Review: Old Order by Jonathan Janz

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Old Order
By Jonathan Janz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Written in 2010, Old Order caused quite a sensation among fans of Amish Romance. As some of the Amazon customers have pointed out in their reviews, "it is totally smutty and definately [sic] not a family or christian read." "I guess one doesn't think of horrors like this in
Amish communities." "Without a doubt one of the most disgusting and vile things I have ever read."

Oh. Wait, hold on. Nope, sorry, those early reviews were apparently not meant to be the glowing endorsements they most certainly should be within the finer circles of horror readership, but they're just as effective I'd say. And let's face it, if that last review quote I pulled isn't cover blurb material, I don't fucking know what is!

So, Old Order. It's decidedly not an Amish Romance, although in Jonathan Janz's afterword it's stated that this novella practically flew straight onto a number of ereaders and that, based on the volume of disappointed one-starers, readers partial to plain people didn't know what the heck they were getting themselves into. Apparently none of them read the book's description and just blind bought the book based on the previous cover's depiction of a barn. Seriously.

What Old Order is is a groovy slow-burn work of erotic horror. Con-man Horace, posing as an Amish ne'er-do-well who's been kicked out of the community, trades back-breaking labor for room and board in the hopes that he can relieve a family of their precious valuables. Janz kicks things off with plenty of titillation and then takes a turn toward the paranormal bizarre, and then rapidly shifts gears into a finale I never saw coming.

Old Order has a nice 80s vibe to it, and it would have fit right in with the Hot Blood series of erotic horror anthologies where sex and scares were part and parcel. At around only 50 pages, this is a quick read, and there's a few moments of hair-raising intensity powerful enough to churn butter and a few barn-raising scares along the way. Horror fans just might find themselves living in an Amish paradise with this one.

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Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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