So this is a horror novel that reads like a straight-to-video supernatural/creature feature movie. When I was a kid my dad used to rent procedural crime movies from Kroger all the time. One he would get every so often, watching and rewatching, was the Lou Diamond Phillips and Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart. This is book is like a blend of that and the movie Ravenous and a more monstery book. There’s a monster here.
There’s a monster here and it’s killing people. It’s big red-headed hairy beast with supernatural strength and exposed genitals. It’s an ancient horror that was once put at bay by a Native American groups hundred or thousands of years ago, but a recent earthquake has opened the seal. And now it’s killing again, and this time mostly white people.
There’s a local sheriff, there’s a local game hunter, and corrupt politicians. It’s not a great novel at all. The Native American lore that’s here is interesting, and since the author knows his stuff, good. But the rest of the novel is B-movie stuff and not only not great, but boring in it’s predictability. In fact, the novel opens on a high school boy killed while trying to get laid. It’s you know, whatever. I would be interested (this is a first novel) to see if Owl Goingback’s later novels do a better job of really laying down the story, really getting into the lore, and creating lives and stories that are not deeply and directly tied to serving the plot. No one here really has a purpose in this novel except to move the plot forward, and that’s no good for creating a rich town.
(Photo by Jeff Moldovan)