Rating : 2,5 stars out of five. It was a bit more than ok, almost likeable.
This story is a not-so-long tale is about a group of villagers in difficulties that made a pact with the devil and try to out run him. That leads to an evil spider released upon them.
I’ve noticed many comments over the internet that wished for this story to be shorter. I did wish for the same. This book isn't long by its length but because it drags on with characters we don’t relate to on any level.
The story starts lightly with a family gathered for a christening. The atmosphere is suffocating and everything seems pushed. The people aren’t bad people, they are just strangers minding their own business but it’s still very hard to feel any positive feelings towards them. It’s like when you go to these huge family gatherings and everything annoys you; well, here it’s the same, but even worse.
Then one of the men start telling about a weird piece of wood next one of the house window. And it throws you back way in the past, with all these new characters with whom you feel even more distant. That’s where the story starts to be more than annoying. You just want to put the book down.
But Devil comes into the story at this point so you know that it’s too late to get out and you just have to read this through.
As far as the “horror” aspect goes in this tale, I was a bit disappointed. I have a soft spot for the personification of the devil in literature and I like spiders – or at least, I don’t mind them – which must explain why I found the whole situation almost laughable.
This story somehow reminded me of “the legend of Sleepy Hollow” : lot of talk and descriptions and an attempt to a bit of thrill.
The “horror” aspect put aside, this book is very well written and well paced. I quite didn’t like how the book was divided because I wanted to put it down during the first part of the book.
There is also one strong female character (and even though things ended up badly, it was still nice to have her fierce voice around) which I hugely appreciated.
It’s a bit pushy on the moral and god and all by the end but I didn’t expect anything else from something written so long ago.