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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.