Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Skinwalkers - by Bear Hill - Lycanthropes in the Wild West

3 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Recently I had the pleasure of reading Bad Mojo: A Zora Banks Novel written by Shane Berryhill.  It's a world filled with spooks of all types, vipers (vampires), werecreatures, zombies, hoodoo, and much more, written with an in-your-face style well suited for the story.  It's a tale I can easily recommend.

Skinwalkers is an earlier work from Shane Berryhill, writing under the name Bear Hill.  See what he did there.  Bear Hill.  Berryhill.  Clever.

There is quite a bit going on in Skinwalkers.  There is the supposedly fictitious writer, Donovan DeChance, who come's to Bear Hill, drugs him and then leaves him with this message...


I  have defeated the demon.  It will hinder you no more, provided you make no further attempt to tell the story of the ill-fated town of Perdition, New Mexico, or the horrors that once walked its streets.

Please heed my words.  Do not unleash this tale of woe upon the world.  It has claimed far to many sould already.  If  it were to ever be published en masse, I shudder to think of the havoc and destruction that would result.

Of course, what follows is the story of what happened in Perdition.  Told in layers of flashbacks, news articles, the story of a paranormal investigation team, etc.  And that is my biggest problem with what otherwise was a fun romp through the Wild West with shape-shifting Navajos.  There is just too much clutter.

The good news is, Shane has become a much better storyteller with Bad Mojo: A Zora Banks Novel. If you haven't read that one, by all means do so.   I'd only read Skinwalkers if I wanted to read an early work by someone on his way to becoming a fine writer in the horror/urban fantasy genre.

If you'd like to try it yourself, it's available now from Crossroad Press and Macabre Ink Digital at Amazon.com.

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