Friday, November 2, 2012

{Review} "Faithful Shadow" by Kevin J. Howard

Title:  Faithful Shadow
Author: Kevin J. Howard
Publisher:  Outskirts Press
Publication Date: August 5, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Mystery / Horror
Format:  Paperback 390 pages  |  Kindle 418 KB

Buy this book on Amazon:  Paperback  |  Kindle Edition
Author's Website: http://authorkevinjhoward.com/
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Kevin J. Howard 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

When Lewis and Clark discovered Yellowstone National Park, with its bubbling lakes and steam spraying from the ground, they thought they'd wandered into hell. Sometimes, your first impression is the correct one. Kevin J. Howard's novel, Faithful Shadow, takes you beyond the splendor of nature to the terror that lies beneath, one that should have never been discovered. Yellowstone is suffering from the largest forest fire in the park's history. Ranger JOE RAND, once passionate about nature and now drowning in alcohol after the recent death of his son, notices something is very wrong within Yellowstone after a string of disappearances. But when a fireman is found dead in the Old Faithful Inn after falling into a hole earlier that day, his body mauled and deprived of all its fluids, Joe knows he has no choice but to set down his flask and investigate. Joe and Lieutenant DALE CAFFEY of the Billings Fire Department go into the woods to search the hole the fireman had fallen into. They discover a series of tunnels lined with bones, the air thick with smoke. Joe and Dale conclude that the creature that had killed the fireman had left its subterranean dwelling to flee the overwhelming smoke from the fire above. The creature takes shelter inside the Inn, concealing itself within the darkened crevices, emerging to feast on passersby. After staging an evacuation of the park, they lock themselves inside the Inn to hunt the creature. After just a short while it becomes frighteningly clear that it is, in fact, the creature that is hunting them.
Diving in...
This book would make a great horror movie, without a doubt.  It's definitely something I would watch!  It's a hard book to review though.  The synopsis covers the basic plot really well and gives you a great idea what it going to happen during the story.

There are a ton of characters in this story and it's hard to keep them all straight in the beginning, but then once you figure out who is who they start getting picked off by a mysterious killer.  One thing I will tell you is this...don't get connected to any one character because if you do, most likely, they will be the next one to die.  While this isn't always a good thing, it's what makes this book really great.  I love a writer who isn't afraid to kill his characters off!

I have to say that even though there are a lot of characters, they have been developed pretty well.  The ones we do get to know a little better have really great back stories.  Joe, the ranger, is the obvious pick for lead character.  He is a bitter alcoholic dealing with the sudden and preventable death of his only son.  He has to suck it up and do his job and he ends up doing it pretty well once he is able to put down his vodka long enough.  He works side by side with Dale, a firefighter who has lost a couple of his men.

The only thing I didn't like was the vagueness in dealing with the creature.  I wanted to know all about it and we really don't ever get any satisfaction from that angle.  I think that was probably the writers intention and while it plays well in the story, I wanted more.  

The setting of Yellowstone is beautiful, but tainted by this creature who seems to surface at the same time as the fire. This really is pretty action packed and the plot moves right along. I was hooked from the very beginning and really read through this book pretty quickly.  

Since this is classified as horror there is a fair amount of blood and gore.  I would recommend it for anyone who likes a story full of suspense with a dash of scary.

*Disclaimer:  I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.*

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