Craig Stewart’s Worship Me is a roller-coaster ride into the dark heart of human nature, one which will leave an indelible imprint on the reader’s mind. The novel’s true strength lies in its depiction of the human animal – its hopes, its fears, its weaknesses. It cannot be overstated how challenging it is for a writer to generate a rich community of authentic characters – the nuance of interpersonal relationships being a particularly delicate dance. Stewart lets none of the difficulty show here, artfully rendering a group of diverse and complex personalities.
Stewart achieves a remarkable effect in portraying an emotionally charged environment: a church transformed into a hellish, supernatural prison, full of hatred, atrocity, mutilation, degradation, abomination, etc… A hallowed place of comfort and serenity turned upside down. Stewart has shown himself to be a skilled practitioner of mood, tone, and style. We begin with an air of familiarity, of family, tradition, and community – then Stewart cranks up the horror with such subtle skill that it is upon you almost before you realize it. The pacing is wonderful, Stewart knowing exactly when to floor the gas and when to tap the brake.
Stewart crafts an evil as interesting as it is horrifying – an elemental beast, remnant of a bygone age, one who demands submission, worship, and something more.
Worship Me is well worth the read in that it reminded me of two of my favorite writers – it has the authentic tone of Stephen King coupled with the sheer imaginative power of Clive Barker. Be sure to pick up a copy.
Dark Hall Press Review
Brilliant! Fast Moving! The Characters Are So Real, You'll Swear You Know Them!
I know that comparisons are odious, however for readers who want something to compare this book to, think some of the really good Stephen King books and you'll be right on target! "Worship Me" is going to knock your socks off your feet and into another room! You'll find yourself feeling very invested in the characters like recently single mom, Angela, who just wants to save her son. Rick-is he really a harbinger of a new God or evil incarnate? Why can't Don save his flock? This book moves very fast and takes the reader for a ride through terror and reality, which is what really good horror writing does. Nothing is flat, every scene and every character is 3-D. It is amazing how "upstanding church folk" act when put into crisis mode and how easily they switch sides when it benefits them. The compound ending to the story is amazing and you won't see it coming. Brilliant! As someone who reads over a hundred books a year, I heartily recommend you buy "Worship Me" today!
So dark, it's brilliant . . . and relentless
Just how dark is Worship Me by Craig Stewart? Well, it's about as dark as a dead monster's soul, rotting for eons, trapped inside a black coffin, so deep beneath the Earth that the light of day may as well be a myth. It is so dark, it's brilliant, challenging just about every assumption you have about the genre.
You know that unwritten rule about sticking with your primary POV character? Forget it. Everybody here is expendable. How about that cliché where churches are sanctuaries from evil? Forget that too. St. Paul's United Church is not a refuge, it's a horrifying prison. Oh, and what about the trope of the 'good' child, the one who's special innocence is destined to save the day? Yup, forget that as well. Sure, there are some kids who stand up and try to take on that role, but . . . well, some sacrifices are different than others.