On April 20th, 2021, Monster Thoughts received a request from HellBound Books to review a copy of TENEBRION by James H Longmore.
Synopsis of TENEBRION:
Amateur filmmakers inadvertently invoke a demon when they break into an abandoned school to perform and film an authentic Black Mass for their entry into a short movie competition. Dave Priestley and his crew film in Watsonville elementary school – the site of a horrific tragedy nine years before. Tenebrion – the malevolent demon of darkness – makes preparations of its own within the dark recesses of Hell. The demon requires a specific set of circumstances and sacrifices to rend a fissure between the worlds and set free its brethren; it has manipulated humans for centuries to put things into place, and the moviemakers are the unfortunate, final pieces of its nefarious puzzle. Priestley, ever the stickler for authenticity and detail, accidentally sets free the denizen of Hell. While Priestley and his skeptical friends attempt to return Tenebrion to the pit of Hades, it hunts them all down – one by one – for inclusion in its hellish gateway.
Amazon link: http://mybook.to/tenebrion
About James H Longmore
James hails originally from Yorkshire, England having relocated with his family to Houston, Texas in 2010. He has an honors degree in Zoology and a background in sales, marketing, and business. James is an Affiliate Member of the Horror Writers Association. – From HellBound Books
A movie-making-over-the-weekend convention turns into a night of murder for director Priestley and his crew. As intrigued as I was with the premise, the characters’ introductions made me care less about them—but I suppose that’s the point—just like any horror movie, you want to see the characters die, right? The directors make them incredibly stupid and unlikeable so when they do kick the bucket, it’s gratifying to the viewer.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for a book where we’re in the characters’ heads. And what brains these characters have. For every setup to the plot, there’s the odd mention of someone’s penis or, of course, the female characters’ (all two of them for most of the novel) incredibly hot and sexual bodies. There seemed an emphasis on how much these characters wanted to have sex rather than make the movie they were there to make. Which is fine, humans are sexual beings, but at times it seemed jarring to read and misplaced and I found myself wanting the story to get to the actual point.
What is interesting, however, is the demon, or monster, that awaits to exact its plan on the world. At the beginning of the book, it sits in its primordial stew, and we get glimpses of its plans to rise again and reclaim the world. I found myself unable to wait for when it actually got to be unleashed.
When the scares start, (and how atypical of a horror movie they are) that’s when things get good. By the time two characters see something grotesque in front of their flashlights, I’m ready to take this journey with them and get scared.
Without spoiling anything, this is a story that, if you like gruesome depictions of demons, body parts, and bodily fluids, this is your kind of horror. It’s not unlike something you’d watch in a theater except in the theater there’s less sex and body part references.
Anyone else? Steer clear for your own comfort.
This was a hard book to review as there’s a lot I’d like to talk about but can’t without spoiling it. I believe I can share these notable mentions, however, so you can decide if you like this kind of thing.
- There’s a scene where the director of the film actually gathers his own bodily fluids (semen, excrement, etc.) for the ritual and that’s disgusting in itself, but when he asks his girlfriend for her period blood, I gagged a little. And when another woman actor offers to do it instead I uttered, “Really?” Having two women fight over who would give a guy period blood for a movie scene was a little out there for me.
- When the main character actually drinks from the bodily fluid chalice, I definitely heaved. If this is the author’s intention job accomplished again but no Satanic Ritual I’ve seen or been part of calls for anything like this.
- The continued use of the word ‘ghetto’ to refer to slang phrases or terms used or refer to the only Black character in the book gets very grating after a while.
There’s more but I’m not sharing all of it as it gets pretty…wild, and yes, in a ‘can we get on with the story’ kind of way.
This definitely wasn’t my cup of tea as I’ve read quite a few horror books in my time and this could’ve definitely done without the number of sexual scenes, comments, and constant reference to characters’ genitalia.
But this might be what someone else is looking for.
2/5 for padding the book with sexual commentary, unnecessary references to slang terms as ‘ghetto,’ and treating the women characters as straight male fodder.
2.5/5 for being the more interesting character in the book. Its motivations were believable, its…appearance was ghastly. It worked for being what it was – a Demon hell-bent on wreaking havoc on the earth.
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