First off, I am offering the author of YEITSO, Scott M. Baker (no relation…as far as we know), a public apology. He sent me this book months ago, but I am just now getting to the review. Yes, yes…I know everybody is busy, but even so, I don’t usually make people wait this long. So, Scott…sorry for dragging my feet on this one.
I can also state that YEITSO was definitely worth the wait. I’ve had the honor of reviewing four other titles from Baker’s bibliography, but this one is by far my favorite thus far. With this book, Baker has put himself in the running as an alpha male in the wolf pack of independent horror authors.
If you are not familiar with YEITSO, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the author:
Veteran detective Russell Andrews has seen the dangers of big-city life: rape, murder, gangs. It’s not a place he wants to raise a teenage daughter on his own. After his divorce, he moves with her to serve as the sheriff of a sleepy New Mexican town. But the desert has dangers of its own–deadly secrets that eat men alive. Secrets growing in power. Andrews comes face-to-face with a thing out of myth, a force without a name in the modern world. The Navajo, though, call it Yeitso.
I love, love, LOVE creature-features, regardless of the media format in which they are presented. I’m good with books, movies, cartoons, pictographs, pretty much anything. And this one certainly delivers.
YEITSO is written very well, with Baker’s trademark style of succinct, efficient storytelling. This book seems to be the pinnacle of Baker’s writing abilities so far; his earlier works feel more raw, slightly unpolished…but this book showcases the maturity his writing style has attained.
The characters in YEITSO are believable and well fleshed-out. They are all damaged in some way, as are all human beings, which heightens the credibility of each and extends the realism. I particularly like the main character, Andrews; he is the quintessential protagonist for a story like this, but he’s also a likable, down-to-earth guy. He is obviously a caring father, which helps make him the perfect hero for me to read.
The story in YEITSO is riveting and curious, a mystery rife with intrigue and horror. I love the pacing of the book, as it reveals just what the reader needs to know in order to keep the suspense alive and the interest piqued. Baker’s mastery of this aspect is one of the true joys of his writing.
YEITSO is a major win for me, and I highly recommend it. The book is an effective thriller, but it also has a nice dose of gore. You can’t ask for much more out of a horror novel. The book is available now in a variety of formats.