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The Unholy: A Novel
     

The Unholy: A Novel

3.9 12
by Paul DeBlassie III
 

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A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, "The Unholy" is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery

Overview

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, "The Unholy" is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision. PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611391879
Publisher:
Sunstone Press
Publication date:
08/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
202
File size:
391 KB

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The Unholy 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie, III, is a psychological suspense thriller. The book opens with the powerful and disturbing imagery of a girl in peril. I found the third-person to be smooth and integral to even flow. The pacing and characterization were solid. The setting descriptions were beautiful and engrossing. I really liked Claire and enjoyed her struggle as she learns to accept her heritage. There are places where the dialogue felt a little stiff. And the whole good/evil thing in the Church feels like a theme that's been overdone a bit in recent years, but then this isn't my preferred genre. I'd definitely recommend it to fans of the genre. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
DesPutaski More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book as part of the Goddess Fish Promotions Blog Tour. It’s rare to find an author that can take a complex, potentially controversial, topic and stick it to a basic plot line and make it work. In depth, this book is complex and will make some people take a deeper look at the “message behind the message”; but, the plot sticks to such a basic line that it keeps it simple and easy to understand. That’s probably not the best way to describe how I felt about this book… it’s one of those books that will make you think, perhaps make you question, but you never feel lost in the plot. I never found myself having to go back to passages already read to figure out what was going on. At the age of five, Claire witnesses her mother’s murder. Even at such a young age, Claire understands that her mother was killed because of what she was, a medicine woman. It’s because of this that Claire rejects her birthright of becoming a medicine woman; but she can’t deny who she is, so she goes a more traditional route and becomes a Natural Therapeutic Specialist and works as director of the mental health workers at Ecclesia Dei Hospital. She truly thought this position was her calling. But all her life she’s been running from her past, denying who and what she really is, and living in fear of what her future may hold. The entire town is run by Ecclesia Dei and eventually Claire is faced with a life changing decision about facing who she is and who she will become, and because of this decision it puts her at odds with an evil archbishop within the church. A word of warning, if you are offended by religion or religious figures being portrayed in any sort of negative light… you won’t enjoy this book. I would just caution you to remember that this is a work of fiction, enjoy it for the story that is written and not take it so seriously. The imagery throughout is amazing and I love the writing style. The plot kept me engaged throughout and the backstory is intricate and makes you think. There are a handful of minor characters that fell a little flat, but they don’t retract from the story in any way; it was just a little disappointing that every character mentioned wasn’t as developed and amazing as Claire and the archbishop. This is a relatively quick read at only 200 pages, but I would suggest starting when you’ve got time to invest. Because you won’t want to put it down once you pick it up!
megHan-sHena More than 1 year ago
The Unholy I finally finished this book, which took forever, and I'm frustrated.  I mean REALLY frustrated. Here's the gist of the story: When Claire is very young, she witnesses the murder of her mother, a medicine woman in the "mystic land of Aztlan," by a man in a dark cloak with very intense blue eyes.  When she reaches the age her mother was when she died, she goes through the journey of finding herself and trying to discover her mother's killer, all while trying to learn the deep secrets of the Ecclesia Dea and the truths about the deaths of young women in her community. The storyline itself was interesting and that's what kept me reading - I wanted to know what was going to happen next - but I'm disappointed in the actual writing of the book.  The author tried WAY TOO HARD to make this an "American Indian" book.  At one point I even said: "If I read the words mesa, adobe or ponderosa ONE MORE TIME, I think I'm going to explode."  And the fact that several parts are repetitive - we get that the mother died when she was young, you told us at the beginning ... and then again ... and then again ... and then again.  Every time something bad happens or she freaks out about something, we come right back to the fact that her mom died - and repeat the details.  (And this isn't the only thing that is repeated over and over again; another example is who Francesca is.  WE KNOW!)  Some of the conversations just feel awkward, like they were forced - I assume it's so the author can give information to the reader without it feeling like an info dump, but I would rather have that info dump than the first conversation she had with her boyfriend at the restaurant. I like how the author describes the characters, but they still feel kind of flat to me.  I didn't care much for the main character (for all kinds of reasons), but I did like Elizabeth and Francesca.  They were interesting characters that I wanted to know more about. The mystery wasn't really a mystery, not completely.  Like when watching an episode of Columbo, you already knew who the bad guy was, which was really neat, especially with the twists that were stuck in throughout. I am completely torn.  It could have been a 5 star book.  I expected so much more from this book and this author. (Until I went to write this review, I had not noticed that the book description on Amazon could use some editing too.  I may not have agreed to read the book had I seen that before saying yes.) Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.  No other consideration was offered, expected or received.
rmattos More than 1 year ago
Nothing like a good religious oppression to create fanatics that follow their religious authorities to the extremes. In this very entertaining novel, Paul treats this theme with mastery. The plot is well elaborated and it all starts with a murder witnessed by a young girl (Claire). Her mother was just killed in a mysterious way. Somehow she managed to escape with the help of wolves and a good friend of his mother takes care of her. When she grew up, she became a doctor and starts working for a hospital in the area where she was born. But she finds that the institution Ecclesia Dei has strong influence over most of the inhabitants of the area, mostly through its leader, Archbishop Anarch. Trying to dig into some mysterious facts happening in the hospital and the community, she finds that the church controls even the authorities of the city, like the police chief. And through signals and perception, she starts finding her power, inherited from her mother, a medicine woman. And with the help of her aunt and a couple of friends she tries to unveil her past and figure out what really happened to her mother. But playing with Ecclesia Dei puts everybody that she cares at risk, including herself, as she soon finds out. The story is full of suspense and you will read it at the edge of your chair, until you turn the last page. The characters are well developed and you feel their emotions. The environment is richly described and soon you start cheering and caring for our young heroine. I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who appreciate a well written novel, full of twists and suspense, which will keep them entertained for hours. It took me around seven hours to read the whole book. 
amm02 More than 1 year ago
A child witness her mothers death and then is hidden by a medicine women so that she is not killed also. Then it jumps to the present where a young women just got her job at a mental hospital. It specializes in treating native Americans and Mexicans in natural ways. She then finds herself in a life and death battle against an arch bishop. Fighting against religion abuse. It's a very good story. I like how it was told in a say that talks about real issues in a fantasy world. Defiantly something to read. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Kristen_Noel More than 1 year ago
  At first, I fell in love with the description in this book. It's very surreal and does an excellent job of showcasing the beautiful setting. But after the repetitive descriptions, it became a hindrance.  Paul DeBlassie III has a very eloquent prose, but it can at times be too heavy for the story itself.   The story itself didn't captivate me like I wanted. I kept on reading because of the wonderful writing style. Even though this book is saturated with descriptive clues, you cannot argue that DeBlassie has a talent for beautiful writing. I feel as though some fine tuning to the plot would make this book an incredible story.   I failed to connect with the characters. They were hard for me to empathize with. If the attention that the descriptions received was lent to the characters, they could have benefited immensely.    All in all, I'd recommend this book to someone who wants to be blown away by the visuals you'll receive because of the eloquent prose and descriptions. **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Paul DeBlassie III and Enchanted Book Promotions.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. In The Unholy, Claire Sanchez is the daughter of a curandera, a medicine woman. At age five, she sw her Mom getting murdered by an evil creature in the woods. Growing up, she’s never been able to shake the memory of that fateful night. She decided not to take up her heritage and become a medicine woman. Instead, she works as a psychologist and tries to help people in her own way. On the other hand, we have the villain, Archbishop Anarch, who is the leader of some kind of cult. Anarch is truly wicked – he has no problem killing others when they stand in his way, or convincing people to kill themselves when he stands to gain money from it. His followers are tightly in his grasp, and he abuses his power at every turn. The only one who has some form of control over him, would be his mother. But Anarch is convinced what he’s doing is right, which makes him one of the worst kinds of monsters. When the evil Archbishop turns his eye to Claire, she has to rediscover herself and her heritage to find against the powers of darkness, to protect herself, and the people she loves. The theme of the novel is pretty basic, good vs. evil. But the author takes that theme, twists it around, comes up with intriguing characters who often walk the balance between right and wrong, and takes things to a whole new level. Anarch would be completely evil, in the eyes of most, yet in his own point of view, he is not. He knows his actions are wrong, but justifies them in the name of the greater good. There’s action, suspense, a hint of romance, and definitely enough darkness to share around in this book. The writing style is very descriptive, almost poetic. On the downside, that means it’s a bit wordy at times. Once you bite through that though, and start focusing on the story, then the book becomes really intriguing.
AdriLisa More than 1 year ago
The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III is very descriptive certainly not lacking in emotions and this, from the very beginning.  I was mesmerized by the simplicity of the flow bringing me deeper into the story without noticing it. The sense of fright along with all the anxiety were clearly written rendering visualisation possible of what Claire or Elizabeth were living.   For a while, I kept picturing that Claire and Elizabeth were the same person. These things I do – trying to figure out scenes – jumping to conclusions and I won’t tell you if I am wrong or right on this... Don’t ask. Then there is always something that meets my romantic side like when Paul DeBlassie writes, “the older man visually caressed her from head to toe”   The story is definitely intriguing more than anything else.  The recurring dreams made it seem very real for me if the scene with Elizabeth and the crow were just harder to believe but then again – black magic is possible. Many do believe in it including myself.  For instance the cat scene was great.   What I really liked (also) was the Archibishop visiting his mother bringing me as the reader into the deceptions of the grand finale. It was an amazing read and I truly recommend it. Adriana LG
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bookworm_Babblings More than 1 year ago
Claire Sanchez comes from a long line of medicine women. At the age of five she was witness to her mother's brutal murder. But since there was no evidence, they claimed Claire imagined the black cloaked man that claimed her mother's life, and instead they believed that Lucia Sanchez had fallen victim to wolves. Now twenty years has passed, Claire has to decide if she will accept her destiny and have her medicine woman ritual done, with a fear that her mother died because she was a medicine woman or fight her destiny. The spirits are sending her warnings, will she listen before she loses everyone she holds dear? This was an excellent good verses evil novel. It held new captivated throughout! This book has everything, there's action, suspense, and even romance! Claire is an easy to love character, she was such a selfless person, you could easily see why Anthony loved her. Francesca, was an awesome second mother. Although she knew what Claire needed to do, she never pushed. The relationship between Anthony and Claire was so wonderful, he was such a patient guy. Archbishop Anarch was a guy you just love to hate, he was so self-centered it was unreal. This was a great book for a Friday the 13th review. If you like thrillers mixed with suspense, then this should be at the top of your TBR pile!
RaeZRyans More than 1 year ago
I want to state that I have a love for psychology and to a greater extent, psychological thrillers. While I haven't read many, I do watch television shows, documentaries, and movies in this genre. My usual reads are based upon fantasy or paranormal, and since this story had hints of those, I decided to give it a try. The land itself reminded me of New Mexico at times even though I've never actually visited there. I pictured southwestern influence blending into the desert sands and rocky canyons. This said, the visual of the story is exquisite, but each reader envisions differently. The lore was explained and backed up beautifully. I love the idea of a medicine woman in general, but we get to watch Claire struggle with the decision of claiming her heritage. It's not as cut and dry as one might think, definitely not with the hidden plot twists that I refuse to divulge. Her battle is not only internal, but external too. It runs deep through the plot and is executed well. The antagonist did (their) jobs well. I cringed and shuddered at the actions, the sometimes sickening actions, and most in the name of faith or a provision granted for their blind faith. We see it everywhere from the community that shuns Claire to the very hospital she works at as a natural therapist (I loved this as I'm a stronger supporter of natural medicine). What didn't quite work: There was a disconnection from the characters and a slower pace than I'm used to. Not in the sense where I didn't relate, but I felt like I was outside of the story and not within it. There were also a few errors, but nothing that made the story unreadable. Overall I enjoyed the unique angle, the suspense, and the deep roots of the medicine women. It might take a little bit to get into the story as the author builds his world, but if you want something different and that makes you think, this is the book for you. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, thrillers, and darker stories.