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The Occultists

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4.40  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Sssshhhhhhhh… For Edwardian-era spiritualists and illusionists, silence is more than a strategy; it’s a way of life. And when Max Grahame, a bullied small-town teen, discovers a secretive world of occultism and séances right under his nose, he can hardly contain his excitement.

But as Max begins his conjurer’s lessons in earnest, his newfound knowledge exposes the group’s d
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Paperback, First Edition, 328 pages
Published July 17th 2020 by JournalStone
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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Gloria
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

The Occultists is a novel that plunges the reader back to early twentieth century America, where spiritualism, mysticism, and illusionists were in their heyday. Meticulously researched and using historic events and real people and occult leaders to lend credence to the story, only makes this fantastical story that much easier to immerse yourself in. From the surgical implantation of goat testicles to spark virility,
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Garrett Boatman
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-occultists
A coming of age novel and so much more. Don’t let the protagonist’s youth fool you. This is no YA novel but a very dark fantasy/horror indeed. Gripping visceral horror, eye-popping magic, thoroughly realized settings and characters create an immersive reading that is the hallmark by which I rate all memorable reads. The plot never flags. I’d end one chapter, take a peek at the beginning of the next, and I was off on another sprint.

It would be easy for a lesser author to get bogged down in the mi
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Aina
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. The Occultists is an immersive book that was a pleasure to read! It transported me to Edwardian-era America where spiritualism is alive and well, introduced me to a fascinating cast of characters, and moved me in ways I didn't expect. I thought the writing is beautiful. Tackling themes like abuse, racism, oppression and poverty, the book isn't afraid to dig into the darkness. There are magical scenes but also scary moments. The teenage protagonist has to face terrifying monsters and h ...more
Teresa
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A well written tale of horror and intrigue that I found a delight to read! it's been awhile since I read a book that I just sat down and devoured in a day. Well created worlds and characters,. It takes many turns and I didn't know what was going to happen next. This is my favorite book club book of the year. I loved it. ...more
David Voyles
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Polly Schattel's supernatural thriller was a pleasure to read. The Occultists is one of those books that when you get near the end you suffer mixed emotions--conversely you can't wait to finish the story while also lamenting that the experience will be soon be over. I know I will come back to this novel again before too long because Schattel packed so much into her story, a re-visiting will be a pleasure.

I'm no historian but I feel certain that Schattel really did her homework while researching
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Emily Bronson
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful mix of historical fantasy and horror. It reminded me of "A Boy's Life," by Robert McMammon and also "Shadowland" by Peter Straub, due to how it's as much fantasy as it is horror. A coming of age story about a young boy who is thrust into a terrifying world he can't understand. I felt like I knew these characters. Not a lot of gore, but definitely some horror and violence. Mostly just a well-written story about somebody I found real sympathy for. Loved it. ...more
Kirsten
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Schattel has a talent for descriptive and cinematic writing and the ability to ratchet up suspense and horror effectively. She clearly did her research, and the historical setting feels very realistic.

I felt this really dragged. I started it several months ago, got about a third of the way through, and put it down. I picked it up again in the past week and struggled with it but finally finished. I read this on Kindle and was surprised when I learned after I finished that it is only 330 pages.

A
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Erik Andara
Apr 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A very delightful and captivating read about a boy urged into the occult and finding himself amidst its secret battlefields during the early 20th century.
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POLLY SCHATTEL is originally from Birmingham, AL, but prefers the hills of Colorado and Western North Carolina. A filmmaker with a host of award-winning feature films under her belt, she returned to the written word when she had the bright idea that maybe she could tell her stories without spending years raising money for them first. She's taught Film Directing, Film Editing, and Screenwriting in ...more

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