Review by Cazrichmond -- The Devil's Eclipse

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Cazrichmond
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Review by Cazrichmond -- The Devil's Eclipse

Post by Cazrichmond »

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Devil's Eclipse" by Christopher Williams.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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As a teenager, I eagerly awaited each weekend to go to my favourite book store and buy a new book. The book was always one from my preferred genre, horror. The Devil’s Eclipse: An Anthology of Strange Tales, Unnatural Beings, and Bizarre Occurrences, by Christopher Williams, reminds me of such times, when my interests were piqued mostly by authors such as Stephen King and James Herbert. This book is a collection of eight short stories and begins with an excellent preface warning the reader that the book is not for the faint of heart and to keep the lights on. This caught my attention. I was instantly immersed in a nostalgic trip into horror and suspense.

The eight following stories take the reader into a world of demons, black magic, monsters and aliens. The first story centres around Bob Henderson. In his younger years, he served as a U.S. Navy Admiral. Bob is now an elderly man residing in an unpleasant nursing home. The story sees his previous perversions and atrocities being punished by a surprising dark force.

Devils and demons appear frequently with the addition of different ways to terrify the reader. In one story, Jimmy attends a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training course at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. On first sight, Jimmy is impressed with the apparent “plush” military accommodation. He soon realises appearances can be deceiving when he gets pestered by mosquito bites and is compelled to kill a menacing-looking wolf spider in the bathroom sink. Once peacefully asleep, Jimmy is unaware of the hardiness of the spider and does not sleep soundly for very long.

In keeping with the themes of insects and spiders, another story describes the plight of Ray and his five-year-old daughter. Plagued with infestations of huge cockroaches, he becomes at his wit's end when no amount of fumigation solves his problem.

To complete the anthology, there are stories involving black-magic and aliens. In one story a woman with superior charms, able to make any man desire her, may not be all she seems when dealing with an uninvited alien.

As described the book comprises eight short stories. Short is a very apt description. Each one has great potential as they contain many unexpected events. I would have liked them to be longer with a more developed storyline and more character development. The author's imagination is incredible and it was a little disappointing when each tale was over so quickly. Each story in its own right could be a whole novel, possibly being a series of books rather than an anthology of short stories.

I enjoyed the monstrous creatures created. I could imagine anyone with a phobia of spiders or insects to be immersed in the fear of the stories. The author has cleverly used common human phobias to give the reader a true horror experience. Much like the “Jaws” effect, when this movie hit the big screens in 1975, some of the audience of this movie became afraid to swim in the ocean. I imagine readers of this novel to have similar negative reactions to spiders and cockroaches after reading this book and feel uncomfortable in the presence of them. The stories involving these creatures reminded me of a book I enjoyed years ago, “The Rats” by James Herbert. It is always a pleasure when an author can make a harmless creature into a monstrous entity.

The author incorporates racial issues within one horror tale. There is some strong racial language contained in this chapter which could offend, but it is used in a way to enhance the meaning. There is a satisfaction to the reader when a particularly unlikeable character comes to a horrific end.

The writer works very hard to give extremely graphic descriptions of horror, violence and fear. Just like a good horror film, the book delivers great imagination, terrifying imagery and nail-biting suspense. If the stories were expanded and contained more character development, they could easily be adapted to great horror movies, undoubtedly supplying many jump-scares.

As well as the graphic horror nature, with gruesome gore being plentiful, the book contains graphic sexual content, especially in the first story. The themes include sexual abuse and it is quite shocking to read. With the number of extreme subjects, some readers could be offended.

I did encounter profanity throughout the book. With this type of language and the adult themes contained in the book, it is only suitable for adults. I found two grammar mistakes and one over-spacing error. Despite these errors, I think the book is fairly well edited. I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. It is my kind of book, possibly a little silly in parts but I enjoyed the ride. It gave me a great sense of nostalgia with my only disappointment being it was too short. The book is great fun and written with great imagination.

******
The Devil's Eclipse
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Honest-reviewer
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Post by Honest-reviewer »

I enjoy reading suspense and horror stories. I definitely want to read this one. Thanks for your wonderful review!
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Post by rahilshajahan »

Phobias to scare the audience. Quite ingenious the author! Thanks for a detailed review!
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Post by Phelicia Gloria »

Am a faint hearted fellow , from your review I believe this not the best book for me. Thanks for the enlightenment.
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Post by Alicer »

Am not a fun of horror stories, but it sounds like an interesting book. Your review shows you enjoyed it a lot as per your sentiments, "It gave me a great sense of nostalgia with my only disappointment being it was too short." I would recommend it to lovers of this genre.
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Post by Karina Nowak »

I wonder if I might like this? I wasn't really into widely read horror stories like Dracula and aliens as a child, but I grew up with numerous local folktales which can be equally terrifying and exciting. From your review this feels more urban based than a folktale, but I might give this a read.
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Cazrichmond
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Post by Cazrichmond »

Honest-reviewer wrote: 05 Sep 2020, 09:33 I enjoy reading suspense and horror stories. I definitely want to read this one. Thanks for your wonderful review!
Thank you for your kind words! Hope you enjoy it, it really is a good fun horror.
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Cazrichmond
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Post by Cazrichmond »

rahilshajahan wrote: 05 Sep 2020, 13:31 Phobias to scare the audience. Quite ingenious the author! Thanks for a detailed review!
Yes a very good tactic by the author to play on some common human phobias. I imagine it to be a spider haters worst nightmare. Thanks for your kind words.
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Cazrichmond
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Post by Cazrichmond »

Phelicia Gloria wrote: 05 Sep 2020, 18:38 Am a faint hearted fellow , from your review I believe this not the best book for me. Thanks for the enlightenment.
Thank you for your comment. Perhaps only to be read with the lights on.
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Cazrichmond
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Post by Cazrichmond »

Alicer wrote: 06 Sep 2020, 08:21 Am not a fun of horror stories, but it sounds like an interesting book. Your review shows you enjoyed it a lot as per your sentiments, "It gave me a great sense of nostalgia with my only disappointment being it was too short." I would recommend it to lovers of this genre.
Thank you for your comments, it certainly took me back to my horror obsession as a teenager.
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Cazrichmond
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Post by Cazrichmond »

Karina Nowak wrote: 06 Sep 2020, 11:41 I wonder if I might like this? I wasn't really into widely read horror stories like Dracula and aliens as a child, but I grew up with numerous local folktales which can be equally terrifying and exciting. From your review this feels more urban based than a folktale, but I might give this a read.
Give it a try, it’s a very short book, but lots of fun and interesting stories.
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Post by NDeMeer »

This sounds very entertaining! Horror isn't my favourite genre, but you do make it sound very intriguing. :) It's a shame it was so short though. Usually short story collections have more stories in them, especially when each is so short. Thank you very much for this thorough and insightful review!
Happy reading! :techie-studyingbrown:
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Cazrichmond
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Post by Cazrichmond »

NDeMeer wrote: 06 Sep 2020, 12:51 This sounds very entertaining! Horror isn't my favourite genre, but you do make it sound very intriguing. :) It's a shame it was so short though. Usually short story collections have more stories in them, especially when each is so short. Thank you very much for this thorough and insightful review!
Thank you for your kind comments. It was really short but I did enjoy it.
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Post by LiLj »

Your review made this book sound good to me, but I don't think I'll like it.
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Post by Zainabreadsnow »

This sounds like a great book for all horror film lovers. I am so excited to see how this book inspires my imagination. Thank you for the great review!
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