Friday, May 5, 2017

REVIEW: Fallow Ground

By: Michael James McFarland

Genre: Horror, Occult
Publisher: Blood Bound Books
Publication date: 1.31.2014
Pages: 342

What begins in madness and desperation must eventually end that way.  The Taylors want nothing more than to start a family, but the couple remains childless.  A stranger, known only as Mr. Smith, arrives on their doorstep late one night with a strange propositions: safeguard a crate for the peculiar man and they'll get their offspring.  They strike a dark and irrevocable bargain.  Almost twenty-five years later, the Taylors' farmland is occupied by a new family - but the curse of the past lives on.  Does wickedness dwell in the soil itself, or does evil grow from what takes root there?

This is my first experience reading anything by this author, and I have to say, months later, my heart still begins to thump quickly thinking about the story in this book.  

Not only is it very well written, but the characters stay with you, along with the range of emotions you feel for them.  And I'm not over-exaggerating when I say stay with you.  There are nights that I lay in bed, having not thought about this book in weeks, only to think I see something out of the corner of my eye, and lay there, very still, waiting...

Lots of things happen throughout this story, but to me the reason we end up where we are is because of the love the Taylors had for each other... and how much they wanted to share that love with children.  I felt so much for them, knowing how much I myself would love to have children, and wondering just how far I would go to have the children I want and need to love.  This is a horror - so no, they don't kidnap anyone.  They went even further than that.

Once they make that step... everything begins to unravel, and the twists and turns begin.  Twists and turns I never expected... twists and turns that continue long after the Taylors have ceased to exist.

Have you ever read a book that you're afraid if you say even the smallest thing about it, you will ruin it for the next person that read it?  I have never felt so much that until this book, sitting here trying to write this review.  This is my blog and I could outline the whole story if I want to, go off on a rant about this or that, but even the slightest thing, in my mind, will make you not enjoy the book as much as I did.

By far one of my favorites, not just of this year, but maybe ever.

You like horror?  Go get this.  Now.

About the author:
Michael James McFarland has been writing for over 30 years and his short fiction has appeared in a variety of formats.  Among these, 'The Hypnotist' was selected for Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (15th Annual Collection), 'The Duel' and 'Mira' were produced by Pseudopod as audio podcasts, and 'Deadline' and 'The Yellow Wind' have appeared in print anthologies.  Blood Bound Book published Fallow Ground, his first novel, in 2014.  He has self-published two well-received novels (Wormwood and Blood on the Tracks), a novella (Duplex), and a short story collection (The Yellow Wind & Other Horrors).
            He lives and works in Washington state.

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