Vincent Macraven ‘Unsettling’ Review
Written by: David Blackthorn
This book is a collection of three novellas written by Vincent Macraven. Each of these tales has its own theme and feel, all dark yet different.
Where the Dead Dwell deals with a house that is inherited by a young woman. The storyline itself has a similar feel as the first season of American Horror Story. The house is haunted by the spirits who live there in the past, all meeting their end in horrible ways. There are differences, however, allowing this story to stand on its own. This story takes place in different times, jumping back and forth with each chapter, which may make it difficult to keep up with, if not somewhat annoying.
The writing is drenched in a classic style, making it a mix of the old and the new. I liked much of the structure but the author tends to repeat himself a lot. Repetition can be a powerful tool when used at the right moments. Overuse it, however and it becomes too repetitious, going beyond merely driving a point home. This leans more toward overuse.
The second story is called Watching Black Mountain and follows a charismatic cult leader as he moves from childhood to adulthood. It is a bit more original than the first tale but is still riddled with numerous counts of repetition. The highlight of this one would be the crucification scene, intense and somewhat shocking.
The final installment is called The Devil Incarnate, the shortest and least enjoyable. This is like a dark crime but with a terrible ending. In fact, there isn’t much of an ending to speak of. The author just leaves the reader hanging, with little to grasp onto.
I like the way the author attempts to bring back the old Gothic romantic period style of writing but couldn’t find much of anything gripping about this collection. It just didn’t have the teeth to hold my attention for any length of time.
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