Exorcist: The Beginning

Author: Steven Piziks
Pocket Star Books
RRP 5.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50
ISBN 0 7434 8270 0
Available 04 October 2004

In the aftermath of World War II, Father Lancaster Merrin finds himself in the remote Turkana region of Kenya. Haunted by memories of the war, he has taken a sabbatical from the priesthood. He has come to lead the archaeological excavation of a mysterious Bzyantine church. Directly beneath the church Merrin finds a much more ancient crypt - and finds himself face-to-face with unspeakable Evil. Madness descends on the nearby villagers and on the British soldiers sent to guard the site. Merrin watches helplessly as the atrocities of war are re-enacted against the innocent villagers - atrocities he had hoped he would never witness again. But the horror has only just begun...

Oh dear, oh dear. What on earth was going through the minds of those who thought that this would be a good idea? Take one cult movie, and do a Muppet Babies on it - take an established character and show him in his younger days. While this worked for Indiana Jones, it certainly doesn't work for Father Merrin.

The worst thing about this book is that it is so slow going. While cinematically this may work as the movie gathers momentum, as reading material it just sends you to sleep.

The characters are very one dimensional and to be honest I was routing for the forces of darkness by the end... er... which was certainly not the desired reaction from the reader.

Avoid unless you want to punish yourself.

Nick Smithson

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