CEREMONY OF ASHES – BY JAYSON ROBERT DUCHARME
Ducharme’s reissue of Alessa’s Melody has been promoted a lot on social media lately, catching my eye. So, I decided to check out his work on Amazon, seeing as I hadn’t yet read his writing. Ceremony of Ashes was my top result and only $0.99 for the novella in Kindle format. I took that deal and ran with it. I’ll tell you what – I’m glad I did. In fact, I want to get a paperback copy of it at some point.
Ceremony of Ashes is about a small town in Massachusetts that has found itself on the bad side of a witch. While that’s a simple enough premise, the execution is so strong that you couldn’t care less. The murders are graphic and unsettling, as is the ritual itself in the end. At a novella’s length, this story consists of quite a bit of action and mystery. Though you don’t get all your answers in the end, the length works rather well, as a result. It could have been another twenty or so pages longer to flesh out some things, but that isn’t a problematic concern in this case.
Like I said, the violence is pretty horrific – I know fans of the genre will appreciate that. And despite knowing the sickness seeing them might cause me, there are many vicious scenes I would like to see on the big screen. I think this book would dominate theaters with a proper adaptation.
I really only had a couple issues with this book, and they were very minor. One was the vagueness regarding the children, which was a blessing and a curse for me; I hate reading about children being injured or killed, but at the same time, I wanted to know what specifically happened to them. The only other issue that comes to mind is the opening page – it didn’t latch onto me in any sense. It actually made me worry the story would be generic. You know how important first impressions can be, especially when you have an overflowing TBR stack of books. The rest of the novella’s writing, however, was great. I’m glad I didn’t abandon the book just because of a weak start.
All in all, I found Ceremony of Ashes to be quite the enertaining horror story. Again, I want to see this as a movie. Again, I want to collect myself a paperback for the wall. My interest and love for this story grew with every passing page. By the end, I was jittery with anticipation. I highly recommend this novella! Why haven’t I heard of Ducharme sooner?
Review by Aiden Merchant
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