I will tell you this for nothing: if you are not reading author Brian Moreland’s books, then are missing out on some truly amazing horror. In addition to being a heck of a nice guy (I had the pleasure of meeting him in person at 2013’s Texas Frightmare Weekend), Brian is an extremely talented author and storyteller. His books and stories are chocked full of interesting characters and unique premises, not to mention spine-melting terror!
If you are not familiar with THE DEVIL’S WOODS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:
Fear wears many skins. Deep within the Canadian wilderness, people have been disappearing for over a century. There is a place the locals call “the Devil’s Woods,” but to speak of it will only bring the devil to your door. It is a place so evil that even animals avoid it. When their father’s expedition team goes missing, Kyle Elkheart and his brother and sister return to the abandoned Cree Indian reservation where they were born. Kyle can see ghosts that haunt the woods surrounding the village—and they seem to be trying to warn him. The search for their father will lead Kyle and his siblings to the dark heart of the legendary forest, where their mission will quickly become a fight for survival.
I reviewed two of Brian’s previous books, DEAD OF WINTER over at Hayes Hudson’s House of Horror, and SHADOWS IN THE MIST here on Shattered Ravings. You can check out the DEAD OF WINTER review over at Hayes’ blog, however my review of SHADOWS IN THE MIST is gone due to my site crash at the end of last year.
THE DEVIL’S WOODS is an excellent read, although I do have to confess that I enjoyed SHADOWS IN THE MIST more for some reason. I’m not sure why…I think because the concept of SHADOWS enthralled me more so than this one. THE DEVIL’S WOODS is compelling, though, and I tore through it in about five days. Once it gets going, it never really stops…and that’s a good thing!
As with his previous novels, Moreland once again writes with a fluid manner, emphasizing characterization and action. The characters are flawed and likable, traits that actually make the reader care about what happens to them. Obviously, this allows for deep immersion into the story and therefore a more enjoyable reading experience. The action moves at a breakneck speed, which lets the plot unfold in a perfect pace and allows the reader to learn just enough to move to the next page.
And then there’s the horror. THE DEVIL’S WOODS certainly does not disappoint when it comes to terror. There are plenty of jumps and scares along the way, with a nice dose of carnage to keep even the staunchest of gore-hounds happy. This is indeed prime, grade-A horror writing.
THE DEVIL’S WOODS is a great book and every horror fiction fan should definitely pick it up. It releases December 3, a couple of weeks away, so be sure and make a note.