It’s been a long time since I’ve read a horror story like this one. Most horror novelists are either very good at openings but then the rest of the tale doesn’t hold up, or they are excellent a mood but the characters are week, or sometimes you get the occasional author who struggles in the beginning but if you can make it 50 pages or so into the book, it really gets rocking and rolling. For a debut novel, I am unbelievably impressed by the even-ness of the entire book. We start out creepy, and the level of creepiness remains from beginning to end. We have multidimensional characters that we care about, and an intriguing plot that includes both present day and also letters from over a hundred years ago. Honestly I found the letters to be very intriguing and would like to read more on that particular tale.
Short Summary: We open with Bill Smith having kidnapped “Angel” a junkie and prostitute, he is being plagued by dreams of the undead coming after him and seems to be drawn to a place he has never been. Angel is also having the dreams and has been hiding behind her addiction to keep them at bay. The two finally end up in a small town in Maine (why is it always Maine?) where they feel that something dark and sinister is about to occur and somehow they have a part to play. Meanwhile, Jeb Taylor’s homicidal father has passed away in prison and Jeb collects his father’s belongings, among which include some very strange and ancient artifacts. Jeb’s behavior soon begins changing and horrific dreams begin to plague his mind as well.
I found this to be one of the most well thought out “first novels” I’ve read in a long time. I truly enjoyed the read. It is fairly fast paced and as I mentioned earlier, the level of “creepy” begins right off the bat and remains with you from beginning to end. True there are a lot of unexplained things in this book, but sometimes that just adds to the terror. Many people have compared him to an “Early Stephen King” and I can see the similarities, though I actually preferred this novel to the “More recent Stephen King novels.” On the whole this was a very fun read and I look forward to more books by Mr. Kenyon.