Author Name: Paul Sherman
Publisher Name: Dreaming Big Publications
Reviewed By: Jessica B
ABOUT THE BOOK
Inspired by the black magic novels of Dennis Wheatley. Esther’s eighth birthday. The day that her mother, Charlotte, had been fearing. As a teenager, Charlotte had gotten involved in a satanic cult and had made a promise to Satan that he could have her firstborn child. At the time, she really didn’t believe any of this was true. It was just a silly thing she did to fit in. But now… Can Charlotte save Esther from Satan’s grip? Or is she destined to fulfill that long-ago promise?
In a mere 107 pages, Paul Sherman’s novella explores the classic struggle between good and bad and the consequences each side holds. What starts off as an innocent story of mother and daughter, promptly takes a dark twist as Charlotte fights to save Esther. This turn into a more mature, grim story is what kept my attention as a reader to finish the novella in one sitting. Everyone has heard of the battle between God and Satan, but this rendition is able to develop an action-packed and emotional plot quick enough to hold the reader’s attention, but also provide enough detail to envision the gruesome scenes painted in the story.
I enjoyed how the author’s descriptions seemed to build on one another as the story progressed, leaving the reader to contemplate the impact of evil in different situations. What I liked the most was that the novella wasn’t overtly religious in any way, but rather concentrated on broader elements of faith for both sides. That being said, the novella does lack certain background details that are present in longer novels, leaving the reader with a slightly incomplete feeling after the final page.
I would recommend Satan’s Grip to anyone who is looking for a quick urban fantasy read that holds the weight and satisfaction of a larger novel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Sherman is a teacher, author and director of Youth Theatre. He has had stories published in various hard copy magazines, but most recently, he has had three fantasy-horror stories (The Jokers of Sarzuz, Daemon Page and Missed!) published by TWB Press which are available on Amazon, OmniLit, etc. He has also written poetry and plays which have been performed at various locations in the UK, including the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. His play ‘Kilmainham Kids’ about the children imprisoned in the gaol in Dublin in the 1850’s is shortly to be published. He is currently working on a collection of short stories ‘Tales out of Herm’ all set at different locations on Herm Island, one of the smaller Channel Islands, but steeped in history and mythology and ripe for short story settings.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.