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Church

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Ray is a Christian, but he loves a woman who follows a god called Zabir. Determined to save her from eternal damnation, he joins her church.
Ray doesn’t realize that indoctrination into the Zabian way is a process that not only breaks a man physically, it strips his identity and shatters his mind. He holds onto his faith at first, but as his prayers for mercy go unanswered,
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Paperback, 140 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Unnerving
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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The Grim Reader
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Church by Renee Miller is a short, sharp often shocking cult horror tale. Oddly enough, I began reading this at the same time Charles Manson was said to be knocking on death’s door (and good riddance now that he has gone). The timing of this was purely coincidental but it did put me in the mood to read some cult-inspired horror.

Unnerving Magazine has released some great titles in the past twelve months or so and Church is a lot of fun (if your idea of fun is people being brainwashed and tortured
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Emily
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Damned before you have a chance to live. How right does that sound to you?"

Church is a novella that really packs a lot into a small amount of pages. This was my first time reading a book by Renee Miller, and I loved it. This book is incredibly bleak, and it's sad to read about these people giving up everything for something meaningless. It's an unfortunately familiar setting.

At a very different time in my life, I worked at & was way too involved in a church. This story brought back a lot of anx
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Leo Robertson
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is great!

There’s something so fascinating about religious cults, and they are ripe for horror indeed.

What Miller does masterfully with her cult’s doctrines is blend good advice and true principles with evil nonsense. There was clearly a lot of pre-thought about the principles of Zabir worship, which creates a richer narrative experience. Its vulnerable followers, ashamed of themselves, seem to yearn for some army-style discipline—and what they receive has enough of a flavour of the structur
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Angel Gelique
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, rounded up. Review to come.
Cody | CodysBookshelf
A short and rather brutal look at the dangers of cults, Church is an easy-to-read romp filled with a sufficient amount of gore and psychological torture to please most horror fans, albeit it is lacking in creativity. The religious group on display here is very cookie-cutter; the author takes aspects from several infamous cults and brings them together into a one-size-fits-all cliché.

I must feel attached to the characters when reading a novel or novella (and this is safely a novella) for my exper
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P.J. Blakey-Novis
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Church tells the story of a cult, portraying the predatory nature of cult leaders and the susceptibility of their followers to be brainwashed. The story was gripping, (I read it in one sitting), and could really envisage the setting and the characters. The torture was perfectly placed, without excessive gore, and presented a believable way that such a 'leader' would try to convert people to their way of thinking. Overall, a great read. ...more
Steve Wetherell
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A grim look at the abuse of faith by the powerful and charismatic. Can the pure hearted resist the will of the wicked, or will hope be lost to despair? Renee Miller paints with a palette of grime and blood as she brings to life the cynical tale of a cult leader and his doomed followers. Caught in a spiral of psychological abuse, physical torture and sexual assault, can anyone be saved? And at what price?

I was given an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
A.A. Medina
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good stuff. Review coming soon.
Andretta Schellinger
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy WHAT did I just read? Seriously it goes from morbid, to morbidX5 to WTF did I just read. This story is amazing, and I must read more of Renee Miller. Full review on Fangfreakintasticreviews.com sometime in the next couple of months LOL.
Alex Thorne
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Review to be posted later today.
Charlotte
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could be reality

Darius is a charismatic man, he is able convince people of some very strange things. He uses is ability to run a cult who worships Zabir, who is an alien creator. He uses drugs and cruelty to make people believe they are worthless, worthy of nothing, to believe they are nothing, then he has them sign over all of these assets to the Prophet, which of course is him. He tortured them and rapes some of them under the guise of being a savior. Famous is a pretty twisted person along wi
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Dave Thomas
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Renee Miller makes a definitive statement by titling this book simply “Church.” The word evokes myriad meanings depending on one’s religious beliefs, rituals, faith, and even the lack thereof. This title slaps you across the face and commands attention because you have no idea what you’re in for, until you turn that first page and realize nothing’s going to end well for anyone, regardless of what religion he or she subscribes to. The genius of this piece, like many other of Miller’s works, is he ...more
Mike Thorn
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review from my website.

"Maybe there are no gods at all."

In her new novella Church, author Renee Miller fully commits to urgent plot development. She demonstrates obvious attentiveness to the impact of each scene’s beats and shifts, while also keeping constant sight of her overall narrative design. At under 200 pages, the book focuses always on energy and movement, and it’s all the better for it.

There’s an overarching plot about a religious cult’s psychological strangle-hold on a young woman
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Audra (ouija.reads)
This novella takes on our strange and enduring fascination with cults to show the insidious nature of religious zealotry.

Cults have long been a topic of great interest in the true crime community—and beyond. The People’s Temple, the Branch Davidians, Charles Manson, Heaven’s Gate, the list goes on of cults, cult personalities, and cult disasters. We can't get enough of them! Why do people join? What makes them so appealing? And how do they go so horribly wrong?

But when I see them iterated in mov
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Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
That was disturbing to say the least. I'm a sucker for cult books, so I had to check this out. I was a little nervous that the author was Renee Miller because her books Cats Like Cream was too much for me - I couldn't get through it. Church was a hard read too and there is sexual assault, so major trigger warnings. Cults are insane though, so I could totally believe everything that was happening and that is what is so scary. Some people made choices that made me want to scream, but people do stu ...more
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
I'm not a particularly religious or spiritual person myself. However, I do find myself morbidly fascinated with religious cult mentality. The realness that is portrayed in digging into the deep insecurities of a person to get to their baser need of feeling accepted while taking advantage of their bank account, soul and all around humanity is degrading at best and tortuous all around. Think of at least these eleven (ELEVEN!) religious cults that are known and assumed to be *dangerous for humanity ...more
Adele
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a well written novella that I only wish was a novel.

I was given an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Mindi
Feb 19, 2021 rated it liked it
This one isn't really for me. I don't really find cults all that fascinating. And I have a complicated view of organized religion. Perhaps if I had felt more sympathy for any of the characters, I would have liked this one more. I just feel that, with the exception of the priest, they basically all orchestrated their own fates. ...more
S.J. Budd
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A few weeks ago I was the very lucky winner of a book give-away hosted by Deviant Dolls. I won the entire back catalogue of Unnerving

Starting off my Unnerving foray is Church by Renee Miller. I've been hearing lots of good things about this book.
This tale is about a young man, Ray, a devout Christian who is over the moon with meeting Carol, the love of his life. She's perfect in every way except for one thing.



She belongs to a looney cult, known only as Church. At Church they follow the alien god
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James
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The last book I read by Renee Miller was Eat The Rich, an amusing and thought-provoking account about aliens taking over Earth. It was a yarn as packed with intrigue as it was filled with thought-provoking glimpses of the emptiness of modern-day life for middle-income earners, while taking an uncommonly serious look at homelessness.

Eat The Rich also shone a spotlight on the political workings of a contemporary democratic society, thereby deconstructing a few of its myths while also showing that
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Michael Morrison
May 29, 2021 rated it did not like it
I discovered this book in Grimdark Magazine, and I was immediately interested. In fact it seemed right up my alley - a semi horror story about a cult. But I did not enjoy this book at all. It failed to capture my interest, the story didn’t flow well, and it soon became a chore to read. It didn’t even feel like it was a grimdark. I hate being harsh about it, but I cannot recommend it to anyone.
Kev Harrison
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Church is the story of a terrifying religious cult and one Catholic man's attempt to resist their violent initiations. The novella is exceptionally well written, the discomfort the reader experiences in some scenes is gut wrenching, and the ratcheting up of the tension is constant. The only thing which brought me out of the story to some degree was the antagonist. He was so wholly evil that he was almost cartoonish.

That said, I'll certainly be checking out more of Renee Miller's work.
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Julie
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: femalehorror
I didn't enjoy this one near as much as Cats Like Cream. A little too much torture porn for my taste. But I still plan on reading more of her work! I like that she doesn't shy away from disturbing subject matter. ...more
OutlawPoet
rated it it was ok
Dec 08, 2018
Tanya Jackson
rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2019
Ali
rated it it was amazing
Nov 29, 2017
Julia
rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2019
Horrorlover86
rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2021
Zachary Shiffman
rated it liked it
May 27, 2021
Jeff Raymond
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Nov 29, 2019
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I'd like to say I hate talking about myself, but that would be a lie. I don't mind in the least. Will it be interesting? Meh, probably not.

Let's see, I write suspense, comedy, paranormal, horror and erotic horror fiction. Basically all the dark fiction.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter (@ReneeMJ) and wherever else it's not creepy to follow someone.

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