The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.
After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.
I cannot begin to count the ways I loved this novel by Elizabeth Kilcoyne. To begin with, the characters, Laurel and her friends Isaac, Garrett, and Ricky, grab you by the throat and make you care about them immediately. Elizabeth Kilcoyne has built a rich, gripping and gorgeous horror thriller with supernatural elements that will keep you up late at night. She also really captures the character’s love/hate relationship with the town they call home and the lowkey LGBT elements are exquisitely well written. The narrative is deliciously visceral and I love the twists and turns that the author builds into the story. You are never quite sure what to expect or if Laurel and her friends will escape to a better future.
For me, part of what made this such a brilliant read is the way the story moves. It has a quick pace while seeming to meander but the characters and the action build fast. You immediately empathize with Laurel and then, as you read, Elizabeth Kilcoyne drops tantalizing hints of Laure’s past, Isaac’s or gives you more hints of the dark magic the characters’s face. Nothing is quite what it seems either and even the secondary characters, like Jay and Christine are well written and three dimensional.
If you like dark, twisted, spooky supernatural horror, I highly recommend this one. It has compelling characters, a beautiful, gripping and gorgeous narrative and the story is engaging from beginning to end. I loved every minute of reading this one.
Rating: 5 out of 5 bones