Hell Cat of the Holt - supernatural horror novella: black cat myths and legends Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B06XK6C15Y
- Publisher : Herbs House; 1st edition (June 1, 2017)
- Publication date : June 1, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 1114 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 149 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,687 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I enjoyed the original book very much and was happy to learn more about Leo's story. This book, like the first, is well-written, non-formulaic, and the characters are three dimensional, fairly ordinary people I quickly cared about and rooted for. At least, they were ordinary until brushed with manifestations of the Shadow Fabric. Even cats aren't safe from its evil. Now I'm left fearing what actually may have happened to poor Sterling, my black panther-cat who vanished too many months ago.
". . . What you're seeing aren't the shadows you think they are, it's the veil shifting. Traces of the Shadow Fabric . . ."
We begin with an elderly couple on a drive, swerving to avoid the sudden appearance of a large black cat .. . .
Next we meet Anne, a woman who recently left behind an unhappy marriage to move back in with her grandparents--the ones that had raised her in the small town of Mabley Holt. Although Anne grew up here among the rumors of a large Black Cat that lives in the village, with a population of approximately 100, she hasn't known anyone who has actually seen the beast. That is, except for her grandfather--who told her that he had, just before his heart gave out. Her biggest concern now is that her pet cat and only companion, Murphy, has been missing. While putting up flyers about him, she can't help but notice how many other family pets have gone missing lately . . .
Anne is also not be the only one in this small town who's been suffering from sleep problems as of late.
". . . When you wake from a sudden sound, your first thought is whether it was real . . . "
While she is out searching the woods for her beloved pet, she comes across an enigmatic man named Leo. Leo seems to be an expert on the strange cat sightings and bizarre happenings that people in the village have begun to notice, yet he admits to only having been there for about a year.
Cassell's characterization of Leo is fleshed out especially well, considering his "unexpected" appearance. It didn't take long at all to make the connection that he is "in deep" with anything having to do with this "Shadow Fabric". Although we don't learn the origins of his experience, his character is one that is easy enough to believe and put trust in, immediately.
". . . This black stuff . . . is a kind of residue. It proves the veil between our world and . . . another, has been torn . . . ."
In this secluded town it is quite easy--almost inevitable--that we are able to quickly picture the events being spoken of. With the low population and vastness of the woods, this is an area readers will be able to imagine just about anything happening in. This town, like many others, has a violent history that lies upon the other side of the Fabric--one which doesn't discourage easily, and is anxious to get back into the world of the living.
The only thing I would have liked better in this novella, is some more information on how Leo became entangled in the Shadow Fabric to begin with. Included at the end is a bonus story that gives some additional information about Leo and his neighbor, Pippa. I found this to explain a great deal, but still not quite enough to satisfy my curiosity about Leo.
". . . It's all about the Shadow Fabric . . . "
Overall, a fast paced supernatural novella that starts right in on the action, and doesn't let up throughout its duration. I am very interested in reading more of this new Mythos that Mark Cassell has created.
Although part of the Shadow Fabric mythos, Hell Cat of the Holt takes a slightly different direction than the original novel as it addresses the lore and mysteries of black cat sightings, ancient stones, and more witchcraft legend. I found much of it to be haunting and completely unsettling as the story continued to build.
This is another great addition to literature by Mark Cassell as well as an excellent piece of the Shadow Fabric.
Mark Cassell doesn't use old clichés or the usual gimmicks that have become prevalent in current supernatural fiction. He weaves a curious and eerie tapestry together to create a unique new entity. The Shadow Fabric. A living, intelligent yet evil darkness that is separating the chords of reality from the discord of the unholy.
His chapters are peopled with believable and quirky characters and equally demented villains. Each chapter could be considered a stand alone ghost story that weaves and intertwines together into an exciting and mysterious story. A fun read...but not at night. Oh..and check on your cat.
3 of 5 Stars
Top reviews from other countries
Oddly enough, Hammer Horror does get a mention in the book, so maybe it was intended that way, or perhaps it’s just a coincidence; either way the title grabbed me.
The tale this time around centres on the character of Anne, who is visiting her late Grandparents home in the village of Mabley Holt. A place that has its own local legend in the form of a large black cat that has been occasionally seen prowling the area.
But what is the black cat? Is it a real animal, such as an escaped panther, or is it something a little more supernatural. As I live in an area that has its own myth/legend of a large black ghostly dog named Black Shuck, I was intrigued to find out. And before you ask. No, I’ve never seen it.
Alongside this mysterious kitty is the strange black fungus that has been seen growing in the area and the disappearance of various neighbourhood cats, including Anne’s very own black cat; Murphy.
Now the observant among you who have already read Mark’s previous titles in the Shadow Fabric Mythos may recognise the name of Mabley Holt from the short story The Artist and the Crone from Sinister Stitches, Sinister Stitches: a collection of short horror stories in the Shadow Fabric Mythos but don’t worry if you haven’t read that particular title as not only can you dive straight into Hell Cat of the Holt without any prior knowledge, but The artist and the Crone is also included with Hell Cat too.
If you are new to Mark’s work then you can jump right into this title without worrying about not having read the previous books, and those who are familiar with the mythos will be able to enjoy what is pretty much a standalone story, with a few familiar faces; or lack of faces in some cases.
Then again, having said that it’s a standalone tale who knows if we’ll reunite with some of the characters (or creatures) from this tale somewhere else down the road?
Speaking of other tales; I’m pretty sure I spotted a little reference to another story about the mythos that Mark is writing with the reference to Peru and the Devil’s Skull, which may well tie in to something I mentioned in my review of The Shadow Fabric. The Shadow Fabric: A Supernatural Horror Novel
The book’s as well written as always and as I’ve found with Mark’s other titles; no sooner have I finished that I want to know more about the world that the story inhabits along with its various denizens, both evil and benign. Until that time however, I’ll patiently wait; always keeping an eye out for strange black fungus and an ear open for stories of mysterious goings on, just in case. After all, who knows what's really lurking in the shadows?
The rest of the novella builds on this back story. It’s fast-paced and creepy. It’s got demons, supernatural beasts, blood, gore, guts and enough unsettling sections for most readers interested in dark fiction/ horror. The characters are believable. The plot’s well thought out and has some unexpected turns that keep it interesting.
I like the way the author weaves in characters and cameos from the rest of his work. I appreciate this style of writing isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but I enjoy spotting the references and connections. It’s cleverly done and not obtrusive.
Downsides? It gets a little too descriptive in places, in particular towards the end. I’d have preferred sparser prose and maybe a little more dialogue to keep the pace quicker as the story builds to its conclusion. (As much of a conclusion as you get in an ever-expanding world of stories.)
The more of the stories you’ve read in the author’s Shadow Fabric Mythos, the more you’ll get out of this novella. That being said, this book works perfectly well as a stand alone novella and serves as a good introduction to his work. Plus, you also get a bonus short story at the end that provides further background to the Hell Cat story.
Highly Recommended. Now go buy it.
I received a free copy of the book. Since finishing it, I’ve bought a copy.
Although Anne had only heard of the black cat from her grandad, she still decided to walk for miles looking for her missing cat. Whilst most of her walks were uneventful, on one occasion she meets a new neighbour Leo, who was knowledgeable of the local legend. Using him to learn more about the mysterious happenings in the village and the black cat.
This story starts with Anne’s grandad and grandma and the end of chapter 1 sets you up for a turbulent journey. As well as the black cat, there is a black fungus appearing all over the village and with the appearance of ghosts makes this a chilling read. As soon as Anne met Leo, the pace of the story changed. The illustrative way the author wrote made this story intense and once I started this story I had to finish it in one sitting. Whilst reading this you can imagine the fungus growing at a pace suffocating the light and the black cat creeping in the shadows. An added story at the end The Artist and The Crone tells the story of Leo a year before Anne arrived in the village and ties up this novella perfectly.
This was the first story I have read from this author and looking on my kindle it won’t be the last. A great chilling read and a good companion to The Shadow Fabric Mythos
Anne is still hunting for her companion cat Murphy when she becomes embroiled in with the shadows that are creeping closer and closer into her town. When she is helped by Leo; a man who has seen far more than he ever wished for, Anne learns far more than she bargained for.
A tale of demons and darkness ans witches and blood, Hell Cat of the Holt takes you a long on a riveting rollercoaster of sharp turns and gut wrenching drops.
Mark Cassell doesn't fail when it comes to spot on horrific description, and his skills in weaving a fast paced yet highly informative story are second to none.
If you ever feel the need to venture into a small town, were the trees seem to hide more secrets than the neighbours, always watch out for a black cat.. you just never know what they are hiding.
A great instalment so far to a dark and imaginative world held together by the malevolent Shadow Fabric.
I liked the originality of this tale. The setting which reminded me of James Herbert's The Ghosts of Sleath. It had a dark, gritty feel, and the originality of a 'cat' brought a different dimension to the Mythos. I liked how the characters and background tied in and loved the revelation at the end.
If you like Horror, this is definitely worth picking up.