Kicking off October with some horror reviews! This one got finished at the very end of September and I just missed that cut-off of the wrap up going live but since it was *technically* finished before the October TBR went live. So it kind of hung out in limbo while I got this review all figured out.
Thanks to the authors for the free copy in exchange for my honest review (and for their patience in my hectic schedule)
THE VILLAGE THAT FELL INTO HELL – John A. Smith & David Charles Smith (out now!)
Here’s the link for Amazon to snag your copy!
John Card’s world changes on his honeymoon when he consults an ancient psychic woman who awaits him. She tells him that his perilous path is set and that he is to rebalance the yin and yang of destiny. Then she vanishes.
Edward Harding is a monster. His terrorised wife, Joanne, is unable to leave the village which lives by the evil Harding perpetrates. When it catches up with Joanne, her fate is sealed with horror beyond her wildest nightmares.
A spiritual medium later confirms what the psychic told John, but it also involves his wife and brother. With the medium’s help, they must seek Harding’s village and fight the evil that dwells there.
Their journey takes them through time and nations, meeting spirits who can advise or help them fight. Are they able to triumph over Harding’s evil forces and complete their quest? Or will his legacy prove too strong for them?
My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars
With a title like THE VILLAGE THAT FELL INTO HELL, I knew I was in for an exciting and creepy horror read. This one falls into that supernatural horror genre and with plenty of demons to go around. Mediums, disappearances, monsters, evil spirits, and suspense. Despite the size, at just under 500 pages, this one did go relatively quick (of course, responsibilities and life get in the way of jut flying through it so it took a little longer than usual for me).
This book is divided up into multiple parts. We get a background on Edward Harding, set in 1906. There is absolutely no doubt about it, this man is truly evil. What he does to his wife and children is proof enough. The next part is set in the mid-1990’s where we get to meet our main characters, John and David. The authors also introduced us to John’s wife Elizabeth and psychic medium, Mike.
In our final part of the book, they all collide in the brothers’ attempt to save the village that Edward’s evil has taken hostage. Despite there being a wide cast of characters (we also get to meet a variety of spirits that Mike communicates with), the authors did a fantastic job at fleshing them all out and giving them each their own unique voice. No one really got lost in the background and their intentions were very clear.
The authors found a balance between giving us the information we needed without bogging everything down with too much detail or unnecessary commentary. The plot sounds complicated at first but the Smiths wove the story so well that I never felt lost or confused. That being said, it feels like there were some loose ends that weren’t completely tied together by the end – potential sequel? I would be curious to see where things would go from here.
I loved the story, the details, the characters, and the evil – a solid four stars but the drawback for me was the amount of rape depicted in this story. So I had to take off a little bit due to that. There are detailed, and at times graphic, rape scenes throughout the book. I understand wanting to showcase how evil these characters truly are, but I feel like the story would have stood well on it’s own without these and they could have gone a different route with the scares. This definitely falls into that category of disturbing rather than conventional scares you would expect in a ghost and possession story. Overall, I would highly recommend this to those that want an engrossing and well-written horror novel. Just remember when going into this, there is rape depicted, so if that’s something you want to avoid, then this book will not be for you.