Friday, 13 February 2015

The Grimorium Verum is Unleashed

T'is Friday the thirteenth and darkness is spreading. Oozing through the cracks in your soul, its febrile fingers are teasing, touching and tearing at your skin, driving you wild.

And all because today's the day.

THE GRIMORIUM VERUM has finally been released.

Packed with terror, these 26 stories are written by some of the best horror writers around, and as the final volume in the TRES LIBRORUM PROHIBITORUM, it was of course, edited by Dean M. Drinkel. You can read the Table of Contents over at the publisher's website: Western Legends Publishing.


The Grimorium Verum, or the Grimoire of Truth, was the 18th century textbook of magic attributed to Alibeck the Egyptian and coveted by ‘The Great Beast’ Aleister Crowley for use in his Magick ceremonies.

My own tale, J is for JIMSON JANE: SEITHR follows a pair of Victorian quacks escaping from the law in England to... not exactly find their fortune in America, rather scam as many people as they can whilst procuring new ingredients for their patented cures, tonics and restorative draughts. In their travels they hear about the mysterious healer Jimson Jane. In an obsessive search for Jane, for her methods and pharmacopeia they are introduced to rites and remedies as old as the land itself. But knowledge does not come without a price. And neither does life.


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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Book Review: An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman

The promise of a sparkling new life for Kim Newman's 'dysfunctional British nuclear family' lures the reader in with teases as to what has led the Naremores to occupy The Hollow - far away from the troubles and influences of their past.

I'm not the first reviewer to mention the similarity to James Herbert's The Magic Cottage, and although I read that book back in 1986, An English Ghost Story instantly evoked very similar emotions in me of delight and fear in equal measure.

It's a credit to the author that his writing can entrance the reader for quite some time before the darkness slowly starts to set in. From then on the writing style subtly changes as we progress - from poetic descriptions to a sharper, staccato delivery which matches the tension.

The house is a metaphor for the story itself. It is not just a place occupied by ghosts and more sinister entities, it is home to diverse personalities with banal and extreme human traits, where strengths and weaknesses are tested - to the limit. Newman toys with the psychology of his characters, as does The Hollow, treating them as playthings in this place where memories are warped and misconceived solutions create more problems than they solve.

Overall, I was enraptured by An English Ghost Story and completely drawn in, making the book difficult to put down. The only reason I haven't given it five stars is that the Naremore characters repeat the justification for their actions a little too often and it feels like the reader is being reminded, just in case we might have forgotten what each of them has been through. But I can overlook this.

4 stars. Highly recommended.

Buy An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman from Amazon


Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.