Church: Renee Miller
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Renee Miller has been an author on my “need to read more of” list for far too long. Having read a short story by her, as well as a chapbook, I’ve had a number of her books patiently waiting to be read.
What I liked: ‘Church’ follows a cult-like group that has eerie similarities to Scientology. Darius is the leader, ruling as he sees fit. When Carol brings Ray around to see if he’ll renounce his faith and join her, that’s when Miller lets the flood gates open and the blood starts flying.
Miller has an easy approach to writing, which made reading this a breeze. It caught me quick and I was engrossed, wanting to see just what was going on.
What I didn’t like: Not brutal enough. Don’t get me wrong, this book is filled to the brim with filth, but I found often times Miller almost dialled some parts down when a gruesome, uncomfortable scene would’ve worked.
Why you should buy this: I hate mentioning my own writing in my reviews, but this one is unavoidable. If you enjoyed the horrific events that took place in my release ‘Ritual,’ then ‘Church’ will be right up your alley. Dark, twisted and repulsive, this was a fun time!
Ray is a Christian, but he loves a woman who follows a god called Zabir. Determined to save her from eternal damnation, he joins her church.
Ray doesn’t realize that indoctrination into the Zabian way is a process that not only breaks a man physically, it strips his identity and shatters his mind. He holds onto his faith at first, but as his prayers for mercy go unanswered, and the pain inflicted on him becomes too much to bear, the void of nothingness promises relief, and tempts Ray to do the unthinkable, even if leaves his soul as damned as the one he tried to save.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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