Book Review: Golem

Author: P.D. Avella
Publisher: Quill and Birch Publishing

Do you ever read those books that stick with you for awhile after you’ve finished reading them? And sometimes the story is so dark that it can affect your mood and how you perceive the world while you read it?

For me, Golem was one of those stories. The last story that affected me like this was IT by Stephen King, so I was impressed by Golem.

Golem is, to me, a story about the fragility of the human heart – and how easily it can be manipulated and swayed.

Rookie Detective John Ashton is assigned his first case – find the district attorney’s missing daughter. It’s a dead end case that no one else has solved, and it should have been a quick cut-and-dry interview that Detective Ashton did as a courtesy… but things are more dark and evil than they seem.

He quickly gets drawn into the case, and meets New York Socialite Alena… and hears her story. It’s fantastical enough that it’s hard for him to believe – but it may just be exactly what he needs to hear to find the answers to solve the mystery of the kidnapping of the D.A.’s daughter, and the arson of the ClareField hotel – and to learn it’s sordid history.

WORLDBUILDING:

P.D. Avella is a great storyteller, and one of the signs of a great storyteller (in my opinion) is the ability to describe the world. His descriptions were enough to make me feel like I was standing in the ClareField, or looking out over the ocean with Alena. Each place he writes is unique and is written well enough that it was almost uncomfortable reading about them – because I could see myself there and was creeped out. (note to readers: be warned if you read this at night – you’ll be looking over your shoulder and turning lights on everywhere you go.)

“Alena stood in the ghost town that had become the ClareField. Lights were not on as Alena supposed from the outside. The room smelled of dust and stale sweat. The furniture was covered with plastic; cobwebs were laced across the grand chandelier, in the corners and across the furniture.”

I also read his afterward – the events in this book and the places (like the ClareField) were based on actual places and events. It shows he really did his research and put a lot of effort into making this book all the more scary. (it’s like when you see a scary movie that says “based on true events.” gives the movie a bit more of a creepy edge, doesn’t it?)

CHARACTERS

Well rounded, well thought out, and they basically come alive within the pages of the books. Each character was well written, with very distinct personalities. John Ashton was a rookie detective who may have been over his head in this. Alena Francon was every bit the New York Socialite who had suffered too many traumas. And let us not forget, Golem.

When I hear the word “Golem” I think of re-animated clay – a creature of Jewish folklore brought to life by magic. I really really liked how P.D. used old folklore and old legends and myths to build the darkness of this character. His history, his story, the rituals. All wrapped up in one handsome, charismatic creature. Despite his gross attitude and irreverent (that’s not a strong enough word) behaviors, Golem is one of my favorite villains that I’ve read in a long time. He’s so well written and thought out, I enjoyed reading about and getting to know his character.

STORYLINE

Golem is a strong story, great conflict and wonderful storytelling. I’d compare it to some of Stephen Kings works – it makes you think, and once you start you can’t put it down. Stephen King also describes himself as “twisted” and if I remember right mentioned that a person has to have a bit of “twisted” ness in them to enjoy his stories – this book is kind of like that. Luckily for me, I like dark stories and was hugely entertained. I thought the novel ended well and was glad that some of the twists and turns took me for surprise! (that’s a rare thing)

All in all I would say if you are a fan of psychological horror – as well as supernatural horror – pick this book up! It is one wild ride!

4.5/5 stars.

Afternote: Please keep in mind this book does have some TW scenes.

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