Published by Black Bed Sheet Books
Any book that begins with the sentence "She'd always hated her daughter" is sure to suck in readers and make them want more. Charla by Alexander Beresford did just that, and from the first page I enjoyed Beresford's storytelling.
Charla is a story that horror fans have heard before, and we all know that when a demon is summoned, things aren't going to end well for the summoner… but Charla is different . The twist in this story is that Charla Green actually summons a demon to torture her daughter, Amelie.
Beresford doesn't delve too far into exactly why Charla despises her daughter so much, but the twisted thoughts that go through this woman's head as she imagines different ways to make her daughter suffer really made me squirm in my seat. No mother should detest her child, especially when Amelie is about as sweet and sunny as rainbows and kittens!
Okay, maybe I can understand why her mother didn't care for her too much.
Beresford had the right idea with his story, the pacing is great, the characters are well thought out, but there are a few things that just didn't sit right with me.
First of all, there are quite a few spelling and punctuation errors throughout the novel. I went back through to make sure I wasn't given an unedited proof copy, but no such luck – this was the final version. It was extremely frustrating to me to feel like I was actually in the story and then all of a sudden have a misspelling pull me out and smack me back into the real world.
While the characters have depth behind them, they are a few that we've seen before. The good girl, the villain, the good girl's fiancé, and don't forget the best friend that knows how to use a spirit board and is versed in the occult.
Charla also lacks a bit of actual demonic issues. While we know throughout the story that horrible things are happening to Amelie because Beresford tells us so, the lack of explanation of what the demon wants in return for this torture and how he plans on collecting remain veiled.
Regardless of these few things, I actually enjoyed the flow and style of Charla, and if Beresford puts out another novel, I would have no problem reading it, provided it's proofed more thoroughly than Charla.
3 1/2 out of 5