Prey Without Ceasing

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
100 Pages
Reviewed on 03/05/2022
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Author Biography

If you have ever felt hurt by the church, if you still love God but feel like you don't fit in, you are not alone.

Andrew tells horror stories that reflect the mental struggles his young mind dealt with as it navigated church culture.

He lives in Florida with his wife and two amazing daughters. He lives close to the beach but never goes to the beach.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Prey Without Ceasing is a southern gothic horror novella written by Andrew Franks. Raised in an ultra-conservative household with a strict authoritarian pastor for a father, seventh-grader Dalton has been groomed his entire life to take over the reins of his father, Gary. Whether getting in trouble in school for using curse words or scolded for watching Jurassic Park with his friends, Dalton's life is dictated by his family's ultra-orthodox views. Additionally, he is plagued by recurring nightmares of an evil witch who seeks to destroy him. But when his brother James' soul is taken by the witch, bringing him to the brink of death, Dalton must brave demonic creatures and his biggest fears to save his brother's life. But along the way, some horrifying secrets are revealed that will change his life forever.

A combination of nailbiting thrills and dread-filled atmosphere makes Prey Without Ceasing a gripping short story you will find hard-pressed not to read in one go. Author Andrew Franks mixes apt social commentary and pulsating horror in a seamless fashion, keeping you hooked throughout the pages. The characters are layered and well-fleshed out. Franks' plotting is intricate, with unexpected twists and turns you never see coming. The narrative focuses on the hypocrisy of certain sections of uber-religious people who quote scriptures to others at every possible opportunity, only to disregard most of its teachings and apply it in their own lives. I was glued to the pages from start to finish. If anyone is itching for some horror, I recommend Prey Without Ceasing.

Joshua Olokodana

For years, Palmwood Church prospered under the leadership of Gary Folmer alongside other pastors and became the community church. Palmwood Church was in good shape. It even had a school and a congregation of four hundred people. The Folmers were not perfect, but they lived in harmony until their car hit a deer and all hell broke loose. As Dalton, Gary’s son, approached his teens, a witch began to torment him with nightmares and hallucinations. Before long, she added his brother, James, to her list of victims. However, the witch waited until Dalton’s thirteenth birthday before she preyed. And boy, did she prey hard! James went down with convulsions as Dalton received an ultimatum: he must rescue his brother’s soul before dawn, or she gets it permanently. Dalton is being tortured for now, but who will ultimately be the prey? Read Prey Without Ceasing by Andrew Franks to find out.

Prey Without Ceasing by Andrew Franks is a constant barrage of psychological torture that ends in bliss. Thrilling and suspenseful, I got hooked right from the start, even as my heart thumped for fear of Dalton’s safety. It might seem like a contradiction, but the plot was inspirational even though it contained some horrific scenes. There’s nothing to dislike about this book. It is easy to read, properly edited, and also has expressive chapter titles, which Andrew cunningly weaves into the plot. At one hundred and three pages, I expected little character building in this book, but I was wowed when Andrew added another layer to the narrator’s character by shifting the point of narration from third person to first person. I also liked that it was narrated in a way that doesn’t trivialize spiritual warfare. Therefore, I recommend it to people—especially teenagers—who like mystical stuff and don’t mind some horror.

K.C. Finn

Prey Without Ceasing is a work of fiction in the horror, thriller, and action subgenres. It is aimed at the mature reading audience and was penned by author Andrew Franks. The book follows the central protagonist Dalton, a man who is keen to help his church and his family in any way that he can. After Dalton’s brother is taken by a witch, the dark past of his family comes to light and Dalton must fight against the evil that has been chasing members of his family for years. As the battle wages on, his family’s past may drag him to hell quicker than any witch could.

This is a concise but impactful work of horror that conveys a masterclass in how to pack an intense punch. Grounded as it is in the experience of a character from an evangelical background, the depiction of the dark occult alongside the religious insights elevated the horror concepts well above the sum of their parts. Author Andrew Franks’s creation absorbs the reader from the opening line with its depiction of a soul lost in the intensity and hypocrisy of a church community. If the book had simply been about Dalton’s relationship with his faith and community there would still have been a great deal of deep and philosophical story to tell, but the addition of supernatural horror elements turns Prey Without Ceasing into a deeply-involved and relentless journey into the mysteries of the soul that will keep a reader enraptured from beginning to end.