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Friday, November 13, 2020

Blog Tour & Review: The Cult of Eden by Bill Halpin


The Cult of Eden
by Bill Halpin

Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours and Bill Halpin for this copy and stop on the Blog Tour.

Publisher: Cosmic Egg Books
Publish Date: October 1, 2019
336 Pages
Series: The Unrisen #1
Genres: Occult Horror, Thriller

Newlywed Will Battese finds himself homesick and overwhelmed after following his ambitious wife, Shannon, to New York City. When a surprise pregnancy shreds their already meager budget, Will drops out of college and settles for work at a low-end diner. There, a small act of kindness draws the attention of Victor Degas, a man with an unsettling presence and deformed eyes. Unbeknownst to Will, Degas belongs to an ancient, sophisticated cult known as the Edens and believes Will to be the key to gaining otherworldly power. As the sun sets on Good Friday, Degas orchestrates a home invasion in which Will and his baby boy, Gideon, are kidnapped, leaving Shannon to join forces with an unreliable agent from the Roman Catholic Church. While Will struggles to save other innocents from the Eden parish below the city, Shannon discovers that the cult plans to use her family for an unimaginable demonic ritual, and that the Vatican may let it happen. With no one to trust but themselves, Shannon and Will must fight not only to survive, but to keep their humanity intact. THE CULT OF EDEN is the first volume in The Unrisen saga.

My Review:

I'll pretty much read anything that has to do with cults. I can't help it. It's something that absolutely fascinates me and I can't see that changing anytime in the near future. Present me a book about an underground Satanic cult and how can I possibly say no?!  And this goes from 'Honey, can you pass the salt?' to 'Geezuz fuck, please stop - that hurts!' - blood, splat - YAY! 😈

Here's what I like about this book:  You know exactly who is on what side.. HOWEVER, while the line is clear between good and evil, you somehow still get this little ... ok, ok... I'm kinda seeing this cult's point of view.  And when you start justifying the evil side of things as you're reading... well, I don't know about you, but I like it!  It's also not *too* religious to the point of turning you off if you're not into reads like those (like me).  Yes, there's several references and religious overtones obviously but since this is a Satanic cult, it's less "God is all" and more "God sucks".  Which seems obvious but I think you'll know more what I'm trying to get at when you read this.  While there's a little bit of a slow start, it grabs you and flies by after.

What I didn't quite like so much:  The dual storylines of home invasion/cult and the Nacaan Tribe in the Amazon Jungle.... while it kind of comes together towards the end, I'm still just a *bit* confused on the exact correlation between the two but think maybe this will be better understood as this trilogy continues.  Some parts felt campy (in the best way) but the consistency did feel off a bit because of it, but it never really bothered my flow.

If you love reading about cult mentality like I do, then I highly recommend this book.  It may seem like a story you've read before in certain areas but definitely shines on its own in others.  Certainly impressive as a debut and I'm so curious where we go from here.

★★★☆ but with the two horns up for this as a debut, I'd round up to ★★★★


Bill Halpin was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, where he grew up on the horror genre. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Bill moved on to New York City and earned a degree in Optometry from SUNY. Now, he lives and practices in Saratoga Springs, NY and writes in between his appointments. The Cult of Eden is his debut novel.

Praise for The Cult of Eden

“In the age-old struggle between Good and Evil, between Christianity and Satanism, there are heroes and there are villains. However, as The Cult of Eden reveals, in the heat of battle it is not always clear who are the good guys and who are the bad… as black and white certainties are swept away by a tide of blood-stained grey.” 
Charles Christian, editor The Grievous Angel zine

“The Cult of Eden is a stellar debut novel. A kaleidoscope of religious undertones and occult sprinklings not seen since The Exorcist. I’m a Bill Halpin fan!” 
Chuck Buda, author of Curse of the Ancients and The First Cut

“Halpin takes a new spin on the creepy religious cult and amps the terror factor up to eleven! Not only is the Cult of Eden like no group you’ve ever seen before, but the Battese family is thrown into a bizarre and complex plan to effectively undo all of creation. This stellar freshman novel from Bill Halpin has me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment!”
-Kathleen from Belle of the Bookcase

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