Last Days - Adam Nevill

Genre: Horror
Synopsis: When guerrilla documentary maker, Kyle Freeman, is asked to shoot a film on the notorious cult known as the Temple of the Last Days, it appears his prayers have been answered. The cult became a worldwide phenomenon in 1975 when there was a massacre including the death of its infamous leader, Sister Katherine. Kyle's brief is to explore the paranormal myths surrounding an organization that became a testament to paranoia, murderous rage, and occult rituals. The shoot's locations take him to the cult's first temple in London, an abandoned farm in France, and a derelict copper mine in the Arizonan desert where The Temple of the Last Days met its bloody end. But when he interviews those involved in the case, those who haven't broken silence in decades, a series of uncanny events plague the shoots. Troubling out-of-body experiences, nocturnal visitations, the sudden demise of their interviewees and the discovery of ghastly artifacts in their room make Kyle question what exactly it is the cult managed to awaken – and what is its interest in him?


Review: This novel was a bit of a rollercoaster ride in expectations, which ultimately fell very flat. I loved the basic concept, as I have a bit of a thing about cults (morbid, I know). Having read The Ritual by Nevill, I had high hopes that he would be able to present a very creepy cult, and if I was really lucky, make it quite dark too. It started off relatively light - nothing about the cult seemed particularly outlandish or disturbing, though it was fun to learn about it as the film production crew went on their travels to interview and record.

Unfortunately, the first half of the book, while creepy in places, is slow to reveal much of anything. it is quite atmospheric at times, with a sense of impending doom and all that typical horror jazz, but mostly it's just too drawn out. Then, the second half goes crazy with detailed exposition and way too much over-plotting. It took me quite a while to actually finish this book because I was so sick of reading explanations.

Nevill is a talented writer, his actual sentences are usually a pleasure to read, but sometimes his ability to pace and wind up a story are somewhat lacking. Had this book been 100 pages shorter and the history/truth of the cult more gradually revealed, this could have been a super scary book. Unfortunately, I was a bit too bored to be scared. Points for effort, and nice writing.

Rating: 3/5

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