Friday, 30 November 2012

The Black Caliphate: A Review

The Black Caliphate by Sean T Page is what I would call an oddity among horror shorts. Quite clearly marketed as a horror, Sean (whose other work includes the not-so-subtle 'Zombie Handbook UK') has created an eerie and haunting text, ready to envelope the reader into the world he has envisioned.

Whilst this doesn't make it the easiest (and I mean that in a pulp fiction sort of way) work to read, it is certainly satisfying.

The Black Caliphate is the tale of, well, spoiler free, the rise to power of a tyrant, with mixtures of horror and the supernatural.

It sits on sprawling landscapes using emotive description, rather than sitting on the laurels of heavy dialogue based exposition. It makes it a picturesque read. For horror, it is pretty.

One of the stand out differences between this and other shorts is that it is told over a time period, it is broken into a trilogy of time spans (each one written slightly askew to the last - in a good way - and can easily be seen as three shorter stories), and the pay off is both unexpected and worthy of the journey.

Yes this is horror.

Yes, in the third part you will be treated to a slightly more traditional 'horror' tale.

Yes, it is not what you expect.

I have to admit that I went into this blind. It far surpasses what I expected from it. For something that spans time and space in less than ten thousand words it does it, dare I say...

... remarkably.

Whilst this unique work will not be everyone's cup of tea, if you like well written, surprising and different horror - or perhaps want to read something of a more intellectual horror - then I can do nothing but recommend it.

The Black Caliphate is available on Amazon UK here, and Amazon US here.

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