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The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar a Gothic…

The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar a Gothic Horror Novella

by Steven Katriel

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To me, this novella was a mix of Bram Stoker and Rob Zombie. Ever scene in Portrait seemed like it could play out in a Zombie horror flick.

This isn't my usual genre, but I enjoyed the story. I was confused in the time lapses at some parts, but quickly figured things out. Gabriel is trying to find his fiance only yo end up in the presence of Christian Salazar. You never really figure out, or are told, what Salazar and his family really are. You begin to wonder if everything that has happened is real or an illusion. Even Gabriel is confused while at the Salazar estate. It's pretty trippy. Some of the scenes are kind of graphic, so if that bothers you, you may want to pass.

The cover alone is pretty damn freaky. It paints the scene that it represents wonderfully. When I first saw the cover I couldn't figure out what or who it was. But it will click into place when you come upon this passage in the novella.

If you want a horror story that will blow your mind, this is it. It was very creepy, and I wouldn't read it in the dark, or alone. ( )
  BookishThings | Mar 23, 2016 |
What can I say about this novella? I was really blown away by it. From what I’ve been hearing over the last few months, it should have blown me away…I guess the rumors were true. Katriel really knows how to write!

If I didn’t know any better I’d have said this book was written years ago…back when the Gothic style was first created. Katriel hit the nail on the head with his use of language and presentation. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning and didn’t want to pull away until it ended (I slept somewhere in the middle since it was late at night, but that doesn’t count).

When I met Alatiel for the first time, I didn’t know what to think. I just knew with her presence came trouble. I was right. The horror left in her wake is painted beautifully and unexpected. These moments were some of my favorite in the whole piece. This skill along with Steven’s ability to set up the scene in my mind lead to a feeling that I was in the story. I could see everything as it was happening, vividly.

This novella has surpassed my expectations in story and writing style. For this it has jumped high on my list of great books. This is an especially tough accomplishment considering it’s a novella. In around 21,000 words, it has changed the way I view the horror genre, and novella’s in general.

I would jump at the chance to read more of this author’s work in the future. That’s for sure. ( )
  Robert.Zimmermann | Oct 7, 2013 |
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