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The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar (a Gothic Horror Novella) Kindle Edition

18 customer reviews

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Length: 73 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Fortune Smiles
2015 National Book Awards - Fiction Winner
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Product Details

  • File Size: 954 KB
  • Print Length: 73 pages
  • Publisher: Immortal Ink Publishing, LLC (June 15, 2012)
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,170,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. on June 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Here is what I liked about this novella:

Characters: The characters that inhabit "The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar" are so real that you can feel the threat of the situations befalling them, and actually care that it is happening. This is a special treat for me. Truth be told, I do not like period pieces and this one is set in the 1880's. I am not a big history buff. It bores me. So a writer of a period novella will have to go the extra mile to make characters so believable, I think I know them. Mr. Katriel has peopled his story with great characters. I especially love the enigmatic Cristian Salazar, who was built to legendary status by the time I met him in the book. I wanted to know what this guy was all about. I was not disappointed. Mr. Katriel has earned me as a loyal reader because of his characters.

Mood: The mood that Mr. Katriel creates in his writing reminds me of Peter Straub in the early years. In this story, a cemetery is overgrown with wildflowers and nettles around the tombstones, " disturb the sterile dignity of the dead." Birds make sounds that "...eerily sound like human voices." There is so much more that brings an eerie mood to this story. I fear revealing too much. Creating a proper mood for the story is a hard thing for a writer to do unless they are truly thinking about it all of the time. Again, Mr. Katriel hits it out of the park with this.

I have nothing but praise for Steven Katriel's haunting tale. On one part it actually kept me up, and I had to watch a little TV in order to put myself to sleep. Writer's are hard pressed to be able to do that to me anymore after all of the sinister stories I have read in my life. That is why I would recommend "The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar" to anyone who likes their reads a little on the creepy side. Pick it up as soon as possible!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wendy S. Russo on June 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
An unnamed narrator stands amidst bloodstained pages in a ruined house in Camden Town, reading the desperate tale of a woman named Helena Graham. Her opening paragraphs refer to a wretched woman who has forced upon her a "hateful gift." Alatiel, as she calls this maligned force, appeared to Helen to be nothing more than a vulnerable young woman when Julian Paradine introduced her to their circle of wannabe English bohemians. Helena tells herself that the interest her brother's friends have in the destitute beauties they share for a time before discarding is purely artistic, even while harboring darker, more realistic suspicions.

Two men in their circle react strangely when Julian presents his new muse. Callum Flynn, a dreadful poet, leaves immediately and without explanation. Helena's boyfriend and mediocre painter, Gabriel Holland, feigns concern for Flynn and backs away from the table with such suddenness that he knocks his chair over. Helena remains behind with Julian and their friend Daniele Navarro, who is given the first turn with the girl. From the moment that Julian takes Alatiel by the arm and pushes her forward for inspection by his friends, life for everyone who has seen the frail mute descends steadily into a hellish nightmare.

But the narrator hasn't come across Helena's tale by accident. The curse did not start at the artists' table, or even with Julian's flaky association with occult painter Cristian Salazar, whom the narrator knows to be Alatiel's father. The narrator is the one who angered the Salazar family, and he is the one upon whom the young demon is taking revenge.

Set in England, in the late 19th century, The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar is a gothic novella in the tradition of Edgar Allen Poe.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Zimmermann on June 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What can I say about this novella? I was really blown away by it. From what I've been hearing over the last few months, it should have blown me away...I guess the rumors were true. Katriel really knows how to write!

If I didn't know any better I'd have said this book was written years ago...back when the Gothic style was first created. Katriel hit the nail on the head with his use of language and presentation. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning and didn't want to pull away until it ended (I slept somewhere in the middle since it was late at night, but that doesn't count).

When I met Alatiel for the first time, I didn't know what to think. I just knew with her presence came trouble. I was right. The horror left in her wake is painted beautifully and unexpected. These moments were some of my favorite in the whole piece. This skill along with Steven's ability to set up the scene in my mind lead to a feeling that I was in the story. I could see everything as it was happening, vividly.

This novella has surpassed my expectations in story and writing style. For this it has jumped high on my list of great books. This is an especially tough accomplishment considering it's a novella. In around 21,000 words, it has changed the way I view the horror genre, and novella's in general.

I would jump at the chance to read more of this author's work in the future. That's for sure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andre Hirsch Todorovich on June 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Author's Creative Brand:
"The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar"
Genre: Gothic Revisionist Horror Literature
Length: 60 Pages
Immortal Ink Publishing

My 9 Reader 'Hot-Button' Considerations

1. World's Immersion:
Readers will enter Katriel's gothic-styled 1800's world through the frame of reading a journal...discovered and being read by initially unknown eyes, left behind by the disappearance of a woman, evidenced only in her body's blood-stained outline. Thus begins a haunted search, through an association of twisted souls, dark beliefs, lost beliefs, and the ghosts that find no rest.

"The Decorative Poor" are the beautiful but utterly lost muses...destitute human inspirations, discovered by a circle of bohemian artists...painters, poets, want-to-be novelists...with lusty, obsessive appetites. This decadent bunch becomes the artisan road-map to Hell, through which Readers track the bloody wake of ALATIEL. What draws one in deeper, is this promise of unveiling the darker appetites, and unspeakable prices exacted, for reveling in ecstasy of Darkness' desolate promises. At the furthest end of this hall-of-mirrors journey, awaits House Salvacio, with a godless cemetery for a moat, and abode to illusory, painted dimensions...the arena of flesh-chilling depravity.

2. Characters/Icons:
ALATIEL: She is the fearsome icon of this book, and a horrific figure of unsettling mysteries. "What is raised is imperishable." WHAT do Readers believe Alatiel is? If you say she is a 'vampire,' I will point out that Alatiel does not feed on blood...the feast is on something else. If you say she is a zombie, you haven't read the book.
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