In Victorian London Peter Owling, a warlock with Demonic ambition, compiled a book of shadows called a Grimoire in a bid to summon the Dark Demon himself...Satan! Despite his sinister intent, however, all did not go to plan, Owling was killed and his book divided into four pieces before being banished to the far corners of the earth. One fragment finding itself in a shipment headed for the Colonies.
Now, a power hungry group of academics who reside in a 19th-century Gothic convent in Melbourne, Humberstone College, are attempting to reassemble Owlings Satanic book and use it as a means to acquire Eternal Life! The only hope of this soulless group’s plans being thwarted is through the interference of three twenty-something masters students: Holly, Prudence and Justin, who face one Hell of a battle to prevent the Dark Forces from extinguishing life’s light!
I’ll tell you right from the start that you will be highly disappointed with this book by the time you’re nearing the end. Why? Oh come on, you’ve guessed ‘why’ haven’t you? Well done you! Yes...because its 625 pages are simply not enough! It’s like sitting down with a huge chunk of chocolate cake... you know the kind I mean...the kind of chocolate cake that’s so packed with chocolate you gain weight just looking at it but even though you’ve stuffed yourself with it and your teeth are brown and you’ve licked your fingers until they’ve gone all wrinkly and you look as if you’ve been smacked in the face with a mud pie.....you still NEED more! Don’t misunderstand, this is a good thing! The author provides an excellent ending but her characters are so beautifully crafted and hold such depth that the reader is left feeling quite bereft to leave them behind.
Wilkins writes so skillfully that you lose yourself within the pages. Yes! Yes! I know that reeks of cliche but it’s true! You find yourself totally absorbed into whatever the characters are experiencing, each of your senses are piqued as you are engulfed by a variety of sounds, sights and sensations brought to life by the adroitness of Wilkins penmanship. This talent is particularly beneficial when it comes to the erotic content. Oh that made you sit up didn’t it? ‘Erotic’?...Yes erotic...and my, my Wilkins writes it well! As she does with one of our main characters, Holly, who makes contact with the spirit of Owling’s assistant...that’s all I’ll be saying about that...but by ‘contact’ I don’t mean via a pointed finger and a planchette...not quite ( I’m blushing now )..Hot flush??? How dare you!
Grimoire is a deliciously dark Gothic horror which straddles between two time frames and two continents. Wilkins manages to achieve this with ease and without creating disparity which is yet another demonstration of her proficient storytelling. It’s an extremely atmospheric, scary, chilling and compelling novel remaining so throughout and thankfully not hindered by a Status Quo kind of attitude where all’s well that ends well. Oh and don’t be put off by the names...Justin, Holly, Prudence...it could be said they read a tad poncified but the names don’t define the characters so step away from those thoughts!...( and if those names happen to be the birth name of any of you reading this review...may I just say that personally...I would have happily called my baby Gargoyles by any of those! Not sure that helped really! Ah well... ).
So there you have it...I promise you are in for a real treat with this book...as am I because I’m going to read it all over again now...and then finish it off with a post coital Kit Kat!...Enjoy.......
Rating 5 out of 5 stars ...but well worth more.
By The Grumbling Gargoyle