly as she should be. Charismatic, charming–the ultimate seductress. For me character development is very important. I think I have mentioned before that I hate when secondary characters are just plopped in the story as sounding boards for the protagonist. definitely not the case with these characters. Each character has so many levels, a novel could be penned for each one.

The story itself is captivating and full of suspense. Like a good-old-fashioned ghost story. I really enjoy horror stories based on theology. Good vs Evil, Heaven and Hell and of course the Man in Black. More so, when such stories are flipped on their head, so to speak.

Seeking Samiel is a well written, enthralling and intelligent. A heavy read, but very enjoyable. One thing’s for sure, Catherine Jordan knows her stuff. I would highly recommend it to people who not only love horror but also appreciate good literature.

 

Format: Kindle Edition

My Quick Blurb for People in a Hurry to Find a Good Read

Back in the mid-sixties some guy decided to write an occult horror story from a teenage girl’s perspective. A huge challenge for a debut novel that, in fact, almost never got beyond Stephen King’s round file. Now, 40 years later, a woman residing in Pennsylvania has penned an occult horror set in South Africa, writing from the point of view of a young man. That setting and POV is a challenge Stephen King and his wife, Tabitha, would appreciate. From the first paragraph, I found the writing to be intense, compelling reading. I was grateful that the writer did not end this story with a cliffhanger.

 

 

 

 

Review by Nigel (040815)
Nigel’s review on Booklore
Rating 8/10
A book review normally consists of a brief description of the plot and then an opinion. Unfortunately, due to its intricacy, this is no easy feat when it comes to The Bookseller’s Secret as to start to describe the plot becomes a massive spoiler. So, I will do the opinion first and then the description for those who want more.
I really enjoyed The Bookseller’s Secret; it is a remarkably original novel that brings together lots of your standard horror plot elements but in a unique and gripping manner. Nothing in the story is new of itself but the whole is wonderfully engrossing and imagined; the story kept changing my preconceptions to the very end. A great addition to the horror genre and well worth reading for any horror fan.
Spoiler Alert
The Bookseller’s Secret is, unsurprisingly, about a book, but not just any book. The book is a means to an end and anyone that reads it becomes trapped in a surreal world where they are gradually possessed.
The villain of the piece (one of them anyway) is the current author of the book, Eva van Hollinsworth, the immortal reincarnation of Lilith, a demon and the anti-Christ. To this mix we add her husband Jeffrey Thurmont and an investigative journalist Mason Barry, one is the current ‘owner’ of the book, or so he thinks, the other is seeking the book, or so he thinks.
Lilith achieves immortality through reincarnating in her own offspring, the mother dying during childbirth and the daughter becoming the next incarnation. As the story unfolds Eva is dead and her daughter is yet to be named and without a name she has no power. The current father is Jeffrey who realises Eva’s daughter is looking for the next Mr Right to continue her life and his time may well be numbered. As you can imagine he is none too happy about this. So starts a decent into madness for Mason Barry as he pieces all this together in his quest for the book while other interested parties converge for the finale… all not being as it seems.
First rate storytelling that will have you as confused as the protagonists; yours will be a happy confusion of a story well told while theirs will lead to unspeakable horrors…
Nigel (4th August 2015)

 

The Bookseller’s Secret review by Carrie Ann Lahain

caarie ann lahaim
Note: A video version of this review can be seen here.  amazon video review

This book is a sequel to SEEKING SAMIEL. You don’t need to have read that book to enjoy this one. However, reading this one will give away lots of SEEKING SAMIEL.
A reporter travels to South Africa to investigate a mysterious book and its even more mysterious author and is drawn into a world of hell on earth.
Rumor has it that the book’s author (Eva Van Hollinsworth) is the anti-Christ. Her main purpose is self-perpetuation through her own rebirth and by spreading her contagion (demonic possession)through the world.
Not a standard narrative. The POV shifts from chapter to chapter. There are also interesting insertions–blog posts, news reports, even letters from Satan to a minion about how exactly to go about ruining Mason.
Jordan does a good job of pulling readers through her story. Still, it is a surreal, almost dizzying reading experience.
Eva’s estate is a nightmarish place populated by demons, zombies, and plants with seeds that if consumed, become addictive…the way Eva’s book is addictive. Open the book and you are never free of it. Wherever in the world you travel, you are connected to Eva and her terrifying world. It’s a world out of time. No past. No future. Only an eternal present where Eva hovers spewing her contagion into human world.
The situation very much reminds me of Robert Marasco’s BURNT OFFERINGS. It was published in 1973 and made into a movie a couple of years later. In it, a family moves into a mansion that is alive…sentient…a haunted house taken to the furthest extreme. Rather than being inhabited by entities, it IS the entity.
There are no real heroes in THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET. Inspector Dusu and Father Charles Thurmont come closest, but they come on the scene in a meaningful way late in the plot. They know what they’re dealing with and are determined to get rid of Eva. The rest of the characters? Not likable. They are certainly sympathetic–lost as they are, obsessed with the book, or with power, or with Eva. Good thing is that you don’t have to like the characters to want to know what happens to them.
THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET is a scary book and ultimately a sad book. There’s no sense of good battling evil. Only evil corroding everything in its path.
A unique reading experience.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Paranormal, Video Reviews and tagged Book Reviews, paranormal, video review on June 8, 2015.