Banquet for the Damned
Adam L G Nevill
Few believed Professor Coldwell was in touch with an unseen world – that he could commune with spirits. But in Scotland’s oldest university town something has passed from darkness into light. And now the young are been haunted by night terrors. And those who are visted disappear.
This is not a place for outsiders especially at night. So what chance do a rootless muscian and burnt-out explorer have of surviving their entanglement with an ageless supernatural evil and the ruthless cult that worships it?
Set in the university town of Saint Andrews, Banquet for the Damned is great book for fans of ghost stories. Adam L G Neville really builds tension with his writing; at times I could feel my heart racing with the anticipation of what was going to happen.
Dante and Tom are musicians looking for a fresh start. So when Eliot Coldwell, a Professor at St Andrews (and Dante’s hero) sends an invitation to help him research his latest book, they jump at the chance.
Meanwhile, students at St Andrews have been experiencing night terrors, causing anthropologist Hart Miller to receive an unexpectedly high number of phone calls regarding his research into the subject. Hart and Dante soon discover that St Andrews isn’t the beautiful town they were expecting, but a place with secrets and spirits that are centuries old…
I found the first half of the book more enjoyable than the second half, although none of it was a disappointment – I just felt there was more suspense and terror in the first half. As more is revealed to the reader, the book sort of loses its ability to create suspense: the positive elements are lost, such as the stories of the students, their disappearances, and the consequences of Dante’s meetings with a strange girl named Beth. As the secrets of the night terrors and Beth become clear in the latter half, it seems there’s nothing hidden from the reader anymore – it was harder to shock and scare me once everything was explained. Nevill still does a good job at building suspense in places, but it just didn’t make my heart race like it did at the beginning.
I also found it hard to connect with the characters at times; something was missing that stopped me from imagining what they were like and what they were going through, which made the book a little bland in places.
I did enjoy Banquet for the Damned as it actually scared me, but it’s not a book I’d keep, nor is it one where the story will stick with me. But if you’re after a quick, easy (and scary!) book, this will be perfect.