Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ghost Walk

I've fallen badly behind on reviews of late, but I'm going to make a concentrated effort to catch up by the end of the year. First up is Brian Keene's latest novel, Ghost Walk.

At the end of Keene's previous book, Dark Hollow, the evil that had tried to break through in Lehorn's Hollow had been defeated, at a price. Ghost Walk directly continues the events of Dark Hollow, although it would work just fine as a stand-alone novel. Some spoilers for Dark Hollow are probably inevitable here, so read forewarned.

A couple of years have passed, and most of the characters from Dark Hollow are dead or gone. Adam Senft, the protagonist of the previous book, has been institutionalized in a hospital for the criminally insane. Halloween is approaching, and a local businessman is preparing to open a "ghost walk" (something of an outdoor haunted house) through the Hollow. Nodens, the evil from the first book, uses this opportunity to sieze those who can aid in breaking the spell.

Standing in Nodens' way is a (formerly) Amish wizard named Levi Stoltzfus, and a reporter named Maria Nasr. To help them, they release the haunted Adam Senft from his cell. But Nodens is even stronger this time, and for him to be stopped, a terrible sacrifice must be made...

Brian Keene became famous as a horror writer due to the success of his zombie novels, but I've always preferred the non-zombie horrors he's written, and Ghost Walk is no exception. It is quickly paced, and the characters are well developed, which gives emotional impact to the horrors that befall them. Ghost Walk is a great book to read for Halloween, or anytime.

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