Author: Greg Howard
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: MM Fantasy/Paranormal
Cooper Causey spent a lifetime eluding the demons of his youth and suppressing the destructive power inside him. But a disconcerting voicemail lures Cooper back home to the coast of South Carolina and to Warfield–the deserted plantation where his darkness first awakened. While searching for his missing grandmother, Cooper uncovers the truth about his ancestry and becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races. In order to protect the only man he’s ever loved, Cooper must embrace the dark power threatening to consume him and choose sides in a deadly war between the righteous and the fallen.
This horror story follows Cooper Causey, who is running from his tragic past and the literal ghost who awoke a dark power in him. When he gets a voicemail from his grandmother, the last living member of his family, he must face his fears and return home. There he learns that ghosts are the least of his worries.
First, I want to say that I loved the atmosphere of this book. It was dark and creepy with a fantasy twist, just how I like horror books. The side characters also added to this atmosphere, in that you never knew who was really an ally of Cooper’s and who would betray him. While some characters were too antagonistic, on the whole I think it added to the feel of the story. I also liked how the magic system and creatures were handled, the dynamic between “good” and “bad” magic was interesting and all I wanted was a little more history!
I did have several problems with the book, however. While the writing was overall very good, often events in the book were a little too convenient (characters described as uncompromising being easily persuaded, sudden changes in opinion, things like that). Individually, each event was forgivable, but they did add up. Another problem I had was that the end seemed rushed, and again, convenient. A lot of the characters made choices that seemed out of character, including some abrupt loyalty changes.
My biggest problem, however, was that the romance was almost non-existent. I can understand why the romance would be secondary to the more complex horror plotline, but I can’t understand why the romance took so long to develop and then was so rushed. Almost 3/4ths of the book took place in Miscommunication Land, and when the guys did talk it was an abrupt confession which was interrupted by monsters. And when they finally got together that scene was interrupted and then the book ended, which was frustrating.
On the whole I did enjoy most of this story. For all its flaws, it was an interesting book which I would recommend to horror fans. In particular, I think fans of Tam MacNeil’s Salt and Iron will love this story. If you are looking for romance or a relaxing read, however, I wouldn’t recommend this book.