Aside from a quaint amusement park, the small town of Lakeview offers little excitement for Duane, Savannah, and their friends. They’re about to endure their ten-year high school reunion when their lives are shattered by the arrival of an ancient, vengeful evil.
The first attack leaves seven dead and four wounded. And though the beast remains on the loose and eager to spill more blood, the sleepy resort town is about to face an even greater terror. Because the four victims of the werewolf’s fury are changing. They’re experiencing unholy desires and unimaginable cravings. They’ll prey on the innocent and the depraved. They’ll settle old scores and act on their basest desires. Soon, they’ll plunge the entire town into nightmare.
Lakeview is about to become Wolf Land.
Delighted to be taking part in my third blog tour of the week for the fabulous Flame Tree Press, and this one is for Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz. My thanks again to Anne Cater for giving me a place on the tour and to the publisher for my proof copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
Firstly, I must apologise for the lateness in posting this review today, events have overtaken me and I lost control of the timetable. I know we all have days like this so I hope you can forgive me. Now about the book…
Wow, what a read this is. I have never read anything by this author before, not being a huge reader of horror, but I have heard my fellow bloggers praising him as being an exciting voice in the genre and now I can see why. I don’t think I have ever read anything quite like this book before.
It might seem like a fairly straight forward premise, werewolf terrorises small town and turns a few people, but the story is way, way more complex and involved than that. Far from being a very basic horror story, it explores the basest nature of what drives us as human beings, our really, primordial desires and what would happen if we were stripped back to our most powerful instincts. Lots of food for thought.
In addition, Jonathan’s writing is very lyrical and descriptive, almost poetic in places, which is not something I expect particularly from horror, unless I am reading Stephen King who excites me as much with the beauty of his prose as the thrill of his stories, but I think this author may well match up to Mr King in this regard. There were phrases and images that really stood out to me from the writing as beautiful and insightful and something I wanted to savour for the pleasure of his use of language. This may well be me showing a certain literary snobbery towards horror that is underserved, and I apologise if this is an unwitting prejudice I have been harbouring as this book has proven that it is baseless.
That being said I must also point out that this in no way detracts from the fact that this is a full on horror story, without a shadow of a doubt. The author goes all out with the graphic gore, vividly and eloquently described. The violence is visceral and leaps of the page, grabbing you around the throat and shaking you for attention. In fact, the horror is made even more horrifying by the beauty and power of the prose, not less so. This really is not a book for anyone who is squeamish at all, so be warned. Die hard horror fans will absolutely love it.
I found the story compelling and fascinating and I was thoroughly absorbed and hooked by the story to a degree which again surprised me. I thought the juxtaposition of the horror against the innocence of the funfair was inspired; the whole thing just worked really well. Great characters, great plot. This is a dense read though, it took me a while to get through it in a way that really allowed me to savour everything about it, this is no insubstantial horror snack of a book.
I highly recommend this book for anyone with a strong stomach, a love of language and someone looking for really great quality horror.
Wolf Land is out now and you can get a copy here.
Please do follow the rest of the tour for some alternative views of the book from my wonderful fellow bloggers:
About the Author
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories.
His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, the Library Journal, and the School Library Journal.
His novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year.
Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children.
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