By Todd Keisling
Book Release Date: June 16th 2020
Backwoods Cult Horror With Deep, Ancient Cosmic Themes.
The locale pulled me in. It bumped this book to the top of the TBR. The book takes place in Daniel Boone National Forest region of Southeastern Kentucky. Very close to the scenic Cumberland Falls and Eagle falls ( which is where I proposed to my wife ). So needless to say the locale was personal for me and that definitely increased my overall enjoyment of the book.
We start with a backwoods cult. Kentucky is known for its backwards religious sects, speaking in tongues, snake-handling. We do a little bit of all that down here. We quickly learn that this just isn’t a group of backwards, misguided religious extremists. The leader, Jacob Masters, has real power. His followers are endowed with an impossible, unearthly power. It is funny that I call it an unearthly power, because the adverse is true. This power seems to come from the earth or at least from beneath it.
The cult seemed to have ended 30 years ago when 6 grandparents worked together to free their 6 grandchildren from inevitable sacrifice. This rescue mission resulted in the death of Jacob Masters and a mass suicide for his followers. Everything went quiet.
Our surviving grandchildren or the Stauford Six are our main characters here and they are set on a course to come to terms with their tragic upbringing. The roots of their raising run deep to quote Merle Haggard.
I could smell the earth from the pages of this book, old dirt from the bottom of a freshly dug grave. The dread built through a narrative that bound small town, small-minded themes like “devil’s music corruptin’ young minds at the local radio station”, “women accused of witchcraft”, and “Klan activity” to a vast and unfathomable Lovecraftian force beneath the Kentucky forest.
This book reads like an epic of place and lore. It is a few pages shy of 400 pages, but they are long pages. This is not a quick read ( not in a bad way ), It is an experience to immerse into.
Review by Well Read Beard
I received a copy of this from the publisher for review consideration.