Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: The Demon Stone by Christopher Datta



Today I'm excited to bring you a Guest Post and Kind Fire Giveaway from Chris Datta.  His first Novel Touched with Fire was a number one best-seller in the Historical Fiction category, and this supernatural thriller lives up to the high expectations readers have for this talented author.

The Demon Stone by Christoper Datta


The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors.
"Reading Chris Datta is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a fast ride filled with twists and turns. His Demon Stone is scary fun. Stephen King, watch your back!"
-Richard Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood
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Review of The Demon Stone


Title: The Demon Stone
Author: Christopher Datta
Publisher: Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
Date of Publication: May 4 2014
Source: received from author & Novel Publicity for review in exchange for my honest opinion




Book Summary:
The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors.
When Kevin volunteered to travel to a war-ravaged country in Africa to help out his childhood buddy, Bill, now a physician with Doctors Without Borders, he knew he might face danger. But he could not have envisioned the brief, nightmare encounter that would rob him of his friend, his principles, and quite possibly his sanity. When he returns to his family in the United States, he carries with him not only survivors’ guilt, but, according to a grizzled old juju man in the service of a warlord, a powerful demon.
Liz cannot understand why, precisely, she agreed to go camping with her old college friend Kevin and his sullen teenage daughter, but it was clear that in the wake of his sudden divorce and a horrific family tragedy, Kevin needed someone to lean on. The canoeing trip in the Boundary Waters was supposed to be an escape, an opportunity to bring back the old Kevin. But once in the forests, Kevin’s behavior grows increasingly off-kilter, and Liz feels a growing sense of unease, one that ripens into fear. As the trio glide further into the wilderness, it becomes clear that someone, or something, is stalking them
My Thoughts: 
This story just jumps right in with the horror factor and grabs you in the first few pages!  You find yourself asking yourself "Why is this happening?" before you even understand what is truly happening.  

The Demon Stone had some huge symbolism connected with it concerning the evil that is haunting our main characters.  It makes us question the things we see in the world now as compared to what is happening in the story line too.  Was the stone truly evil or was it the people in possession of it that was the monsters?  These are some intriguing questions that makes you think throughout the story as you delve deeper into the darkness.  

The characters are interesting enough, although, a few did irritate me personally.  Kevin, our main character, was infuriating because he seemed to flip flop a lot on so many things.  I thought him running to Africa to see a friend that he seemed to harbor mixed emotions for and leaving his family behind was crazy but he obviously craved something more in his life as well.    Then there was Bill.  I understand he was helping people and that is wonderful but he had this attitude that just got on my nerves.  He seemed so judgmental.  
Liz was likable enough and the one I seemed to connect with the most.  I also dislike camping and would not have been out in the middle of nowhere for my friend who was seriously creeping me out.  But hey, she was the most caring of all the characters, it seemed.  

The settings flip back and forth between the past and present.  Every other chapter explains the situations that happen in Africa, causing Kevin to come in contact with the demon stone.  Then, the opposite chapters are what is happening while they are camping in the woods.  These two places seem to be the perfect settings for terror to take true form.  Africa is a dangerous world, mixed with folklore and military evils; and the woods can have their own eeriness too.  

I would have liked a few more personal chapters with Morgan, Kevin's ex wife.  I enjoyed the dive into her darkness that we see but it would have been even more terrifying if we could have stayed with her as she goes through the different stages of releasing her darkness through the stone.  I also pitied her immensely, though I don't condone how she handled things in the end.  

What an interesting and scary conversation between Liz and Abgado!!!  That was a very enjoyable part of the story and I am super glad that it was in it.  

We had a very centralized theme throughout the story.  It seemed to be the question, Where does evil truly come from?  that kept running through my brain as I read 
The Demon Stone.  The stone was a symbol for what we as a society blame the darkness and wickedness that we see in our lives.  

Overall, 
The Demon Stone was a disturbingly riveting thriller that had moments of extreme terror but also moments of deep reflection.  I may not have enjoyed  all of the characters but I was invested in the plot enough that I found it hard to put down.  If you love horror but also love a novel that forces you to think about where the terror is originating from, then I encourage you to give The Demon Stone a try.  

But be warned: you might find a little darkness inside yourself.





Giveaway

About the Author

Chris1Debut author CHRISTOPHER DATTA is no stranger to civil conflict or the still-extant scourge of slavery. Most recently the acting ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan where he helped end a war in April of 2012, he has spent a distinguished career moving from one strife-torn country to another, including Lebanon, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. A lifelong student of the American Civil War, his research for Touched with Fire is exacting and based in part on a true story.
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