Sometimes you pick up a book with the intention of getting started on it. You then find a couple of hours later you are turning over the final page with a huge smile carved on your face. Horror can be fun, y’know?
The Devil’s Trill by Rhoads Brazos has been marketed as a the kind of book that will appeal to horror fans (obviously, Adrian!), fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sherlock Holmes. Now, having never, ever seen an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it is a little hard for me to make that connection, but I like and see the similarities between these two ladies and Holmes and Watson. I will say is that The Devil’s Trill is a slight departure from publisher Grey Matter Press in that I think this novella would also appeal to YA readers. Most of Grey Matter Press’ other releases lurk in much darker waters than this, and although this book does have its fair share of scares (the Devil being particularly unpleasant), there isn’t too much to displease watchful adults should they stumble upon their teen son or daughter reading such a book.
The Devil’s Trill introduces us to two characters, Sarah and Tabitha. They are childhood friends and fantastic characters each in their own individual way. A song played brings forth the prince of darkness and what follows is a race against the clock, through the bustling streets of Bristol. The interactions with The Diablerie (the Devil) are both frightening and exciting, and the chat between characters sees them bounce off of each other superbly thanks to Brazos’ sublime dialogue, which is witty and realistic. I really enjoyed my brief time in the presence of these two fearless females and was wrapped-up in their dark (English) humour. This short read is a novella to savour and this is largely due to the writing. Brazos captures the Victorian gothic atmosphere with some style and the period-style prose keeps you thoroughly engaged, adding another luscious layer to this dark adventure. I only wished there were more.
Thankfully, It seems as though there will be more adventures from these dynamic damsels, and I for one can’t wait to see where their travels lead us to next.
5/5 violins from The Grim Reader
Pick up a copy from here.