Article originally posted here: http://www.brianbarrbooks.com/blog/the-seance-occult-horror-fiction-from-jack-rollins
With so many genres out there in the world of reading, I definitely have my favorites. Speculative fiction as a whole is my main focus as a reader, spanning the gamut of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Within this wide net of imaginative fiction, I love occult horror. It’s one of my favorite genres to read, and one of my favorites to write. The only genre that may rival it for me is cyberpunk.
When I read Jack Rollin’s The Seance, I got all of the occult horror I could have asked for. A Victorian backdrop, an asylum, magic, and supernatural forces beyond human comprehension, The Seance is truly a “Gothic tale of horror and misfortune”.
The story is filled with a lot of mystery before you figure out what’s going on. Asylum patients and workers give little to no clue as to what’s going on to the main character of the story, whose trying to figure out all of the details in the dark as we read alongside him. There’s a character with a missing limb, which keeps us guessing as to what fate’s happened to her. When I started reading The Seance last year, I really didn’t know what to expect, and didn’t realize just how supernatural the story was going to get until I got knee-deep in it. I was rewarded with one of my favorite supernatural beings in literature (who’d have to read to know exactly what being it is) along with the discord and mayhem that accompanies this fictional creature. You can tell that Jack researched a good deal to create a convincing occult Victorian tale, yet keeps the story going at a decent pace. It’s not too fast as for all of the details to be revealed too quickly, and not slow at all, allowing for action and drama. He’s also good at creating dread in his story line, and making you feel the horror the characters go through.
A year later, I don’t regret owning this book on my kindle. If you like occult horror, supernatural elements in fiction, Gothic literature, or Victorian history, I highly recommend The Seance.