A 19th Century Gothic Horror of Exorcism, Demonic Worship and Epilepsy
When Aubrey has his first seizure, he’s pulled out of school and hidden away in the family’s remote country estate. His father a high-ranking English priest – tries to chase the “Devil” out of Aubrey – but maybe the devil lurks in the grotesque pagan effigy that dwells on the grounds. And maybe the Devil will turn out to be Aubrey’s only ally…
Writer: Peter Milligan
As this is a one-shot, I won’t go into too many story details to avoid entering spoiler territory. Here are the basics:
It’s the 19th century. Aubrey is a shy boy attending a well-regarded school. When he has his first seizure in class, his life changes. His father is a Vicar and not a very nice one. Taking the bible literally and still subscribing to the notion that science is the work of the Devil.
After consulting with a Doctor, he is told that Epilepsy is indicative of “beastliness”. This causes Aubrey’s God-fearing father to cart Aubrey away to Clarke Hall, the families countryside estate. Here the good vicar will attempt to set things straight the only way he knows how… exorcise the beast.
The dialogue is believable and easy to read to the point that an on-screen adaptation could be a great fit, with minimal changes to the source material needed to keep the story focused and interesting.
Milligan’s story is well-paced and has an interesting concept but this book is more period piece/thriller than horror. Although there is a supernatural element to the tale, all horror comes from the dynamic between Aubrey’s family which is a harsh read as it is explored.
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Kowalski’s art is clear and avoids the toned down, dark aesthetic common of other books within the genre. As I said before, the horror of God of Tremors is not caused by omnipotent supernatural beings so much as Aubrey’s situation. This is a shame as the panels that stick in my mind are the ones containing horror elements.
Kowalski’s designs for the forest creatures are really where things shine. Using the surrounding, oppressive treeline of Clarke Hall as his inspiration and creating beings that very well could be stalking anyone brave enough to enter their domain. This choice keeps everything cohesive, and as a fan of his work on his art in the Bloodborne comic book adaptation, I only wish there could have been more!
Based on the cover and blurb I was expecting something a bit more gory and possibly akin to classic coming of age horror stories such as Stephen King’s “Carrie”. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed with what was inside.
This is not to say the book wasn’t enjoyable, Milligan is a great writer and the story does convey a sense of hopeless urgency for Aubrey but the marketing as a “horror” book may leave fans of the genre disappointed.
I would recommend this book to fans of psychological thrillers. If you’re a horror fan and prefer creepy settings or frightening monsters this book may not be for you.
If you enjoyed our review of God of Tremors, leave a comment or rating below.
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