Author: Brian Keene
Pages: Paperback, 275
Published: August 2008
Opening Lines: "Mother Nature held her breath. The woods were quiet."
"There are all kinds of legends about LeHorn's Hollow. Everything from ghosts to a goat man are said to haunt the woods. So it's the perfect place for Ken Ripple to set up latest haunted attraction. Halloween is coming and Ripple knows folks will come from miles around to walk down the spooky trail and get scared witless. But there's one thing Ripple hasn't counted on. Those legends aren't just talk. Evil really does wait in the woods. Soon the unsuspecting customers will pay their money and get in line . . . to die."~ Jacket copy
Thoughts: I really wanted to like this book, but it had too many things working against it. From the back, it sounded like an engaging ghost story. When I first started the book, I was starting to feel the creepy aspect. However, once you mention aliens and different, parallel dimensions, you've completely lost me. If I wanted to read a sci-fi novel, I would have picked one up. Or for that matter, I would have grabbed some King for a supernatural alien thriller. At least he knows how to do it right . . .
I felt that this story at the potential to be extremely creepy and become a classic ghost story. Living in an area with heavily wooded and mountain areas, I loved a good rural ghost story. Going out hiking and having all these ghost stories flit through my mind always scares the shit out of me, and I love it! This book, however, really falls flat.
It is based on the concept that there is this old evil called the Thirteen -- of which one is Leviathan -- and their main goal is to destroy everything God made. This includes all the different parallel Earths. Now, through the act of a broken down fool, they have been released in this dimension. It is up to a lapsed Muslim freelance reporter, a shunned Amish, a criminally insane murderer, and a middle-aged man trying to honour his head wife's memory to stop this universal evil from devouring our world. This, in and of itself, seems a little ramshackle.
Keene spends a lot of time going into folk magic traditions, like powwow. He explains them in rich detail, and it is obvious that he has done his research. Because of the role that Levi plays, powwow is extremely central to the plot. However, it seems to completely take over everything. I felt, that while it was important, the whole book focused on this rather than the growing evil in LeHorn's Hollow.
Keene spends time kind of building this ghost story, but I felt it never really went anywhere. When "all hell breaks loos," the book just kind of falls flat. To me, there is a lot of build up, but no climax. And the ending . . . Oh my, the ending was terrible! I finished the book and kept flipped pages convinced that this couldn't be the end.
While I did learn some interesting things about powwow, this book left me feeling disappointed, unfulfilled, and frustrated. I was looking forward to a scary, keep-me-awake ghost story.
**Note: According to the author's note, this is a follow-up book that does not have to be read after the first one. I am tempted to pick up the first one to see if it makes a difference in my opinion of this book.
Rating: ☆ ☆
Currently: Kitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn
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