Aurelio Voltaire ‘Call of the Jersey Devil’ Review
Written by: Drake Morgan
Aurelio Voltaire describes himself as a “musician, filmmaker, author and gothic horror personality.” While I am not sure what a gothic horror personality is, I suspect it involves large quantities of black clothing and makeup. This assumption is partially based on the very heavy-laden prose in his debut novel under the author moniker.
Call of the Jersey Devil centers on a group of teens off to see their favorite band. This venture turns into a nightmare when, stranded in The Pines of New Jersey, they find that the myth of the Jersey Devil is real and said forest is really the gateway to Hell. Although the premise did not hold much on originality, I nonetheless began with an open mind.
The prose style is dense. It felt as if Voltaire kept consulting a volume of Poe as he wrote. While Poe’s words and phrases are elegant, Voltaire’s are clunky and cliché. “In the center of the clearing, in the maelstrom of the storm, was the only soul who could hold it back.” “War-weary and battle-scarred, she was once again answering the call.” Poe-esque yes. It just feels like we’ve read this elsewhere far better. Amulets, ancient books, portals to Hell—Voltaire treads no new ground here. He got so wrapped up in Gothic that he forgot about character development and thematic development. A lot of chanting, dark and spooky descriptions, but nothing of substance and depth in the true Gothic literary tradition.
I am not familiar with Voltaire’s music, but his foray into literature left me cold. AJ, Prudence, Maplecreek Mall—none of it resonated. Chants of “Bring forth the Beast” sounded like something from an Iron Maiden album. “Silence mammal, you’re disturbing the dark Gods” made me snicker a bit at the absurdity of it all. Teens may find it interesting as it’s about their world, but I chuckled, shook my head, and hit delete.
You can give Call of the Jersey Devil a try right here.
Drake do you think maybe he was aiming this at a youth oriented audience ? A direct review…I enjoy your opinions here…as always…Vitina