The Devil's Kiss is the first in the Devil's series by William W Johnstone. Johnstone is a noted Western author and sometimes people forget he actual...moreThe Devil's Kiss is the first in the Devil's series by William W Johnstone. Johnstone is a noted Western author and sometimes people forget he actual wrote a lot of horror novels. Johnstone's style of writing has been highly criticized as being amateurish and poorly written. He seems to favor page after page of dialog instead of paragraphs of detailed description. Does that make his books less enjoyable to read then others? Certainly not.
I must confess to having a strange fondness for The Devil's Kiss. This is one of those books that was passed around junior high by myself and classmates because we were "shocked" and infatuated with the content. Johnstone's books are infamous for being full of gore and sex. Descriptive sex and to a young mind certainly there are passages in here that would shock even the most liberal reader. Having read the book when I was in junior high and reading it now it certainly isn't as scandalous as I had imagined it to be. Is it scary? Sure. To the right mind the idea of a devil worshiping coven taking over almost an entire town as a stepping stone for Satan ruling the earth would be. Generally speaking though you know when you're reading this your reading a book with a very action, adventure, pulp style that is a lightening fast read.
It is interesting that this book became the first of a series. You wonder if Johnstone wrote it with that in mind. The book is solid for the first three quarters of the way, then it is almost as if Johnstone realized he couldn't complete his story the way he wanted to and decided to add plot that could pave the wave for a sequel. Also of note is the setting of the year 1958 in rural Nebraska. Lots of mention of the Korean War, the Russians and the Cold War, the idea of an isolated town where all the action can take place away from the rest of the world. Overall, I think the setting works and feels accurate, it's only because the later quarter of the book runs out of steam a little bit that I can only give it 4 stars. Johnstone's characters get criticzed highly as does his politics. Lots of gun toting conservative devote Christians and everyone else being sinners and worshipers of Satan. I choose to ignore it and take the Devil's Kiss at what it is. A highly original novel about a warrior of God battling the forces of evil in a very movie style novel. Think the Rambo of the Lord and you've got your main character. It's a fun read that is not meant to be taken too seriously. And I for one am thankful for it.(less)
I think Dead Voices by Abigail McDaniels gets a lot of unfair criticism mainly for being so short. A mere 252 pages doesn't necessarily leave a lot of...moreI think Dead Voices by Abigail McDaniels gets a lot of unfair criticism mainly for being so short. A mere 252 pages doesn't necessarily leave a lot of time to develop setting, character, plot etc. Most people want this to be a short story instead. Overall though I think the basic story works really well. A family moves to a new town which literally is a new town after it was relocated leaving the original town at the bottom of a newly man made lake. Creepy phone calls start happening and ghostly visitations occur until the story is resolved. The resolution is fairly predictable and the basic story will remind you of part of an well known 80s horror movie, but it achieves some creepy imagery but again I wanted more. It could have gone on longer and had more scenes of strange visitors. That being said, I personally found it enjoyable. Maybe I just like the occasional story of revenge from beyond the grave. (less)