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Something is listening to the prayers of St. Paul’s United Church, but it’s not the god they asked for; it’s something much, much older. A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified churchgoers must now prove their loyalty to their new god by giving it on Something is listening to the prayers of St. Paul’s United Church, but it’s not the god they asked for; it’s something much, much older. A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified churchgoers must now prove their loyalty to their new god by giving it one of their children or in two days time it will return and destroy them all. As fear rips the congregation apart, it becomes clear that if they’re to survive this untold horror, the faithful must become the faithless and enter into a battle against God itself. But as time runs out, they discover that true monsters come not from heaven or hell… ...they come from within.


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Something is listening to the prayers of St. Paul’s United Church, but it’s not the god they asked for; it’s something much, much older. A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified churchgoers must now prove their loyalty to their new god by giving it on Something is listening to the prayers of St. Paul’s United Church, but it’s not the god they asked for; it’s something much, much older. A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified churchgoers must now prove their loyalty to their new god by giving it one of their children or in two days time it will return and destroy them all. As fear rips the congregation apart, it becomes clear that if they’re to survive this untold horror, the faithful must become the faithless and enter into a battle against God itself. But as time runs out, they discover that true monsters come not from heaven or hell… ...they come from within.

30 review for Worship Me

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bark | Laurie | LOHF

    We all need a little darkness in our reading lives, if only to escape the darkness of reality, right? Well, I sure do and this book was gruesomely dark, unrelentingly evil and I loved nearly every black page but especially those where selfish hearted people meet their demise most painfully. Does that make me evil too? The story begins when a horrible wife abusing man named Rick finds his bliss while praying to a structure in the woods. That structure houses The Behemoth, the one and true God, th We all need a little darkness in our reading lives, if only to escape the darkness of reality, right? Well, I sure do and this book was gruesomely dark, unrelentingly evil and I loved nearly every black page but especially those where selfish hearted people meet their demise most painfully. Does that make me evil too? The story begins when a horrible wife abusing man named Rick finds his bliss while praying to a structure in the woods. That structure houses The Behemoth, the one and true God, the God of hellfire, damnation and exquisite pain to all who fail to bow down properly. Rick and The Behemoth infest a local church filled with loyal devotees and demand fealty to their new God as well as make an offering of an innocent child or they all die . . . Just one child though, this Behemoth is not greedy even though there is a basement filled with kiddos. So, what follows is the evil that happens when humans are asked to make such a terrible decision to save their own hides. All of their ugliness, self-preservation and selfishness come crashing to the surface and spewing through their mouths and thoughts. Some become sheep, just going along with what they know instinctively is very wrong. This all feels so very real and the author does a fantastic job of bringing this terror-filled this scenario to life. “All was not right in the house of God.” Terrible, gory things happen at the level of early Clive Barker gruesomeness, mostly to people who deserve it but just know that no one is truly safe, even if they’re not a jerk. I enjoyed the spontaneity of the murders even when I was sad to see someone decent go because it upped the odds. The characters were well drawn and the brief moments of light and hope make the darker bits stand out all the more. My only minor complaint is that there is a bit of head hopping which I noticed most nearest the end. I don’t typically notice such things but there were a few pages that I had to go back and reread to clarify who was speaking. The ending was very fitting and one I didn’t see coming. I loved the visceral brutality of it all and the picture it paints of the most horrible creature of all: humans. Read this one if you dare!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bob/Sally

    Just how dark is Worship Me by Craig Stewart? Well, it's about as dark as a dead monster's soul, rotting for eons, trapped inside a black coffin, so deep beneath the Earth that the light of day may as well be a myth. It is so dark, it's brilliant, challenging just about every assumption you have about the genre. You know that unwritten rule about sticking with your primary POV character? Forget it. Everybody here is expendable. How about that cliché where churches are sanctuaries from evil? Forge Just how dark is Worship Me by Craig Stewart? Well, it's about as dark as a dead monster's soul, rotting for eons, trapped inside a black coffin, so deep beneath the Earth that the light of day may as well be a myth. It is so dark, it's brilliant, challenging just about every assumption you have about the genre. You know that unwritten rule about sticking with your primary POV character? Forget it. Everybody here is expendable. How about that cliché where churches are sanctuaries from evil? Forget that too. St. Paul's United Church is not a refuge, it's a horrifying prison. Oh, and what about the trope of the 'good' child, the one who's special innocence is destined to save the day? Yup, forget that as well. Sure, there are some kids who stand up and try to take on that role, but . . . well, some sacrifices are different than others. Worship Me is largely populated by unlikeable characters, but that's actually refreshing. They're all ordinarily human, imperfect souls whose only common bond is the church they share. There are a few secrets, but this isn't one of those books where a shattering heart-felt revelation will save the world. Sure, there are a few characters who you suspect might be of significance, but don't get too attached to those suspicions because bad things happen, and they happen fast. As for what the story is about, it's pretty simple. A missing husband returns to proclaim the worship of an ancient entity, and he gives his fellow parishioners two days to choose which of their children they will sacrifice to it. Just to ensure they know he's serious, he performs a few hellish miracles, before leaving them trapped inside. Attempts at escape don't end well, and it doesn't take long before the good people of St. Paul's United Church begin to turn on one another. This is a dark tale of supernatural horror, but it is the darkness of the human soul that makes it truly chilling. It's relentless in its terror, and glimpses of light and love are only there to be cruelly quashed. As for the finale - where, so often, horror falls flat for me - Stewart builds a perfect climax, and then layers on not just one, but several twists in the epilog. If you want a story that will give you chills, something to enjoy as you ready for Halloween, Worship Me is a perfect read. Be warned, however, it may have you second-guessing church next weekend. Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mistress Maleficent #darklings

    Well, this is the first sort of book I've read in a while that goes this far into the darker side of things. First thought after finishing was...Wowzers! My first feeling and the storyline that I keep coming back too, is the humanity or inhumanity of the characters involved. How deeply human they were and how well they were written. Showing the human race and depicting them spectacularly with all their flaws. A group of church goers, family & friends alike, gather for what is supposed to be the r Well, this is the first sort of book I've read in a while that goes this far into the darker side of things. First thought after finishing was...Wowzers! My first feeling and the storyline that I keep coming back too, is the humanity or inhumanity of the characters involved. How deeply human they were and how well they were written. Showing the human race and depicting them spectacularly with all their flaws. A group of church goers, family & friends alike, gather for what is supposed to be the regular, once a week Sunday service. Meet Angela. A woman who was left as a single parent to son Alex, 3 months ago when her husband Rick disappeared without trace. After a freak wind forced the congregation back into the church, ironically a room called the sanctuary, Rick re-appears out of the blue. There are cries of "It's a miracle, praise God".....but how long will this last? Even before the carnage started Angela had to get her and her son away. Away from the man who abused, beat and broke her for years. A secret kept to herself. Rick has appeared and claims he has been sent by the Beast. He's there to show them the way and to follow the Behemoth. With this, causes confusions and fractions within the group. It seems surprising at first just how quickly the situation deteriorates and the divisions show, in the end it only takes 48 hrs for the whole group to almost self destruct. But, and here's the thing that keeps me thinking and coming back to it. Was it really that surprising? Seriously, what would the normal person do when faced with almost certain death, watching friends and family members literally ripped apart in front of their eyes, what would you sacrifice in order to live? Your morality? How do you draw the line at what is right and wrong? How do you justify those decisions? Honestly, THIS is the underlying storyline I keep thinking about. Now, it's not all about this obviously, I mentioned the Behemoth. He sends Rick in to speak for him, to tell the congregation he wants a child. They have 48 hrs to decide, give him a child or all will die. This hopefully will explain now why everything went wrong, fast. No-one was allowed to leave and anyone trying will die. Which as promised, they did. The author spares the reader nothing when describing in detail the horror, the gore, the ripping skin from bone ...you get the picture. This is described in such great detail it makes you curl your toes as you can almost hear the bones cracking and the images it creates seems to jump off the page. The storyline itself was a good one and executed well. The characters were all connected, even loosely, so there was great continuity. I can't say any were particularly likeable, but then, I think this reflects the situation they found themselves in, no matter how much you say your thoughts are about others, it all comes down to self preservation. It was well paced, steady & had excellent attention to detail. And I can't let this go without saying something about that cover. Bloody brilliant! I absolutely love it. An excellent and thoroughly fitting picture for this equally good read. If I'm being perfectly honest, and I don't know what this says about me, but I actually had a lot of sympathy for the Behemoth in the end. He's been around for so long, seen changes upon the earth and managed to survive by himself, albeit reluctantly. All he wanted was a friend, a companion. Someone to end his loneliness. It left me asking the question, WHO is actually the beast on this earth? With the traits shown in humanity here, the lines become blurred. An excellent example of it's genre, giving the reader far more than just a basic gore fest. It shows us & exposes us to darkness on so many levels. Really well done and I'll look forward to more from this author.  

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ann Tamimi

    I really enjoyed this goreish horror read. How easily the "devoted" change their tune when faced with extreme challenges. And happily there was no fairy tale ending. I'm looking fwd to more horror reads from this author. I really enjoyed this goreish horror read. How easily the "devoted" change their tune when faced with extreme challenges. And happily there was no fairy tale ending. I'm looking fwd to more horror reads from this author.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sidney Prescott

    A real creature feature that brings the chills, gore and horror! Very well written and a really fun read. Check out my full review over at Horror Bound! https://www.horrorbound.net/spooky-re... A real creature feature that brings the chills, gore and horror! Very well written and a really fun read. Check out my full review over at Horror Bound! https://www.horrorbound.net/spooky-re...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Worship Me by Craig Stewart is particularly tricky to review, absorbing as it is, I genuinely struggled to nail down how much I enjoyed it. It is an odd read, both original and off-beat, but also slightly frustrating in parts. Overall though, it’s a clever and thought-provoking horror novel which could open a few eyes. The entire novel takes place either within the very rural St. Paul’s United Church or its close vicinity and over a brief 24-hour period. The opening sequence sees Clara, who is a Worship Me by Craig Stewart is particularly tricky to review, absorbing as it is, I genuinely struggled to nail down how much I enjoyed it. It is an odd read, both original and off-beat, but also slightly frustrating in parts. Overall though, it’s a clever and thought-provoking horror novel which could open a few eyes. The entire novel takes place either within the very rural St. Paul’s United Church or its close vicinity and over a brief 24-hour period. The opening sequence sees Clara, who is a church warden, opening the building for Sunday morning service. Whilst she does this she muses on who is likely to attend that day, particularly whether her former best friend Angela will show. The rural congregation belongs to a small town where nothing much happens; however, three months earlier, Angela’s husband Rich mysteriously disappeared. Clara was not too disappointed and blamed Rich for ruining her life-long but rather needy friendship with Angela and is secretly pleased to see the back of him. Once the action kicks off we are introduced to many of the congregation. This is not the strongest element of the novel, as many of these characters are either too samey or just plain dull and I struggled to show enthusiasm for most of them. Reverend Don Hooper is the charismatic preacher; however, I’m already struggling to remember any differences between Alex, Gary, Emily, Tina or any of the other fairly unlikable God-fearing folks. The only pair who distinguish themselves from the pack are two gay teenage boys who have been seeing each other in secret. Having said that, this should not be seen as a major drawback, as the smaller characters become sheep in the supernatural drama which plays out when the church service begins, so perhaps too much character development is not essential. Things truly start to motor when Reverend Don is in the full flow of his sermon and a near-naked man walks into the church straight out of the nearby Bulward Forest. There is something uncannily familiar about him and before long we find out why the book is called Worship Me and it’s not because the new arrival is preaching the Gospel, he’s the precursor of something much nastier, which is the crux of the novel. I don’t want to say too much more about the plot except that the main themes involve sacrifice, faith (and the loss of it), gossip, cosmic horror and a look at strained church dynamics as the panicking congregation realises what they are up against. When an unsurmountable horror is at your doorstep, who do you turn to? If you have been a Christian all your life, will you still turn to Jesus at moments of great danger? You might glean something about the author’s take on Christianity in this novel, or even find a Judas or Peter (who denies Christ three times) lurking in the pages. Children play a crucial role in the Bible and that is also the case in Worship Me, which ultimately asks questions of faith packaged within a readable horror novel. I would like to reiterate that this is a horror novel, as the review has not focused upon that, which features a monster, and a pretty good one at that. It also has a few very good kill scenes; faces are peeled off and children are brutally murdered. It is heavy with threat, tension, accusation and some strong sequences towards the end of the book with the entire congregation having their faith tested. The lengths a parent will go to in order to protect a child is another theme handled well. The pain of loss, faith and love are also cleverly handled in a book that refuses to play by the rules and closes with a very cool ending. In getting around to writing this review I’ve thought a lot about Worship Me and the way in which the author cleverly mixes the familiar horror story of a group stuck inside a building with an unknown evil lurking outside into something more complex by throwing in ideas about faith. But if you’re after a good monster or demon novel, then Worship Me does that also.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    It starts as a normal Sunday service at St. Paul's United Church. That is until Angela Morris' missing husband bursts through the doors. He brings with him a dark and evil entity known as the Behemoth. The Beast. Now the terrified congregation must decide which child to sacrifice for their own lives to be spared. Worship Me is a surprisingly good read. It's packed full of horrific action as the congregation battle to save themselves from the malevolent force that has entered God's holy house. The It starts as a normal Sunday service at St. Paul's United Church. That is until Angela Morris' missing husband bursts through the doors. He brings with him a dark and evil entity known as the Behemoth. The Beast. Now the terrified congregation must decide which child to sacrifice for their own lives to be spared. Worship Me is a surprisingly good read. It's packed full of horrific action as the congregation battle to save themselves from the malevolent force that has entered God's holy house. There's blood and gore aplenty as the churchgoers descend into terror-stricken chaos. Fingers are pointed and accusations cast as they battle to save themselves. The writing is expressive and articulate, although I found the story a little slow to get started. There's a fine line between setting the scene, introducing characters and losing the interest of the reader. Once it cranks up a few notches it's actually quite good. * My thanks to author Craig Stewart for providing me with a copy of this book. Read my review on my blog: https://bit.ly/2KAjaIM

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Young

    When I first picked this book up to read, I almost gave up on it. I found the first chapter to be pretentious and had a strong desire to set the book aside. But as the author and I live in the same city, I felt I should try to support a fellow author and decided to power ahead. I'm glad that I did. What followed put me in mind of Stephen King's The Mist. The development of characters trapped in a tight space and the devolution of said characters was literally spell binding. The book is, after tha When I first picked this book up to read, I almost gave up on it. I found the first chapter to be pretentious and had a strong desire to set the book aside. But as the author and I live in the same city, I felt I should try to support a fellow author and decided to power ahead. I'm glad that I did. What followed put me in mind of Stephen King's The Mist. The development of characters trapped in a tight space and the devolution of said characters was literally spell binding. The book is, after that first chapter, a page turner in every way. While certain scenes are quite graphic in their horror, the entire book is a compelling look at religion, morality and the human dedication to both as civility falls away. Rare is the book that makes you think. I highly recommend this book to any horror fan, and even to those who don't usually read this genre.

  9. 5 out of 5

    B. C. Smith

    The imagery in this book is powerful, some of the visuals made my skin crawl. Overall a good read. Very creepy and the author knows just how to tug at your heartstrings at the right moments with an unexpected twist at the end. He takes the idea of a safe space and completely destroying it in the most mesmerizing way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    One of my favorite books read this year. Full review to come soon!

  11. 5 out of 5

    J.W. Donley

    First and up front I must let you know that I was provided a digital copy of Worship Me in exchange for a fair review. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dig in! What did I think of it? Well, it was good. A fun read that I would recommend to my horror loving friends. It had a bit of a slow start and introduced a ton of characters very quickly, making it hard to pin point who the main character was until a few chapters in. But once things really got rolling, I was hooked as Craig drug me al First and up front I must let you know that I was provided a digital copy of Worship Me in exchange for a fair review. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dig in! What did I think of it? Well, it was good. A fun read that I would recommend to my horror loving friends. It had a bit of a slow start and introduced a ton of characters very quickly, making it hard to pin point who the main character was until a few chapters in. But once things really got rolling, I was hooked as Craig drug me along towards the climax of the story and beyond. I loved how the small town drama broiling between all of the characters boiled over in every worse way possible. It definitely had some creative (and very gory) kills sprinkled throughout. Be ready for some truly mind-haunting imagery. I still can’t get a particular scene from the church basement banished from the back of my mind. All in all I give this story a solid 4 out of 5 stars. And I recommend this to any horror hound who likes a bit of splatter in their fiction. I would compare this to Stephen King’s The Mist, with fewer creatures but more religion fueled terror. Definitely check it out! https://jwdonley.com/joe-reviews-wors...

  12. 5 out of 5

    BookzBookzBookz

    Worship Me is about the congregation of St. Paul's United Church. Though they get together every week and call on The Lord for forgiveness and to be with Him when they leave this world, they're not all that faithful. They've done things that may or may not be forgiven. When Angela and her son Alex attend service, she expects it to be her final attendance. She and her son need to get away. Something's happened to her family, and though the church has been good to her, they don't know the entire t Worship Me is about the congregation of St. Paul's United Church. Though they get together every week and call on The Lord for forgiveness and to be with Him when they leave this world, they're not all that faithful. They've done things that may or may not be forgiven. When Angela and her son Alex attend service, she expects it to be her final attendance. She and her son need to get away. Something's happened to her family, and though the church has been good to her, they don't know the entire truth. She doesn't either. Then one Sunday service, God comes to them. He has answers to their pain, their loss and especially Angela's trials and tribulations. But God doesn't come with promises of streets of gold and an eternity free from pain. As a matter of fact, pain is the doorway into his blessings. It's not until he asks for a child in sacrifice in three days time that they all begin to wonder what really has a hold of their small church. Worship Me is a story that I would have finished weeks ago, had I not had other book deadlines. I began and got halfway through before I had to set it aside to read three other books! I became hooked in the blink of an eye. The story is written very well and with enough conviction, if I weren't heavy in my faith I'd have questioned what's after death! It's that good. It's also gross, painful and creepy good! *For full review:bit.ly/NaughtyChurchMembers Worship Me Craig Stewart Published by Hellbound Books Publishing, LLC, August 2017 358-pages

  13. 5 out of 5

    Justin M.

    A dark foray into the effects of claustrophobic hive-mind style horror. I enjoyed this one! It was the perfect amount of evil for me :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    EM House

    Audible Version In the novel Worship Me by Craig Stewart, Stewart builds off the gothic tradition to create this narrative of horror and mysticism. The gloomy, decaying St. Paul’s United Church and the sparse fields and forest that enclose it are the setting for the series of dark yet thrilling events that unfold. Like other works influenced by the gothic tradition, Worship Me is comprised of binaries: light vs. dark, hero/heroine vs. monsters, fear vs. love, and I would argue sight vs. blindnes Audible Version In the novel Worship Me by Craig Stewart, Stewart builds off the gothic tradition to create this narrative of horror and mysticism. The gloomy, decaying St. Paul’s United Church and the sparse fields and forest that enclose it are the setting for the series of dark yet thrilling events that unfold. Like other works influenced by the gothic tradition, Worship Me is comprised of binaries: light vs. dark, hero/heroine vs. monsters, fear vs. love, and I would argue sight vs. blindness. However, rather than a taking the shape of a romance, this narrative focuses on the erotic, eliciting from its characters moments in which they question and explore their sexualities, cautiously or brazenly experience the mixture of arousal and disgust, and contemplate the intertwined emotions of terror and excitement that when fused can lead to exhilerating yet frightening bodily responses. Worship Me asks its characters and readers to recognize and accept the vulnerability of our bodies, both the physical and metaphysical. The cast of characters are scarred externally and internally from their lived experiences. While external scars are sights of pain and pleasure, those beneath the skin are fought to be kept secret even to one’s closest loves ones; however, some secrets and scars cannot remain secret any longer. This is how Stewart’s story begins. After living a life that Rick Morris no longer finds bearable, he mysteriously disappears from his home and leaves his wife, Angela, and son, Alex, for three months. In Worship Me, Stewart blends the concept of small town America with that of biblical and mythical traditions. When much to Angela’s distress Rick miraculously returns on what would’ve been Angela and Alex’s last Sunday within St. Paul’s congregation, he returns as a changed man albeit not for the better. Rick transforms from a monstrous, abusive husband and father to the servant and prophet of an ancient and tangible monster: the Behemoth. Suitably returning on the day of a sermon on religious doubt and weakening faith, Rick enters the church and pronounces himself the messenger of the monster from the biblical Book of Job. What is his message? The congregation must sacrifice one child as an offering to the Behemonth and pronounce themselves the monster’s followers. In a situation where everyone is searching for a hero, they intensify their own distress and discover monsters lie within the church walls in addition to the one outside patrolling them. Like its purpose in the Book of Job, the Behemoth arrives during and serves to spark the questioning of faith and belief in God’s presence and mercy. Like the body, Stewart illustrates faith within oneself and in a deity are as vulnerable as one’s own body, all succeptible to transformation and destruction at any time. Worship Me is both hot and chlling. Like the novel’s characters, readers can easily become pseudo voyeurs to the salacious sadism and masochism afflicted on and inflicted by the large cast of characters. Alternatively, readers may relate to characters’ moments of questioning their faith in themselves or a higher power as well as their roles within their families, communities, and the scheme of life. In short, Worship Me will exhilarate and terrify you, may be relaable and in opposition to your beliefs simultaneously, and perhaps, most importantly, ask you to question and consider your own purpose and futility. I found Christopher Harbour’s reading or performance of the text enjoyable. While I listened to the majority of the text at 1.5 speed, I would recommend readers play around with the audio’s pacing. There are moments in the text people may define as slow due to Stewart’s use of expansive visual details. I’d recommend to slow the pacing here to 1.25 (or one deviation slower than what your standard speed is) rather than to rush through these sections. This will help you soak in the picture both Stewart and Harbour are striving to paint through word and voice. However, for more high energy scenes, where Harbour picks up the reading pace, I’d recommend to increaseyour usual reading pace by one deviation. This allows these moments to engender the desired thrill in us as readers and/or listeners. As for Harbour’s performance in general, I appreciate that his changes in character voices were more based on emotion or their characterization rather than predominately their gender. I found this more beneficial as a reader, who is often listening to the character’s dialogue previously to the narrator’s description of the chracter’s mood or emotional state. However, I will say that there were very few voices I would say could be easily distinguished. If separated and asked to be matched to each given character, I would probably only be able to do this only for two characters based on Harbour’s performance. The rest of my matches would be based on the dialogue. Overall, I found it to be a smooth and pleasant listening experiences, sometimes surprisingly so in moments where I found myself uncomfortable based on the novel’s content.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Levesque

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Actual review: 3.5 To start off, I will say that this book isn't quite what I expected, but I am pleased to have read it. At first though, in being told that it was a horror, and being listed as a horror, I found myself a little unpleasantly surprised by something. A little ways in to the book, something felt odd about it. So I looked into the genre listings a little more and found out that it was also listed as erotic literatur I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Actual review: 3.5 To start off, I will say that this book isn't quite what I expected, but I am pleased to have read it. At first though, in being told that it was a horror, and being listed as a horror, I found myself a little unpleasantly surprised by something. A little ways in to the book, something felt odd about it. So I looked into the genre listings a little more and found out that it was also listed as erotic literature. Erotica is not something I read. I'm not a fan of it, and at that point the book's description and listing felt like an unfair lead-on. HOWEVER, while there are occasional erotic themes within it, nothing actually fully comes to pass. It is no more of the theme than you woumd typically see in other horror books or horror movies. Thank goodness! So if you're anything like me, have no fear. Though one guy certainly likes to walk around in his birthday suit quite a bit. MOVING ON! There was brutality, death and a whole lot of blood. Craig Stewart keeps readers on the edge of their seat as they try to hold on to their sanity. They begin to question the dangers of what’s safe, what will get them killed, and whether or not their own God was even real. Inner desires are revealed and primal instincts break through the surface. The shepherd knows how to get under the skin of every last lamb present, and takes full advantage of this. The story progresses at a good pace, keeping the reader interested in the story throughout. Chapters are a great length and made it perfect for reading a full chapter during a break at work. I enjoy how the story unfolds and the creation of the monster itself (because isn’t that the most important thing, really?). But there are some things that lead to the not-so-good kinds of questions. Some places in the story gave needless information that never actually lead to anything, and it wasn’t to make you question where the story was going to go. That sort of content could just end up being confusing or needless for the reader. After some of my own research, I found that a lot of the references to a “Behemoth” were actually quite accurate to quotes from the Bible. Out of sheer curiosity I looked in to it, and was pleasantly surprised to find these similarities. So for that too, this book gets some points. All in all, this was a decent horror read, and will keep me out of churches for the rest of my life. Thanks for the read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Wiles

    I was provided a copy of Worship Me by Craig Stewart by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Worship Me by Craig Stewart is about a group of people attending church on a Sunday. St. Paul’s United Church is an isolated church, perfect for the actions undertaken by the Behemoth. Through an estranged member of the congregation he find egress with, he brings his message of salvation. Things quickly start to go downhill. Craig Stewart is definitely an author I will be watching. Worship Me I was provided a copy of Worship Me by Craig Stewart by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Worship Me by Craig Stewart is about a group of people attending church on a Sunday. St. Paul’s United Church is an isolated church, perfect for the actions undertaken by the Behemoth. Through an estranged member of the congregation he find egress with, he brings his message of salvation. Things quickly start to go downhill. Craig Stewart is definitely an author I will be watching. Worship Me grabbed me from the very first word and I was hooked. The pacing was quick, but not so quick that you don’t get to know and care about the characters. You feel for them and their situation and struggle with the choices they are forced to make. The viewpoint of the book changes, letting you get to know several of the characters more intimately. They’re all unique, with their own struggles and views on various subjects. One character, Angela, is your main focal point. You’re quick to empathize with her situation and how it personally affects her. One of my favorites was Chris, who isn’t struggling with his sexuality, but who is into a guy who’s kind of aloof in terms of his feelings for Chris. I do wish Craig had explored his sexuality in opposition to his religious beliefs. But it was great to have a gay character who wasn’t cliched. The other characters also feel fully formed, and not cliche or stereotypical. The novel doesn’t feel super long and the pace is steady enough to flesh out the characters and plot points, but not too quick where it feels like you don’t get a good idea of what’s going on and why people feel the way they feel. And the ending was a nice surprise too. I didn’t expect things to end the way they did. The text was free of spelling and grammar errors, which is something I appreciate in a novel. One or two errors is fine. Things slip by. I get that. But I’ve read some novels that have errors on nearly every page. It completely takes me out of the enjoyment of reading a book. So it’s nice to not have to deal with any of that. I definitely recommend Worship Me to any horror fan, especially fans into religious horror. And I definitely want to read more stories from Craig Stewart. As an interesting side note, I live two doors down from a St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Haven’t noticed anything spooky going on around there yet.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Edward Z

    –>I received a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review.<– The Sunday service of St. Paul’s United Church is besieged by a dark being from the woods claiming to be their new God... The story handles a big cast of characters, spending time with each and their inner thoughts and opinions towards one another. They are full of petty squabbles and gossip, before they are set upon by a man, thought missing, now proclaiming to bring them before a new God. His unexpected return causes everything –>I received a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review.<– The Sunday service of St. Paul’s United Church is besieged by a dark being from the woods claiming to be their new God... The story handles a big cast of characters, spending time with each and their inner thoughts and opinions towards one another. They are full of petty squabbles and gossip, before they are set upon by a man, thought missing, now proclaiming to bring them before a new God. His unexpected return causes everything underneath to spill over. Dealing with issues of domestic abuse, fitting in with a community, and musings about the true nature of God and religion, the characters are excellently done and are like real people, a mix of good and bad and filled with often conflicting and hypocritical thoughts. No tired archetypes and filler characters that only exist to advance the plot here. There's quite a bit of world-building here, but it's paced perfectly and happens while the plot also advances, so you're not bogged down by info and waiting for things to happen. When the horror starts you see and feel the character's lives being torn apart. That horror being absolutely gruesome and brutal. The author almost lovingly deploys a straight razor again and again horribly mutilating victims. The being is capable of things right out of a body horror movie, so steel your stomach. Extreme acts of violence are commonplace here, and you can believe the characters would fall before this thing as their new God to attempt to save themselves from it. I wasn't expecting a book that's three hundred and fifty-eight pages long and filled with a lot of character point of views to read so fast, but it did. It never gets too bogged down and keeps the tension by giving the characters two days to choose a child to sacrifice, a choice that destroys their relationships and pits them against each other. Extremely well written, full of horror, and well-developed characters. I loved the pondering about religion and God and people coming to terms with an ugly, brutal existence. Worth the read

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Potter

    Here we have a terrifyingly graphic gore-fest that merges supernatural horror, fanatical religion, and where they intersect with the vileness of desperate humans. The audio narration by Christopher Harbour is absolutely fantastic. Just a couple of degrees below perfect, if I'm being honest. There are a couple of points where his vocal inflections falter just a touch, and two or three of the female voices are a hair less than believable. But really, I'm being extremely nitpicky here. 98% of his vo Here we have a terrifyingly graphic gore-fest that merges supernatural horror, fanatical religion, and where they intersect with the vileness of desperate humans. The audio narration by Christopher Harbour is absolutely fantastic. Just a couple of degrees below perfect, if I'm being honest. There are a couple of points where his vocal inflections falter just a touch, and two or three of the female voices are a hair less than believable. But really, I'm being extremely nitpicky here. 98% of his voices are basically perfect, his inflections are the same. And his reading tempo throughout the book couldn't be better. Now, for the story itself, I'm actually really struggling to give it a rating. In terms of plot, it really is a great story. The violence and gore are a bit overly graphic, but elsewise I have no complaints. However, there are a few things that rub me the wrong way. First and foremost, I just don't enjoy omniscient POV. The book spends a lot of time bouncing back and forth between characters. It has a very cinematic feel, but unfortunately it didn't work for me. The majority of the characters just don't feel real to me. There's a fair bit of background given for most of them, but it wasn't enough for me to connect with most of them. There was only one character I was able to connect with, but unfortunately that character dies fairly early on in the story. Later in the book, some of the dialogue gets a little... awkward. Now, I freely admit they're could be a background reason for that, but if there is it's never explored. But, with all that being said, apart from the bits of awkward dialogue the writing is excellent. The story beats are excellent. Throughout a good chunk of the book they're is a strong "Storm of the Century" vibe, though thankfully it eventually goes in a wildly different direction that was a pleasure to read. The ending comes together in a wildly different direction than I was expecting, but it's pulled off brilliantly.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Isobel Blackthorn

    Worship Me is a story of terror and demonic conversion. A foreboding atmosphere greets the reader from the opening paragraph and by the second chapter, when Clara and her minivan collide with a cat, the reader is hooked. Stewart displays the twin talents of superb story telling and excellent pacing, along with satisfyingly rich and evocative descriptions. Every story is born of an idea, or a premise, and Stewart’s is a strong one; he has the ability to conjure in the mind of the reader that his i Worship Me is a story of terror and demonic conversion. A foreboding atmosphere greets the reader from the opening paragraph and by the second chapter, when Clara and her minivan collide with a cat, the reader is hooked. Stewart displays the twin talents of superb story telling and excellent pacing, along with satisfyingly rich and evocative descriptions. Every story is born of an idea, or a premise, and Stewart’s is a strong one; he has the ability to conjure in the mind of the reader that his is a story worthy of being told, a story albeit as old as religion itself. Worship Me satisfies on a literary level, Stewart peppering his narrative with witty turns of phrase, especially in his character descriptions: “Gary’s wife, Tina, lived on the bright side of things; you could tell she was a permanent resident there by the inexplicable glow that she carried wherever she went.” All the characters in Worship Me are crafted with a sharp eye; the result is a cast of believable and largely unlikeable church goers of varying degrees of devotion; the congregation of a typically small-minded tight knit and remote community. Enough complexity in the early part of the story holds the attention, the pace quickening about a third of the way in, when a preternatural wind gathers pace “like a bulldozer careening through a supermarket.” From then, the story becomes a gripping, heart-palpitating read, the reader turning this way and that, maybe even away from the page, certainly feeling as frantic as the characters, who each display their unique traits, for better or worse, as they battle to make sense of and handle the situation they are in. For anyone familiar with Nick Cave, think a book length O’Malley’s Bar. The terror is unrelenting.

  20. 4 out of 5

    TropicalMary

    I enjoyed this book so much that it’s actually difficult to review it. Many of the things that most impactful are not aspects that I can put into words. I found it most compelling that I didn’t really know much about what the individual characters look like, other than a few anecdotal items like height, weight, hair or eye colour but each character was so masterfully crafted that I was able to immediately associate a character with someone I know in real life. That said, the literary character d I enjoyed this book so much that it’s actually difficult to review it. Many of the things that most impactful are not aspects that I can put into words. I found it most compelling that I didn’t really know much about what the individual characters look like, other than a few anecdotal items like height, weight, hair or eye colour but each character was so masterfully crafted that I was able to immediately associate a character with someone I know in real life. That said, the literary character didn’t look exactly like my real life example but rather became an amalgamation of the two in my mind. The imagery and iconography were so seamlessly crafted that I was able to create each scene with almost film-style fluidity in my mind. It was simply spectacular. Authors often don’t want to approach religion, in this case something close to zealotry, as this could alienate a large portion of their reader base. I think that Stewart approached this topic in exactly the right way. There was no judgement from the author in any way. The characters, quite literally, spoke for themselves. It was easy to pick out the holier than thou types who are also the biggest gossip mongers in the town from the truly devout and those who go to church because it is simply expected of them. And how they really are just all insipid, dull people. This book transported me to my childhood years of accompanying my grandmother to church. I could see every congregation member from her church in this book. The pace of the book added to the gravitas of each scene. There was no part of the book where the pace was slow or plodding. Right from the first page, the story sucked me in and steadily built on itself. The narrative wasn’t verbose or self-righteous but there was a heaviness to the language that forced me to pay attention to what was happening and to look for any clue as to where this was all going. As the narrative progressed and the story unfolded, the book became a fascinating take on human nature and how people at their core are selfish creatures, and when the chips are down the majority of us will more likely behave as sheep as opposed to the lions we want to believe we are. It reminded me a lot of the supermarket scene in film adaptation of The Mist. The horror writing was fantastic but I fear giving away too much of the plot and spoiling it for others but I would absolutely recommend this to avid horror readers and individuals who enjoy narratives that are irreligious.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Diamond

    A woman and her son are abandoned by her husband, until one day at their small rural church, he reappears. He returns a changed man--and not for the better. He has been sent by The Behemoth to convert the congregation, and who must prove their loyalty by choosing one of their children for sacrifice, or they will all be destroyed. There was something about WORSHIP ME that gave me some strong 70s/80s horror paperback vibes, and to be honest, that alone made it worth the read for me. There's a demon A woman and her son are abandoned by her husband, until one day at their small rural church, he reappears. He returns a changed man--and not for the better. He has been sent by The Behemoth to convert the congregation, and who must prove their loyalty by choosing one of their children for sacrifice, or they will all be destroyed. There was something about WORSHIP ME that gave me some strong 70s/80s horror paperback vibes, and to be honest, that alone made it worth the read for me. There's a demonic presence, neighbors turning on each other, and some very gruesome deaths that kept me uncertain of what to expect until the very end. I found myself very attached to Angela and I couldn't help but imagine myself in her scenario as she tries to protect her son from being sacrificed to The Beast (and no spoilers, but I probably would have done more or less the same in her situation, but without much of the guilt). I really appreciated how Stewart makes it clear that no one is safe, and any character could be next. However, aside from Angela and Clara there was a certain emotional impact I felt to be missing, and often felt myself feeling a bit disconnected. To be fair, it's fairly likely that I'm the problem, and not the book--so don't let that dissuade you. I also would've liked to see more from the perspective of the children considering they're the ones in the most danger (and another certain little something that I won't spoil here). Overall, WORSHIP ME felt like a great throwback (without really being a throwback) that takes you through the more or less expected story arc before taking it a few steps further into something totally unexpected. I have a feeling Stewart is an author with some interesting tricks up his sleeve, and I look forward to more of his work.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    First off, I should say that I was given a free kindle version of Worship Me in return for a fair review. So, with that out of the way. I liked it. A lot. I was a bit skeptical at first, but the book moved along quickly. Here goes... PROS It gets very creepy very quickly. Right away, you know bad stuff is on the way and the composite cast of characters are sweetly oblivious to it until it's too late. The author knows visceral horror. And I mean visceral. I'm certain he was a vivisectionist in a pas First off, I should say that I was given a free kindle version of Worship Me in return for a fair review. So, with that out of the way. I liked it. A lot. I was a bit skeptical at first, but the book moved along quickly. Here goes... PROS It gets very creepy very quickly. Right away, you know bad stuff is on the way and the composite cast of characters are sweetly oblivious to it until it's too late. The author knows visceral horror. And I mean visceral. I'm certain he was a vivisectionist in a past life or something. when the above mentioned bad stuff goes down, we witness bones cracking, joints popping out, flesh melting. All in fine detail. Excellent. Once it gets going, it never really slows down. Someone somewhere compared Worship Me to Stephen King's Mist, in that you have a group of people trapped and trying to make sense of what to do. I very much enjoyed that. CONS Maybe it's just me but I would have liked a little bit more sense of place and purpose. Bad stuff happens... but this could have been anywhere in the US, Canada? Derry, Maine perhaps? And I never really had a clear sense of why the bad guys were doing what they were doing. What does the end game look like? What does their "victory" look like? I mention the composite cast of characters - most of them were interchangeable. I never really got deep enough in some of the minor characters to tell the difference between them. Wait, was that Gary or Mike? Or Don? All in all, a good fun read that just might scare the heck out of you!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    It is hard for me to find a horror story that I can buy into and feel on a visceral level. Worship Me was a wonderful surprise. The author does an amazing job of creating relatable characters. But in this case, I feel like the author created individuals. None were just thrown in as monster fodder. And there is a lot of messy killing in this one. Not only were the characters realistic, the plot which seemed predictable, was actually not. I did not see the twist at the end. It was a "Holy crap...no It is hard for me to find a horror story that I can buy into and feel on a visceral level. Worship Me was a wonderful surprise. The author does an amazing job of creating relatable characters. But in this case, I feel like the author created individuals. None were just thrown in as monster fodder. And there is a lot of messy killing in this one. Not only were the characters realistic, the plot which seemed predictable, was actually not. I did not see the twist at the end. It was a "Holy crap...no, he didn't. HA!" moment. Some deaths you see coming, some you don't. You quickly realize there are no special snowflakes in this story. There is physical horror (gore) but it isn't slasher porn. It was appropriate for the "monster" and its end game. There is also psychological horror as humanity breaks down and people make their choices. The writing is excellent and I hate to do this because everyone compares horror writers to him, but Stewart's storytelling in Worship Me reminds me of early Stephen King. This would have been a 5 sheep but the big showdown fight at the end went on for too long and stretched what I thought the human involved was physically capable of handling. A little over the top drawn out unnecessarily. I might have skimmed through some of it... but everything else was spot on! 4.25 "This is gonna hurt" Sheep http://www.ismellsheep.com/2018/01/bo...

  24. 5 out of 5

    TDCbookreviews

    It's another usual Sunday at St. Paul's United Church...until Rick returns. He has been missing for three months, leaving behind his wife, Angela, and son. When Rick enters the church after his disappearance he has completely changed. He is scarred all over and his eyes hold no semblance of their formerness, but the congregation is ready to help him anyway they can - expect Angela who is not thrilled to see her husband again. From there things spiral out of control as Rick explains that he has m It's another usual Sunday at St. Paul's United Church...until Rick returns. He has been missing for three months, leaving behind his wife, Angela, and son. When Rick enters the church after his disappearance he has completely changed. He is scarred all over and his eyes hold no semblance of their formerness, but the congregation is ready to help him anyway they can - expect Angela who is not thrilled to see her husband again. From there things spiral out of control as Rick explains that he has met the real God, and it's not who they all thought, and now they must sacrifice one child to this new God or else they will all suffer. The congregation's faith will be tested, but which side will they fall on? This is a pretty dark book, and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone squeamish. That being said, I enjoyed it. I do think it could be edited down in parts, as I found myself losing interest in parts. I liked that multiple points of view, and especially enjoyed not knowing which characters would be safe - though I was sad when my favorite narrator was gone. The book's ending was something I never would have guessed! I think with some editing "Worship Me" could be on the bookshelves with your other favorite horror authors! I rated this four out of five stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    R. Wesley

    Worship Me is a gritty, intense, exquisitely crafted and welcome addition to the horror genre. It is written for hardcore fans who are not faint of heart. It is written for individuals whose minds are open to questions regarding faith, belief, and the intersection of reality with the supernatural. Craig Stewart crafts his story to take readers on an emotional roller coaster ride. Rather than offer fans a typically demonic villain, Craig creates a different type of antagonist, with positive and ne Worship Me is a gritty, intense, exquisitely crafted and welcome addition to the horror genre. It is written for hardcore fans who are not faint of heart. It is written for individuals whose minds are open to questions regarding faith, belief, and the intersection of reality with the supernatural. Craig Stewart crafts his story to take readers on an emotional roller coaster ride. Rather than offer fans a typically demonic villain, Craig creates a different type of antagonist, with positive and negative attributes, which enables a unique and unexpected plot twist at the end of the book. He adds supernatural elements which build tension, raising questions which might be addressed in a subsequent novel. In summary, this book pushes the limits of the horror genre by broadening its perspective from hacking and slashing, to examining the nature of human existence, on the psychological and evolutionary level. It examines human motivation in the context of societal paradigms, and basic survival instincts. Craig's skillful creation of this fascinating mix makes it a worthwhile experience not only for horror fans, but also for science fiction and fantasy fans who are willing to expand their horizons.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cyrene Olson

    Something is listening to the prayers of St Paul’s United Church but it’s not the God they asked for; it’s something much, much older A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified church goers must now prove their loyalty to their new God by giving it one of their children or in two days time it will return and destroy them all. As fear rips the congregation apart, it becomes clear Something is listening to the prayers of St Paul’s United Church but it’s not the God they asked for; it’s something much, much older A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified church goers must now prove their loyalty to their new God by giving it one of their children or in two days time it will return and destroy them all. As fear rips the congregation apart, it becomes clear that they’re to survive this untold horror, the faithful must become faithless and enter into a battle against God itself. But as time runs out, they discover that true monsters come not from heaven or hell ….. they come from within. Apart from a couple of spelling errors and the occasional number randomly dumped in here and there, I enjoyed the book. The ending was a little open which could lead onto a sequel. There didn’t seem to be a winner at the end and I was a little disappointed that it didn’t really have a conclusion. Reviewed by Skye

  27. 4 out of 5

    Colin Garrow

    In a quiet country church, a Sunday service becomes a living hell for a group of unsuspecting parishioners. When an ancient entity takes over the congregation claiming it as its own, the horrified churchgoers are shown the power of the Behemoth in all its ghastly detail. With the threat of losing everything – including their lives – the group must make a terrifying decision. This is Craig Stewart’s first novel and an it’s absolute corker. Taking a group of hapless parishioners and pitting them ag In a quiet country church, a Sunday service becomes a living hell for a group of unsuspecting parishioners. When an ancient entity takes over the congregation claiming it as its own, the horrified churchgoers are shown the power of the Behemoth in all its ghastly detail. With the threat of losing everything – including their lives – the group must make a terrifying decision. This is Craig Stewart’s first novel and an it’s absolute corker. Taking a group of hapless parishioners and pitting them against each other, Stewart’s characters are well-drawn and completely human. Nevertheless, he unpicks their petty jealousies, irritations and prejudices, revealing them for what they truly are. The action (and there’s plenty of it), is gory and bloody, giving the author a chance to show off his descriptive powers. This is not a book for the timid, the fearful, or the fainthearted and it’s probably not one to read in bed on a dark and windy night. Stephen King – watch out!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ksenia Murray

    After reading this book I couldn't stop thinking about it. When I was first offered this book to read and review, I was sceptical. I felt as though cults and religious undertones in horror was becoming a little too mainstream, like zombies and vampires. In 2019 alone, there were SEVERAL cult related horror movies. I picked this book up and hoped that it would be a unique concept that actually intrigued me. Let me just say that IT WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS. The book follows a congregat After reading this book I couldn't stop thinking about it. When I was first offered this book to read and review, I was sceptical. I felt as though cults and religious undertones in horror was becoming a little too mainstream, like zombies and vampires. In 2019 alone, there were SEVERAL cult related horror movies. I picked this book up and hoped that it would be a unique concept that actually intrigued me. Let me just say that IT WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS. The book follows a congregation that uses pain as a way to get closer to God, a la Martyrs, but to the extreme, in my opinion. This book uses gore in all of the RIGHT ways. While reading this bloody masterpiece, I never once felt that it was being gory just to be gory like a lot of other indie horror books. This is one of the best cult horror books that I have ever read. If you like cults, religion, gore, and a sprinkle of cosmic horror, this book is for you. One of the best reads of the year for me!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Evie Asterwyn

    A true horror, but a great one! This book kept me up most of the night. I could not stop turning the pages, and though I'm not a huge horror reader, I was both impressed and horrified by the sheer gruesome details, the edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, and the descriptions of just how terrible humans can be. While the monsters were just darn creepy, and the walking-dead were gruesome, the most disturbing part of this book was the inhumanity of those you would expect to know, and do, better. I A true horror, but a great one! This book kept me up most of the night. I could not stop turning the pages, and though I'm not a huge horror reader, I was both impressed and horrified by the sheer gruesome details, the edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, and the descriptions of just how terrible humans can be. While the monsters were just darn creepy, and the walking-dead were gruesome, the most disturbing part of this book was the inhumanity of those you would expect to know, and do, better. I rooted for the main protagonist, Angela, right until the bitter end, and loved the little twist provided by the children in the final chapters. While I'm still disturbed, I would definitely read this author's work again.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David Tamarin

    Great book I really enjoyed this book. The characters are realistic as is the Gore. It is an exciting scary fast paced story that delivers the goods. Can't wait for the author's next book. This is a story of a group of church goers confronted by an evil superhuman force. Instead of uniting everyone starts arguing and splitting into factions and proving themselves to be complete hypocrites as the clock is ticking towards a mini Doomsday. Great descriptions, dialogue, relationships. A study of hypo Great book I really enjoyed this book. The characters are realistic as is the Gore. It is an exciting scary fast paced story that delivers the goods. Can't wait for the author's next book. This is a story of a group of church goers confronted by an evil superhuman force. Instead of uniting everyone starts arguing and splitting into factions and proving themselves to be complete hypocrites as the clock is ticking towards a mini Doomsday. Great descriptions, dialogue, relationships. A study of hypocrisy drenched in blood. I gave this a five out of five because the book was so fast paced and interesting and the story so compelling I had trouble putting the book down.

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