Note: this review was first posted on Reedsy Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there click here.

SYNOPSIS

An ancient evil, a teenager on the run from a tragic past, and a collision course with destiny, fate, or maybe something else entirely.

Sage City Colorado is a beautiful but struggling town. It’s mining history has dried up, leaving it only with a dark local legend that may just be more history than myth. But an East Coast developer named Lucius Furr and his team, including Lennox Dupree and Elena Cordova, might just bring salvation- or awaken a long dormant evil.

Sawyer Shepherd, an eighteen year old orphan on a road trip of self discovery- and running from a tragic past- finds himself caught up not only in Furr’s plans for the small town, but also an ancient and epic battle between good and evil. Guided by locals Eli Romer and Mandy Jane, Sawyer will seek to overcome the demons of his past while also trying to survive a real life demon that seems to seek only to consume. Or is it also trying to open the door for an even greater and more powerful evil?

REVIEW

2/5 Stars

Sawyer Shepherd has a tragic past and is taking some time to see life on a road trip. He finds himself in Sage City, Colorado, a small town with a bit of mountain charm and a bit of dangerous wilderness surrounding it. While there he runs into Eli Romer, known as the town drunk, Mandy Jane, a beautiful and intriguing local, and a group of developers looking to invest in the town. Soon after he arrives, Sawyer finds himself face to face with a snow storm, an ancient evil, and the tragedies of his own past. Will they survive or will this be the end of Sawyer and his companions?

While the concept of the book was intriguing, a town trapped in a white out with something hunting the people in it, the execution left a bit to be desired. The main characters fall into most of the typical horror tropes. The main focus, Sawyer, has a tragic back story, while still being the cool action hero type, and finds out there may be more going on to this story than he is being told. This could have worked better in my opinion but I do see it having the potential for a series. And while the monsters were well described, they were also somewhat repetitive in their actions which eventually makes the story feel less frightening than it could have been.

There were quite a few spelling and grammar errors in the book. While that’s somewhat to be expected in an advanced review copy, these were excessive in this book. That did make this a somewhat difficult reading experience.

Undoubtedly, there will be people who enjoy this book but it did not ever quite work for me. The concept is similar to things like the television shows Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The best moments of the book were when the group felt trapped with no way out, especially during the snow storm, similar to The Shining but with a different kind of monster coming after them. It felt like something we have seen before in horror books but didn’t add much of a new take to it. There were twists and turns, and there is an ever present amount of gore involved yet the fear one would hope for in a horror book never quite came through for me.

If the series continues it would be nice to see a little less of the expected tropes and a few more surprises for those of us who like a good horror book.

Sincerely yours,

Slick Dungeon

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