Bride of the Reaper is the culmination of a style I’ve been developing since my novel Rash rushed itself toward the Top 25 bestselling horror list on Amazon.com in 2002. There has always been a certain type of story I wanted to tell, a particular vibe I wanted to project through writing, and this book fully encapsulates that dark and moody ambiance. It’s a style akin to a Hammer horror film set in a relatively modern landscape. To me, this novel is a perfect companion to my previous effort Pariah, even though the story of Bride of the Reaper takes place in the same town/scene at roughly the same time as Salad Days (and shares some of the same characters). In a way, this is a prequel to Salad Days, but very loosely so. Pleasantly nostalgic, but effectively modern…I’m very proud of this book.
Charles Romalotti is a storyteller in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock, and unlike most current horror, there’s nothing predictable or contrived about Bride of the Reaper. I didn’t want to put this book down. It’s a real mindfuck. - Bobby Steele, the Undead and the Misfits
After way too long, Charles Romalotti is back with an excellent new novel! Bride of the Reaper shows his seemingly effortless skill at writing truly readable, engrossing novels that propel the reader to feel everything from horror to triumph to disgust and joy, and all points in between. His characters leap off the page and force the reader to care deeply about what happens to them. - Jesse Luscious, Maximum RockNRoll
If movies didn’t drain the blood from great books, Bride of the Reaper would be a cinematic feast. I love this book. The writing is so descriptive and darkly colorful. It’s got all the makings of a cult classic! - “Metal” Dave Glessner, 2Fast2Die.com, music journalist
Salad Days author Charles Romalotti returns with Bride of the Reaper, a gory tale set in the punk rock scene of 1985. The book opens with a graphically violent scene set during the Civil War and the bloodshed doesn’t let up as it goes on. I don’t know about you, but I like anything involving a haunted house (except for real haunted houses, of which I am petrified) and Bride of the Reaper is centered around one. This book also includes a literary cameo by the Dead Kennedys, something that not too many other horror novels out there can boast. Fans of punk rock and horror will like this. Wait, I guess I just mean that fans of the Misfits will like this. Yeah, that’s it. – Andy Conway, Razorcake
For seven years now I have been waiting for Austin, TX based author Charles Romalotti to publish another book. I fell in love with his characters and writing style first sometime between 2003 and 2005 when I was Editor at the former Music Revue Magazine. For my punk and goth page he had sent me copies of both of his books, Salad Days and Pariah. I was hooked. He captured the life of the punk rock scene of the 1980′s in his first book. In his next ones (as Pariah contains three books in one) he added fear to our hearts. And now in his third books he is haunting our dreams and turning the lives of his characters into nightmares.
Bride of the Reaper takes us into a world of misfits once again, and we even visit some of the same clubs and same people we have heard of in Romalotti’s previous works.
With twists around each page, you will not be able to put this book down. Trust me, it gave me insomnia many nights. Normally I take two weeks to read a normal novel, this one took me four nights! It’s that good. You will want to keep reading so you can find out what is going to happen next.
After that you stay glued because of the ghosts. The missing cat. The missing roommate. How about the guy who owns the house and has been missing all the while? Is it his ghost that haunts the grounds? Is it really a ghost at all? All of these thoughts will play through your mind as you get engrossed within the pages of Bride of the Reaper. This book gets twenty stars from me. It was worth the seven year wait and now I am again anxious for Romalotti’s next books. He has talent beyond mention. - Yvonne Glasgow, Flocked Media
It’s been an interminable seven year wait between The Stickler (the third book in the Pariah trilogy) and the latest set of new prose from Romalotti that is Bride Of The Reaper. Romalotti is the man who wrote Salad Days, a book that is still, arguably, the best slice of Punk Rock fiction to date. Since that book, the author has carved out a notch for himself in the world of horror via the three-part Pariah, and now reaffirms that position with Bride Of The Reaper.
The premise of Bride Of The Reaper is, essentially, a simple haunted house yarn. Thing is, Romalotti doesn’t really do simple. The haunted house itself has a brutal history of rape and murder that dates back to the American Civil War. The current resident of the house has gone missing, so his son has let the house out to two young punk rock girls.
One of the great strengths Romalotti has always had is in his character development. By the end of the book the characters have literally taken on a life of their own.
The plot is gripping throughout, twisting and turning, drawing spectacular characters into situations that possess the clarity of biographical writing rather than fiction. As for the end? If you can see it coming you’ve either cheated, read the end first, read a spoiler in a review or you ARE Romalotti!
Another strength of Romalotti, and specifically this book, is the dynamic of reality. So often in horror we read of the vampires… or the werewolves… the aliens… Not so here. The horror present in Bride Of The Reaper is graphically, frighteningly real.
Everything in this book is incredibly well visualized and drips with authenticity and that realism, when placed in the hands of such a descriptive and visionary author as Romalotti, is where the real blood-chilling, stomach-knotting terror lies. -Scanner Magazine, New Zealand
Romalotti’s strengths lie in his rich and realistic characters. The mystery at the core of Bride of the Reaper is well done. As the story moves forward, the spookiness grows. A very good book, one that I’m recommending to friends that enjoy a good scare! - HullabaLouis.com
The characters are lovingly crafted and authentic…you will even recognize some familiar faces from Romalotti’s iconic classic Salad Days. Part whodunnit, part ghost story, you won’t be able to put this one down until you find out the real secrets of Bride of the Reaper. – Katie Cudmore, author of Clavicle
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was right up my alley. A haunted house, punk rock music, and a TV horror host…what more could a ghoul ask for? Bride of the Reaper is a darkly entertaining horror novel. Definitely a good read. - Larry Underwood, aka TV Horror Host Dr. Gangrene
Set against a backdrop of the emerging DIY punk scene in 1985, Romalotti has perfectly captured the people and places of what was, for a lucky few, a life-altering period in history. All people I knew…feelings I had…it’s nice to read a story so obviously written from the inside looking out. - Chris Gates, the Big Boys and Poison 13
When you uncover the secret hidden inside the house on Bride of the Reaper, it will leave you delightfully unsettled. Young adults who grew up reading Goosebumps will want to sink their fangs into this novel. - Adrian Villagomez, AbsolutePunk.net
Bride of the Reaper is a novel that constantly surprises and makes you unsure what type of story you are reading, which makes each page turn an enjoyable experience. The characters are immediately identifiable. My only disappointment is that Monster Bash wasn’t a real show, as I would have loved to be sitting in the audience watching it every week. - Corpse S. Chris, HorrorHostGraveyard.com
From the world of early punk, to the small town feel of a weekly local TV horror show, the mystery of Bride of the Reaper draws readers in and will most certainly take you places you aren’t anticipating! - Professor Anton Griffin, Television Horror Host- Fangoria TV
Seductive passions, horror, and mystery combine with an undertone of punk rock that leads the reader to question all the peculiar characters as the mysterious plot thickens… I never saw the ending coming. - Sister Bonez, Phuck Que Comics
By starting with a classic haunted house tale, throwing in a Civil War backstory and then setting the whole thing against the burgeoning punk rock scene, one might think author Charles Romalotti may have bitten off more than he can chew. Fortunately for us Romalotti has the imagination, the pacing, and the literary chops to cram authenticity and intrigue into every corner of this book while keeping the story’s main characters believable and the subtleties of the counterculture lifestyle dead-on accurate. An altogether unique read. - Russ Rankin, Good Riddance & Only Crime