I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.EXORCIST FALLS by Jonathan Janz
Also by this author: , , ,
Series: Sequel to Exorcist Road
Published by Sinister Grin Press on March 15, 2017
Genres: Crime/Serial Killer, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Psychological Horror, Supernatural
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Chicago is gripped by terror. The Sweet Sixteen Killer is brutally murdering young women, and the authorities are baffled.
When the police are called to an affluent home in the middle of the night, they learn that a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy has attacked his family. The boy exhibits signs of demonic possession, and even more troublingly, he knows too much about the Sweet Sixteen killings. Father Jason Crowder, a young priest assigned to the case, must marshal his courage in order to save the boy and the entire city from the forces of evil.
But this is a darkness mankind has never encountered before. It craves more than blood. And it won’t rest until it possesses Father Crowder’s soul.
Jonathan Janz’s brand new release brings the original novella that started it all—Exorcist Road—and a brand-new full-length novel (Exorcist Falls) together for a shattering experience in supernatural terror.
EXORCIST FALLS, by Jonathan Janz, begins with his novella, EXORCIST ROAD, and immediately continues into the novel EXORCIST FALLS. Although I read the original novella when it was first released, I loved the convenience of having it included here in order to refresh my memory, as the novel takes place directly after those events.
The main location for EXORCIST ROAD is in the Hartman home, where a teenaged boy, Casey, is displaying indisputable signs of demonic possession. Father Sutherland and his protégée, Father Jason Crowder, have been summoned by the parents with the hope of exorcizing the evil. Linked to this timeline are the atrocities being committed to sixteen year old girls, by the “Sweet Sixteen Killer”. It soon becomes evident that the force inside of young Casey knows all the details about the murders and mutilations that have been occurring.
“. . . But it was the leer stretching his lips that did it, the soulless, mocking grin that erased all semblance of humanity from that horrid face.”
The intricate details and confined setting suit this novella perfectly. Janz is able to fully develop each and every one of his characters here, without resorting to throwing random comments at the readers. He uses dialog, internal thoughts, and the dynamic relationships between the key players to give us that feeling of truly “knowing” these people.
“. . . nothing in that face resembled human feeling. Or perhaps it was the horror we all wore beneath our carefully constructed masks.”
Then we get to the full novel, EXORCIST FALLS. Taking place immediately afterward, the location changes constantly. While we still have the strong personalities that we are familiar with, I can’t help but feel that the atmosphere seemed a little less intense due to the continuous shifts in both characters, and places. At the crux of this is Father Crowder–his struggle with his vows, beliefs, and desires that all people face.
“. . . wasn’t that another example of man’s hubris? To believe he could manipulate the sinister forces that ruled the night? . . . “
EXORCIST FALLS is a more action driven book, whereas its predecessor was built up primarily upon the emotions and inner desires of its characters. Here, Janz treats us to scenes of unimaginable agony, gore, and depravity–showcasing his ability to diversify his writing focus, even within the same storyline.
“We all have secrets . . .”
With the wider “playing field”, and additional roles added, there were some moments that I felt could have done with a bit more depth, and some of the characters that we got to know so well earlier seemed to lose focus completely. Although a few scenes came off as predictable, Janz still managed to throw me completely off guard towards the end.
“. . . never doubt for an instant . . . that man does possess a shadow side, a tendency towards darkness . . . We desire control, and though we have been given free will, we seek to exert our will over others.”
EXORCIST FALLS takes us much further than the events in EXORCIST ROAD, leaving the reader in shock through the very final pages. Nothing seemed to be off-limits in this nightmarish sequel.
Overall, I’m giving five stars to EXORCIST ROAD, and four stars to EXORCIST FALLS, for an average of 4.5 stars. Janz has already proven that he is an author on his way up–you don’t want to miss out on this one!
About Jonathan Janz
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, the Library Journal, and the School Library Journal. His novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children. You can sign up for his newsletter (http://jonathanjanz.us12.list-manage….), and you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.