Friday, December 4, 2015

REVIEW: Wolf Land

Wolf Land
By: Jonathan Janz

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: 11.3.2015
Pages: 314

Recommended by: Hook of a Book, Read 2 Review
Date read: 12.3.2015

Jonathan Janz is an amazing author and a really nice guy, so when I saw that he had a blog tour coming up with Hook of a Book - and for Wolf Land - I jumped on board.  (Book tours always give me a reason to move books I have on hand further up on my TBR list haha.)

Janz has a talent that, unfortunately, most writers do not have.  He not only knows how to write a story that stays with you and gets into your head, but his use of characters and setting are simply spot on in every book I have read of his.  His characters, even the bad ones, have a way of grabbing your attention (and sometimes your heartstrings), and I'm always surprised to see who makes it through the story (they really are never the ones I expect).  His settings could be anywhere; you could walk past "this place" everyday of your life and never even think about it until you start reading his latest... and that's where he first gets me every time.  His description of events are powerful - and sometimes so gory - but so... perfect.  

From the very first page, I was drawn into a story that, to be honest, scared me.  I mean REALLY scared me.  And not just while I was reading it.  Even after I put the book down, the story remained right there on the very outskirts of my thoughts, waiting to sneak back in when the lights were out, when I was walking past a large grouping of trees down the road from my place, when I came home from the grocery store in the dark.  I'll be honest: When I finished this book last night, I sat there for a good half hour taking it all in.  This was after two days of sleepless nights, of not getting to bed until really late (like 3am and after) unable to put the book down.  And, after enjoying my view of the trees behind my building... and being convinced that I saw something moving in them, something large and... We'll just say that all my lights stayed on last night.

As usual, I enjoyed his characters - and was a tad disappointed when some of the characters (the ones that typically survive these kinds of things) died early on.  I really liked Duane and Joyce - Duane because he grew after the horrific event, and Joyce because I completely relate to her.

About the book:
An unholy predator on the prowl!
            The small town of Lakeview offers little excitement for Duane, Savannah, and their friends.  They're about to endure their ten-year high school reunion when their lives are shattered by the arrival of an ancient, vengeful evil.
            The werewolf.
            The first attack leaves seven dead and four wounded.  And though the beast remains on the loose and eager to spill more blood, the sleepy town is about to face an even greater terror.  Because the four victims of the werewolf's fury are changing.  They're experiencing unholy desires and unimaginable cravings.  They'll prey on the innocent.  They'll act on their basest desires.  Soon, they'll plunge the entire town into a nightmare.  Lakeview is about to become Wolf Land.

About the author:
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a way, that explains everything.  Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012."  The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story."
            2013 saw the publication of his novel of vampirism and demonic possession, The Darkest Lullaby, as well as his serialized horror novel Savage Species.  Of Savage Species, Publishers Weekly said, "Fans of old-school splatter punk horror - Janz cites Richard Laymon as his influence, and it shows - will find much to relish."  Jonathan's Kindle Worlds novel Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows marked his first foray into the superhero/action genre.
            Jack Ketchum called his vampire western Dust Devils a "Rousing-good weird western," and his sequel to The Sorrows (Castle of Sorrows) was selected one of 2014's top three novels by Pod of Horror.  2015 saw the release of The Nightmare Girl, which prompted Pod of Horror to call Jonathan "Horror's Next Big Thing."  His newest release is Wolf Land, which Publishers Weekly called "gruesome yet entertaining goriest" with "an impressive and bloody climax."  He has also written four novellas (Exorcist RoadThe Clearing of Travis CobleOld Order, and Witching Hour Theatre) and several short stories.
            His primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliche happens to be true.  You can learn more about Jonathan at his website.  You can also find him on Facebook, via @jonathanjanz on Twitter, or on his Goodreads and Amazon author pages.

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