The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar (A Gothic Horror Novella)
(Description taken directly from Amazon)
When Gabriel Holland’s beloved Helena vanishes from his life, he journeys to the home of disgraced artist Cristian Salazar, the man he holds responsible for her disappearance and the death of several friends. Once in the town of Carliton, Gabriel finds only malice and mystery in the tales told by the few brave enough to speak ill of Salazar and the sinister Cousin Beatriz. And within shadows, in the guise of night, walks Alatiel, the creature Helena has become. . .
The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar is a NOVELLA of approximately 21,000 words. The novella was previously titled "The Poison of a Smile."
The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar is definitely a gothic horror novella in a style that reminds me a bit of Edgar Allan Poe. Even though I can't tell you how accurate the writing style or voice is for the time period in which the story is set, I can say that this book had all of the things I like about Poe's work without the wordiness and complexity of the writing style. Hopefully this comparison is flattering rather than offensive.
The book is set in the 1800s and has an interesting storytelling method that has the main character reading his beloved's journal as she explains what evil has been brought to them and what is happening to her as well. The author, Steven Katriel, chooses his words carefully and describes creepy events in a way that enhances the mood and atmosphere of the book.
The only downside I found with this story was that it felt like there were a lot of characters and sometimes I got confused as to who was who. I'm not sure if that was due to the storytelling/writing style or my own comprehension ability.
All in all, The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar was a disturbing and fascinating read and would recommend it to anyone who likes dark stories, especially those set in the past.
★ ★ ★ ★ 4/5 Stars
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