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Forest of Shadows, by Hunter Shea Book Review | SFReader.com
Forest of Shadows, by Hunter Shea Genre: Horror Publisher: Samhain Publishing Published: 2011 Review Posted: 9/15/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
Forest of Shadows, by Hunter Shea
Book Review by Michael D. Griffiths
Have you read this book?
The Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea is a horror novel put out by
Samhain. I believe it is Hunter's first novel and certainly a fine debut
publication on his part. The book has a strong build up and a good deal
of suspense. Even though the book focuses on the main character, John,
Hunter uses several other points of view to try to flesh out the story
and give it a well-rounded feel.
The story, strangely enough, begins with a sex scene, which interruption
leads to fight between John and his wife. She then dies that night and
he also wins the lottery and becomes a multimillionaire. For the next
five years the money helps keep him afloat while he struggles through
his depression and anxiety. The author does a good job explaining his
anxiety attacks and they seem realistic. This free time also gives John
the time to pursue his love for the supernatural and the unexplained.
He gets a tip regarding a haunted house in the boonies of Alaska and
decides to take his daughter, her aunt, and his one year old nephew to
investigate. This plunges him into the small town of Shida. This Native
American town tends to hate outsiders, especially if they are white.
Soon his life becomes a race to figure out what is going on in this
creepy old mansion before he is either snowed in or the locals send him
The book is well written and the characters are interesting and likable.
The horror level is good, there are some scary moments and since I was
camping through most of the read in left me a little jumpy when I had to
leave my tent at night, but it was not a keep your lights on at night
Some drawbacks include random POV shifts. Personally I am not sure why
this is happening in so many books I am reading these days. Why are
publishers letting these things slip through? Do they just not care
anymore? It just seems weird to me that published books have POV shifts
that would be shot down in two seconds in my little local writing group.
There are other small things like the convenience of suddenly being a
millionaire and the sexual tension between John and his daughter's aunt
that never plays out into anything. The last thing is the racism. Now
this is a more complex issue. I hate racism, but it obviously exists. So
this begs the question as a writer as to how it should be dealt with.
Just ignoring it will not make it go away, but also writing about it
seems tricky. I am certainly not saying it is wrong to address, but to
be honest in these days of political correctness; I am not sure what we
are supposed to do. This writer handled it well, though and in the end I
suppose there are no easy answers.
I enjoyed this book a lot. The reason for the haunting was strong and
believable, perhaps a little over the top, but so were the ghosts, which
I liked. If the house's minions just knocked on doors or said boo, I
would have been pretty bored, but these guys were pretty scary. It is a
fun read and would have got a higher ranking if some of the issues
mentioned in the previous paragraph had been addressed a little better.
In the end I would recommend this book to all ghost story lovers who
want their creepies to have an extra powerful punch and if I get the
chance I will read the next book Hunter puts out.
Click here to buy Forest of Shadows, by Hunter Shea on Amazon