Friday, 30 October 2015

The Demon's Grave by E.M. MacCallum - Review

The Demon’s Grave, by E.M. MacCallum
Published:  Amazon Digital Services May 31, 2015,
Smashwords May 2015
Pages: 289 Adobe Digital Editions
Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Source: Xpresso Book Tours, via NetGalley

When strange shadows and messages plague Nora's daily life she fears for her sanity. To escape questions from her family, Nora joins her friends on a weekend getaway. Despite not liking Aidan Birket, Nora finds his remote, Victorian house charming. Until they discover the marble doorway on the third floor and, against Nora's better judgment, they open it.

Drawn into an unfamiliar place called the Demon's Grave, the group face a charismatic demon and a set of Challenges. Six nightmarish realities for the six of them is the punishment. Those that make it to the end can go home, but those that don't will be his forever. Friendships are tested, secrets revealed and sacrifices will be made.

Nora battles zombies, doppelgängers, eyeless bikers, and the demon--whose interests are more than just a game of cat and mouse. If it's all in her head, then it should be easy. But, if not, it means the demon knows everything and her past and the death of her twin sister.
Happy and safe Halloween all! My review to set the mood here is The Demon's Grave.

I’m going to look at the prologue later in my review since this section is quite different from the main story. After the prologue, author MacCallum starts the reader out with modern-day Nora receiving spooky messages from the beyond in mysterious ways. Unbeknownst to her, she’s not the only one. The writing style here has kind of like a New York, Italian ginette feel to it that’s snappy, funny, and fast moving though this settles out after a while. I like the overall directness of conversations and events.

Nora and friends head out to Aidan’s parents’ Victorian fixer-upper just outside of town for a party night, and discover a strange door upstairs. They’re drawn through it into the darkness and the fun party gets totally derailed. Non-stop action ensues as the demon of the portal besets them with challenges based on their worst nightmares and secrets.

Through this madness, Nora and Aidan discover each other. What a challenging way to begin a relationship! They battle their way through pretty much every Indiana Jones scenario and then some throughout the book.

Back to the prologue. The author begins with a ceremony of sacrifice to a demon that is botched and not accepted. This section is written in quite a different style to the rest of the book and in of itself is a little bit choppy. I found this part so different in style, I wonder if it’s written by the same person. But it’s tied in neatly to the storyline at the end of the book.

Despite the disjointed prologue, and initial writing style cultural time warp feel, somehow the author manages to make this a page turner and I wanted to find out where the crazy ride was going to end. Demon’s Grave is an interesting, action-packed novel that left me wanting to know more about what’s with Damien. Cool unexpected ending!   4.0 stars

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