A church in the middle of nowhere, filled with a small group of worshipers, but something comes out of the woods and changes their lives forever.
Written by Craig Stewart, Worship Me is an impressive debut novel. Craig reached out to me a few weeks ago to review his novel and I leaped at the chance. I was not disappointed!
Set in a presumably small town where everyone knows each other. Each Sunday they meet at their local church to silently judge each other and pray to God. One Sunday the group is gathered when everything changes. Angela, a mother with a young son Alex, has been abandoned by her husband. He’s been missing for three months. While the town gossips and tries to solve the mystery, Angela is secretly relieved. Her husband Rick was an abusive piece of shit. She has no idea where he’s gone but she also doesn't really care at this point.
Unfortunately, after the service finished and the group gathers for a picnic on the ground, Rick returns. He’s become a monster – covered in wounds and scars and wielding terrifying powers. He quickly kills two members and traps the rest inside the church.
The story unfolds as this group of churchgoer’s battles for their lives, trapped inside what should be a place of sanctuary. And when the monster tells them they have to make a child sacrifice before the night falls, or all of them will perish…. everything becomes far more dangerous.
This is such an incredibly fun and unique story. It’s a real creature feature that will give you everything you need in a well-rounded horror novel – emotional moments, characters that you love and then they die and your heart breaks, tones of gore, scares, and great descriptive paragraphs.
The story is fascinating as these characters find themselves trapped inside a church, and all their dirty secrets come out into the open. It’s an excellent character study for how each person deals differently with these horrifying situations.
My favorite characters were Clara and Angela, two friends who very much lead the first half of this story. Clara is someone I have met so many times in my life, and Angela is the same. You instantly feel a connection to them.
(Also full disclosure and kind of spoilery - every character I got attached to WAS KILLED OFF. I was so emotional ya'll. But all the deaths were needed for the story, I'm not mad.)
Worship Me gave me super Stephen King vibes, the story’s setup is slightly similar to The Mist, and the character study reminds me of him. Also the ending of this book…OKAY…WOW…like, it took a turn. FOR THE GOOD. But it took a turn.
It reminded me of Children of the Corn and totally creeped me out.
The pacing of this book is great, there’s a lot of action, a lot of gore. There’s not a tone of dialogue but there is a tone of description. Which again, reminds me of King. Stewart is really good at writing and setting up the image perfectly in your head.
When the creature is finally revealed in all its’ glory, the writing creates the most terrifying image in your brain.
Overall, Worship Me is a tone of fun. It’s kind of insane to me that this is his first full length novel. It’s a spooky read for sure.
Check out Craig's website here
Craig Stewart is a Canadian author and filmmaker who learned how to count from the rhyme, “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.” He’s a creator and connoisseur of everything horror; never afraid to delve into the dark. His written works include short stories, film scripts, articles, as well as his first horror novel, Worship Me, recently published by Hellbound Books. He has also written and directed several short horror films that have enjoyed screenings across North America.