Hi, today I am sharing with you The Cult of Eden. A huge thanks to Blackthorn Tours and the author for the review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
- Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1789040620
- Genre: Occult horror; Thriller
- Print length: 336 pages
- Suitable for young adults? No
- Trigger warnings: Some intense and violent scenes. Demonic cult and religious themes.
About The Cult of Eden
Newlywed Will Battese finds himself homesick and overwhelmed after following his ambitious wife, Shannon, to New York City. When a surprise pregnancy shreds their already meager budget, Will drops out of college and settles for work at a low-end diner. There, a small act of kindness draws the attention of Victor Degas, a man with an unsettling presence and deformed eyes. Unbeknownst to Will, Degas belongs to an ancient, sophisticated cult known as the Edens and believes Will to be the key to gaining otherworldly power. As the sun sets on Good Friday, Degas orchestrates a home invasion in which Will and his baby boy, Gideon, are kidnapped, leaving Shannon to join forces with an unreliable agent from the Roman Catholic Church. While Will struggles to save other innocents from the Eden parish below the city, Shannon discovers that the cult plans to use her family for an unimaginable demonic ritual, and that the Vatican may let it happen. With no one to trust but themselves, Shannon and Will must fight not only to survive, but to keep their humanity intact. THE CULT OF EDEN is the first volume in The Unrisen saga.
Praise for The Cult of Eden
“In the age-old struggle between Good and Evil, between Christianity and Satanism, there are heroes and there are villains. However, as The Cult of Eden reveals, in the heat of battle it is not always clear who are the good guys and who are the bad… as black and white certainties are swept away by a tide of blood-stained grey.”
–Charles Christian, editor The Grievous Angel zine
“The Cult of Eden is a stellar debut novel. A kaleidoscope of religious undertones and occult sprinklings not seen since The Exorcist. I’m a Bill Halpin fan!”
–Chuck Buda, author of Curse of the Ancients and The First Cut
“Halpin takes a new spin on the creepy religious cult and amps the terror factor up to eleven! Not only is the Cult of Eden like no group you’ve ever seen before, but the Battese family is thrown into a bizarre and complex plan to effectively undo all of creation. This stellar freshman novel from Bill Halpin has me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment!”
-Kathleen from Belle of the Bookcase
This book worked for me on some levels, but not others. I did not hate it, but I think it could have been better. Still, I try to be more positive with debut books because things can improve. It has a lot of bloody parts, making me unsure if I was going to be able to handle all it was throwing at me. But I tried my best? Not the worst book, but I think it could be improved with some edits.
Also, this was supposed to be a fantasy. That did not really seem to show up til the end, and not as much as I thought. It was just a book about a cult with some fantasy thrown in. Def not what I was expecting????
The story is slow. Maybe if you like slower paces, this will suit you. I just thought it could have paced better. The POV goes between a cult official and a member of the Battese family. Perhaps if the stories had flowed better, it would have been less of a drag? I mean, I did like some of the parts. But it seemed like time was moving at a glacial pace compared to what I thought would be happening. It was just a lot of gore and gross, with some evil. Maybe this works for some, but I wanted more story.
This book was slow and maybe too gross for me. If you like those things, it should work for you. I am curious to see what this author will do next.
About the Author:
Bill Halpin was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, where he grew up on the horror genre. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Bill moved on to New York City and earned a degree in Optometry from SUNY. Now, he lives and practices in Saratoga Springs, NY and writes in between his appointments. The Cult of Eden is his debut novel.