Banquet for the Damned has been published before, but sadly seemed to pass the world by, which I find ludicrous. This book is everything a supernatural thriller should be, and then some.
Professor Elliot Coldwell has spent the vast majority of his life studying witchcraft and the occult, and is considered to be somewhat of an expert. But his interest doesn’t end at knowledge – Elliot has been attempting to contact the spirits to bring them to St Andrews. He even set up a group at the University and invited students along, with the aim of educating them, and convincing them he could commune with an unseen world. Many went out of curiosity, but dropped out after nothing of interest happened. But unfortunately, behind the scenes, something did happen, and the result is that the students are suffering from night terrors. And soon after their horrific nightmares, they disappear.
Elliot has definitely awakened something. Something very dangerous, and he wants to harness its power and use it to the full potential. So he’s enlisted a down and out musician who’s a fan of his, under the pretence that he’s going to help him with research for the next book. So Dante and his best friend Tom abandon their lives in Birmingham, and travel to Scotland on a new adventure. Little do they know that they’ve been set up and have walked into what could possibly be their deaths.
This is, to be blunt, a thumping good book. I’ve read ghost stories, vampire stories, witch stories and much more, but Banquet for the Damned really is something special. It keeps you on your toes right through the book – the tension is continued right until the last chapter, which simply makes you desperate to keep reading to find out what happens next. It’s gruesome, mysterious, creepy, and a strong occult thriller. I got a great sense of the characters, with the exception of the ‘spirit’ which is the main threat, but of course this is intentional to heighten the fear of the unknown.
I did begin to worry as I carried on reading that the ending would be a big disappointment (think the last Harry Potter book), but it wasn’t. It had a poignant ending, which I confess I did guess would happen, but as the action continues right up until the end, the last chapter was perfect. It wound the book up excellently without copping out, just a little ‘chill out’ section before ‘The End.’
Banquet for the Damned is definitely something special. If you love the supernatural and to be scared silly (even when reading in broad daylight!), then grab yourself a copy of this.