Premise (Taken from Goodreads): When Gabriel Holland’s beloved Helena vanishes from his life, he journeys to the home of disgraced artist Cristian Salazar, the man he holds responsible for her disappearance and the death of several friends. Once in the town of Carliton, Gabriel finds only malice and mystery in the tales told by the few brave enough to speak ill of Salazar and the sinister Cousin Beatriz. And within shadows, in the guise of night, walks Alatiel, the creature Helena has become. . . .
Disclaimer: A Portrait of Alatiel Salazar is a Gothic Horror novella. It is for a niche audience and not what I am used to reading. So, if you read more of this than i do you may have a differing opinion. This was given to me for a fair review by Steven's publisher Immortal Ink.
Writing Style: Mr. Katriel's choice of wording and voice give a very creepy overall feel throughout the book. He sets the horrific ambiance well. The novella is written in a Victorian style which is around the time the story is set in. I would have to say this is my favorite part about the story.
Characters: Even in the beginning which focuses on series of journal entries you can still get a feel for even the tertiary characters. My heart aches for Gabriel and what he has to endure throughout the novel. Alatiel is intriguing and horrifying all at once.
Confusion: This may be because I am used to reading more fantasy, but I never really understood what Alatiel or a few of the other characters were. The is a point in the story where another character tells Gabriel what he knows of them, but this still only gives me a very vague sense. Also there were a couple of times that I got confused at what was going on in the story. Still this may be because I don't read a lot of this type of story. The ones I have to compare to are Dracula and a Picture of Dorian Gray. Those two stories I knew before I read the books, so it may just be me.
Overall: I would definitely recommend this book, especially is you want something to run chills down your spine in cerebral way. There or no cheap thrills in this book.
Be sure to check out Steven Katriel's webpage for a few previews as well as other goodies.