Book Review: Ancient Enemy by Michael McBride

20742667Title: Ancient Enemy

Author: Michael McBride

Genre: Dark Fiction, Horror

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sani Natonaba’s ancestors have lived in these canyons for more than seven hundred years, but they aren’t the only ones. When he awakens to the bleating of his family’s sheep being slaughtered, he learns that something is stalking this isolated corner of the reservation, a predator unlike any he has encountered before, one that attacks with alarming stealth and ferocity.

Only his grandfather knows what lurks outside in the darkness, but a stroke has left him unable to communicate, forcing Sani to embark upon a journey into the distant past to discover the horrible truth. And he’s running out of time. There’s no sign of an end to the killing and already he’s found claw marks and strange footprints around his home.

Sani must decipher the clues hidden a millennium ago by the Anasazi before their mysterious disappearance if he’s to have any hope of surviving the impending confrontation with an ancient enemy that has already hunted his bloodline to the brink of extinction.

When I started reading Ancient Enemy, I wasn’t sure I would like it. It sounded like a typical story of a family attacked by some kind of monsters, which would turn out to be something lame, like a werewolf or something. However, I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out the monsters in this book are original, refreshing, creatures from the depths, creatures from history and myth, that the author has brought to life on the pages of this book.

Inspired by a real life mystery, namely that of the sudden disappearance of the Anasazi over a thousand years ago, Michael McBride weaves an intriguing story that mixes history, legends, mystery and literary horror into one impressive tale.

Main character Sani Natonaba lives with his ill grandfather, who can no longer talk after a stroke, his alcoholic mother, his best friend – his horse – and their cattle, in a small trailer in an isolated corner of the Navajo reservation. But night after night, his sheep get attacked and slaughtered by a ferocious animal unlike any he’s seen before. His grandfather knows more about the mysterious creature, but sicne he’s unable to communicate, it’s up to Sani to discover the clues on his own. The clues lead him to a journey to the distant past, where he discovers a truth so horrible it had better stayed hidden.

One of the best DarkFuse novellas put forward this year, if you ask me. Considering the consistent quality of these books, that’s saying something. I’ll definitely keep this author on my watchlist.


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