Tag Archives: Lycanthrope

Dwelling (Book One of the Subdue series) – Thomas Flowers

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The Suicide Squad is the name a group of adolescents from the 90’s gave themselves after getting their hands on the comic book of the same name. Ricky, Maggie, Bobby, Jonathan, and Jake’s lives were changed forever that September morning when terrorists rammed their jetliners into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Ignited by patriotic fever, the boy’s enlisted to go fight in the desert. Their lives would never be the same. Ricky is killed in combat, leaving his now wife, Maggie, all alone. Jonathan lost a leg in the same attack that killed Ricky and suffers from PTSD and guilt for not being able to save his friend. Heavy drinking doesn’t seem to help the PTSD or the haunting vision of the dark creature he saw just before rocket was fired at their Humvee. Bobby is now a homeless vet that brought back more than haunting memories, and it rears its ugly head when the moon is full. Jake is a minister that has lost his faith due to the nightmares that followed him back from Iraq. The war has shattered all of their lives and they can’t seem to deal with it on their own. But the remaining members of the Suicide Squad are being called back to a mysterious house on a remote Texas prairie in the small town of Jotham. Do the answers they seek to rid themselves of their nightmares reside in the house, or are their current nightmares just the tip of the iceberg to whats about to come?

First and foremost, Dwelling is Book One of a trilogy and it reads as such. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to give Dwelling a try based off of reviews like this one, keep that little nugget in mind. I’ve read a handful of reviews from people bitching that the writing was good but nothing was solved or wrapped up by the end of the book, therefore they hate the story. People, people. Do a little research. Yes, Dwelling is open ended. Yes, you’ll have to continue to read the rest of the series to find out what happens. That’s why they call it a trilogy. Why am I ranting here? Because, I think that Flower’s has received some very unfair (and very silly) criticism for the way he wrote Dwelling. Look. It’s a very good book. The writing and pacing is amazingly mature for a newer author. The characters are well fleshed out and their problems that center around PTSD and loss from the war makes for a compelling read. The fact that Flowers is a vet himself comes through nicely in his writing. It adds that dose of realism that many authors lack when they write about a place that they’ve never been to. Dwelling is shadowy and haunting that feels all to real when you’re reading it. Yeah, there’s some shades of Stephen King’s It permeating through the story, but show me a chilling, coming-of-age tale that you can’t compare to It? There’s definitely a nod to King, but Dwelling is definitely it’s own monster. I’m looking forward to jumping into Book 2 – Emerging – and continuing the saga of The Suicide Squad. Won’t you join me?
4 1/2 Rocket Launchers out of 5
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

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Wolf Land – Jonathan Janz

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Ahh…Jonathan Janz. This guy is like a fine wine. He simply gets better with age. Anyone that has followed my reviews knows that I was already a big fan of his. With Wolf Land, my fandom is approaching man-crush territory. Before I start sounding like Annie Wilkes here, let’s move on. 2015 seemed to be the year of the werewolf for me. I read some absolutely amazing lycanthropic tales in 2015. From Bill Schweigart’s excellent, The Beast of Barcroft, to the gem-laden short-story collection, Best New Werewolf Tales, Volume One, to Ray Garton’s wonderfully vicious, Ravenous, to Glenn Rolfe’s coming out to the big time classic, Blood and Rain. Four tales that simply took me by the throat and didn’t let go. But, I saved the best for last with Janz’s Wolf Land.

An upcoming ten-year high school reunion brings many back to celebrate in the small Indiana town of Lakeview where a kegger is being held out in a vacant field. When a strange and odd man crashes the party offering prophetic warnings to the group, little did they know all hell was about to break loose. The stranger transforms into a furious abomination of teeth and claws right before their very eyes. Many died that night, but a few survived. For the ones that survived, they are about to be plunged into a world that they thought only existed in the movies. But this evil is ancient and has quietly been roaming in the shadows of the Indiana prairie since the Native Americans ruled the land. Now, Lakeview is about to be engulfed in a horrific bloodbath.

With Wolf Land, not only does Janz create a blood drenched and wildly entertaining story, but he also flexes his literary muscle and explores sociological themes of a small-town’s dark sided underbelly. This creates multiple layers within the story and brings a realism to the characters and their settings that totally immerses the reader. This is where I give Janz kudos. He could’ve simply made a werewolf story with non-stop action with cardboard cut-out characters that we wouldn’t care about and try to dress it up by splashing blood all over the pages. But, in Wolf Land, he does so much more by creating layer after layer and breathing life into the cast very reminiscent of Straub’s finest works. Well done, my friend. Well done.

5 blood dripping muzzles out of 5

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2J1JOKW56F2YT