Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Ghost Walk" by Brian Keene

I know that ”Ghost Walk” by Brian Keene isn’t exactly a new title. It was actually released almost a year ago in July of 2008. But…I was going through my shelf of older ARC’s that I hadn’t gotten around to reading (don’t worry, this is one that I purchased, not one that I was given for me in exchange for a review. No blogger ethics violations here), and it kind of jumped out at me.

After reviewing the synopsis on the back cover, I was pretty jazzed to read it. This is a true horror book. Not sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery or dark fiction. Horror. You don’t see a whole lot of it anymore. As I started into the first couple of chapters, I was definitely not disappointed. The initial shock was fairly immediate and effective. Unfortunately, the book peaked at that point, and then kind of maintained a steady plateau of action before fizzling out in a too-convenient climax.

But, I am getting ahead of myself. The story takes place in York County, Pennsylvania and centers on the long-rumored haunted LeHorn’s Hollow. The hollow has been a paranormal magnet for decades, attracting witches, warlocks, devil-worshipers, demons, ghost, and according to rumor, at least one Satyr. The perfect place for a Halloween haunted house attraction. Or, at least that is what Ken Ripple thinks.

Ken decided to open the Ghost Walk to as a tribute to his dead wife. The money raised will be donated to cancer research, and hopefully prevent others from suffering her fate in the future. A noble endeavor indeed. But, strange disappearances plague Ken’s staff of volunteers starting just prior to opening night. He doesn’t find out until the body count numbers in the dozens that he has a big problem. I am talking about a bad-guy that has the power to travel from dimension to dimension and who has been holding a grudge since before the big bang. Definitely not good.

Overall, the pacing of the book is good, and the action continues steadfastly from beginning to end. However, the supporting characters aren’t very well developed and the climax didn’t seem to do justice to an antagonist that had been around since the beginning of time. If you are looking for a quick, fairly entertaining read, this might be the book for you. If you are looking for something more substantial, you might want to keep looking. In my opinion, a three star rating is not only fair, but probably generous

14 comments:

  1. thanks for the heads up on this book. i have not had the opportunity to read any other books by him. is this his first piece?? thanks again.

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  2. From what I can gather, Brian Keene has written or contributed to twelve books. According to his site, "Ghost Walk" is the follow up to ”Dark Hollow. Supposedly, you do not need to read the first to follow the second, but I am going to get my hands on a copy and see. Based solely on the synopsis, "Dark Hollow" appears to be better than "Ghost Walk." I will keep everyone posted...

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  3. Both Dark Hollow and Ghost Walk now have my interest peeked! Thanks for the review I added them both to my read list.

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  4. I remember seeing a "ten best horror novels of the decade", and Keene's name showed up three times. "Ghoul" and "Conqueror Worms" were the two titles I recall of the top of my head. In any case, I'm on the lookout for this author now, since I've read praise for him on more than one site.

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