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

Steven Katriel
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

When Gabriel Holland’s beloved Helena vanishes from his life, he journeys to the home of disgraced artist Cristian Salazar, the man he holds responsible for her disappearance and the death of several friends. Once in the town of Carliton, Gabriel finds only malice and mystery in the tales told by the few brave enough to speak ill of Salazar and the sinister Cousin Beatriz. And within shadows, in the guise of night, walks Alatiel, the creature Helena has become.

The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar is a NOVELLA of approximately 21,000 words. The novella was previously titled "The Poison of a Smile."


Product Details

  • File Size: 872 KB
  • Print Length: 73 pages
  • Publisher: Immortal Ink Publishing, LLC (June 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008UVAEXO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,023 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Creepy! I loved this novella! June 16, 2012
By J.
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, "...to 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
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! June 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar" is a gothic horror novella that possesses the brute strength capable of propelling a reader--even one who is unwilling--into its dark and shadowy confines, yet author Steven Katriel chooses, instead, to lure readers into his house of horrors by tantalizing them with promises of otherworldly events, dark and mysterious people, and an oppressive sense of impending doom.

And once you enter, there's no turning back, as Katriel's tale drags you deeper and deeper into the Salazar's web. The story has so many layers, and its characters have so much depth and breadth, that this novella feels like a much longer piece.

Like a true master, Katriel leaves the reader both satisfied and yearning for more. I can't wait to see what he delivers next.

Fans of horror, Gothic horror, suspense, and mystery should check out "The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar." I highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Mesmerizing
I had heard of this book when it was released and happened across it by accident when google searching "gothic horror" images. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Susanna Brooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Novella in Gothic horror tradition!
This work could easily have been written in the 19th century! If you enjoy classic Gothic horror, I strongly recommend you read this. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mark Abrams
3.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Gothic
This novella has the cadence of a good old 19th century gothic horror story. It's not terribly frightening by today's standards. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Irenic
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern lit meets Traditional Gothic Horror
I bought this on recommendation from some awesome bibliophiles. And (in between trilogy & quadrilogy saga reading), I am totally enthralled & "feeling the creeping horror". Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mari-Clare
4.0 out of 5 stars An unnerving ghost story
First off let me just say that the cover of this novella reminds me of a Lady Gaga music video!! It's weird and creepy, and is a beautiful impression of what to expect under the... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Roxy Kade
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Dark Story
In the spirit of full disclosure I received a free PDF in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is a Gothic/Horror/Paranormal /Fantasy, and definitely keeps you on... Read more
Published on August 23, 2012 by Catrina Barton
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm So Conflicted!
Let me begin by saying that Katriel is beyond gifted in painting a Victorian picture. From his descriptions of buildings, homes, and even his vernacular you were instantly drawn... Read more
Published on August 20, 2012 by RavenWriter
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful prose with a chilling plot!
[...]

The Basics: I'm a Victorian junkie. Oscar Wilde is my hero. I worship Jane Austen. Dostoyevsky (okay, he's not Victorian; shh) is my god. Read more
Published on August 16, 2012 by C.J. Listro
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay but I didn't finish it
I got about halfway through this novella. While the writing is decently good, I had a hard time keeping the characters and the story straight and I never really got connected to... Read more
Published on August 14, 2012 by C. Weese
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine Gothic!
This is a genuine Gothic! Lurid language, vivid descriptions, creeping tension and lavish settings... a great read. Read more
Published on July 13, 2012 by Candy
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