Book Review: Encounter with Hell by Alexis McQuillan

13610596Title: Encounter with Hell
Author: Alexis McQuillan
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting, Demons
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication Date: September 8th, 2012
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Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for honest review.

The events in this story are true, but the names and locations have been changed to protect the reader. Alexis is a psychic who never believed in demons until she came face to face with pure evil. This is her true story of battling a terrifying entity that was so powerful it turned her life upside down and put her in mortal danger . . .

Her nightmare begins shortly after she and her husband relocate to a small lakeside community. After hearing rumors about the nearby Matthews residence, Alexis investigates the nineteenthcentury house and its spirit inhabitants. She soon finds herself caught in a demon’s snare of violent fury–subjecting her to deep growls, a malevolent force attacking her in bed, and phantom apparitions, ultimately leading to a horrific spiritual battle with a demon hell-bent on her destruction.

Encounter with Hell was an…interesting read. I’ve read enough non-fiction true haunting books by now to figure that it’s either hit or miss with this. Unfortunately, this book was a miss. I did read it to the end, because I thought the writing was well enough that it deserved that, but to be honest, I had trouble believing a single word the author said.

It’s complicated to explain why. At the start of the book, the author claims to be a gifted medium, psychic, ghost exorcist (well, she helps people get rid of unwanted ghosts) and even drabbles in witchcraft. However, she doesn’t believe in demons. Now, that’s all fine for me since I believe in ghosts as well, but have zero believes in demons. But for someone who claims to be so well-studied in the fields of ghosts, possessions, etc. you’d think she’d have a better clue of what’s going on and how to fight it. Another thing that annoyed me endlessly was how the author kept on referring to the demon by name, whereas every single exorcist will tell you that’s the worst possible move. Unfortunately, the author kept making stupid move after stupid move.

I also hate how important she thought she was, as she kept referring to the demon stalking her and stuff. I doubt the demon, if he even existed and was not something made up by an overly creative mind, would’ve focused on her alone. It seemed like she made the demon a lot more important to her than she was to the demon, if that makes sense. Her fight with the demon was not convincing to me whatsoever. I fear that the demon has more probability of being make-believe, something made up by an overimaginative mind, or maybe even a troubled mind, than it’s real. I’m generally an open-minded person, and I wouldn’t mind believing in a demon if evidence was given, but so far in this book I’ve seen none. Why was there a demon in that house? Perhaps if the author had spend more time trying to figure that out, she would’ve been quicker to defeat the demon.

All in all, I did enjoy parts of this read, namely the parts about ghosts. I don’t understand why they’d place this in the true hauntings category if most of the book focuses on demons, which isn’t the same. I hoped I’d learn a thing or two from this book, but there’s nothing mentioned here that I don’t already know. In fact, I’m afraid I may know more about demons than this ohter, without having had a personal encounter, which is a bit unsettling.

If you like books about demon possession, maybe give this one a try. The writing is excellent, too bad the story itself, in my opinion, lacked credibility.

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