Bane by Joe Donnelly
Happy Halloween folks! Wherever you are, I hope you are doing something spooky. We have our pumpkin lights up, and have been advised that in our village you are fair game and can expect trick or treaters. I have stocked up my own body weight in sweet treats (ever hopeful there might be some left over). The house is decorated with our new ceramic pumpkins, fairy lights and garlands of Autumn leaves. I am embracing everything Halloween. This also includes my annual Halloween read.
I have to say that the categories I tend to read least are sci-fi, fantasy and horror, so much so I have clumped them all together. But each year I do try and read a horror book at Halloween. Shall we see how I got on this year?
The town of Arden in the west of Scotland is old. It's history is lost in the mists of time But history keeps repeating itself and Arden has had a troubled history since ancient times.
Nick Ryan returns to Arden to settle down in his childhood home. But Arden's distrurbing history is about to catch up with him. As he uncovers the truth about his home town, something has awoken under the dark rock that looms over the estuary. It is hungry. And angry.
The ancient walls witch keep it in check have been breached. It wants to be free. It will wreak its revenge.
All that stand between it and Arden are Nick Ryan, a brain-damaged man and the young daughter of a childhood friend.
They stand alone as the nightmare begins.
I was scared witless. I feel that encompasses this review fully. Just like Ungodly and to a certain extent The Stand, there is always the sense of impending doom. And I really struggle with this in the fact that I don't like this feeling, the sense of anticipation, of something coming.
But then isn't this what horror is all about? - the build up to the top of the rollercoaster, the hairs standing up on the back of your neck. And Joe Donnelly writes a rollercoaster of a book - Scottish town, a man returning home - the rollercoaster sets off. Strange dreams, a disappearing lifeboat complete with crew - a small hill on those rollercoaster tracks, and then the steady build up - people behaving strangely, animals acting odd, a violent act and at last we are over the brow of the biggest hill and its horrible and out of control as the town descends into madness and out heroes are in great danger.
All too soon it's the end of the book, someone has probably been sick, and a very small part of you wants to do it all over again. For me, it is a very small part, but I am impressed with Joe Donnelly.
Be warned the book is nasty! Donnelly is not afraid to write about gross and grisly things, so if you are slightly squeamish, definitely give this a wide berth.
But it is a great Halloween read, perfect for fans of Stephen King and those who enjoy scaring their own socks off. Me? I'm off for a lie down now, I'll read something light and next year, if I can bear it, will have another Halloween read for you.