by Whitley Strieber ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 31, 1983
Some years back, Strieber (The Wolfen) seemed to be one of the more distinctive, promising horror/occult talents--but this new folderol ia as dumb and tasteless as the work of all those other Satan-pulpers. Out in Queens, N.Y., a secret 1900-year-old cult takes over the local Catholic church at night; since 70 A.D. they've been breeding a new non-human species (well, they look human) that will take over the world when humanity is eradicated by super-plague. And, as part of this scheme, orphan-virgin Patricia Murray must mate with young experimental psychologist Jonathan Titus Banion (whose mother Mary is a major cultist)--so the first date of this unaware twosome ends up with Patricia raped on the altar, suffering from paralysis and amnesia (like Jonathan) afterwards. Meanwhile, the Pope knows what's going on--so agents of the Inquisition are sent to do battle (sometimes fatally) against the cultists. Meanwhile, too, Jonathan's loving stepfather, cop Mike, is trying to figure out what's going on--as are Jonathan and Patricia, who discover the joys of oral sex and a cure for Patricia's paralysis in (cult-controlled) Lourdes. But when Jonathan and Patricia attempt to cure their amnesia with brain-tests, they learn the mutant truth: ""We've got an alpha high harmonic, a delta parallel, and a whole cluster of little waves down in the low frequencies. . . I mean, we are real first-class freaks!"" And soon they're fleeing the cult, determined to avoid the planned wedding/insemination ritual--while Mike, now in the know, has a church showdown with the evils, is rescued in the nick by a Vatican agent . . . and somehow arranges for Patricia to be impregnated, but not by Jonathan. Aside from a sliver of Frankenstein-ish pathos in Jonathan's hatred of his own mutant-hood: sheer murk, unintentionally funny (""Have you changed your mind, Dad? Do you think this thing might actually be bigger than Queens?"")--and idiotic, even by Satanic standards.
Pub Date: May 31, 1983
Page Count: -
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1983
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