Book Review: The Family Tree by John Everson

23116267Title: The Family Tree

Author: John Everson

Genre: Horror

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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

Its roots are old…and twisted! The blood of the tree is its sap. It has sustained Scott Belvedere’s family for generations. It’s the secret ingredient behind the family’s intoxicating ale and bourbon, among other elixirs. But only when Scott inherits The Family Tree Inn, deep in the hills of Virginia, does he learn anything about his family, its symbiotic history, or the mammoth, ancient tree around which the inn is literally built. And after he stumbles upon the bony secrets hidden in its roots, while in the welcoming arms of the innkeeper’s daughter, he realizes that not only is blood thicker than water-it’s the only thing that might save him from the hideous fate of his ancestors…

The Family Tree is a rather unique horror story set in The Family Tree Inn, an inn that has been in Scott Belvedere’s family for ages but that he’s only recently inherited. So far the story sounds pretty familiar, but then it introduces a few enticing twists: the sap of the tree, its blood, is the secret ingredient behind his family’s ale, and it has more side effects than Scott has knowledge of. He moves to the inn to find out more about his heritage and to learn about his family, but he never suspected to end up knee-deep into a nightmare. As he discovers one secret after another, and he gets the feeling something isn’t quite right about the inn, he stumbles upon a horrifying truth that might cost him his life.

Let’s start with the good. The author includes several erotic scenes in the book, but they make sense – they’re there for a reason, it’s not just sex just for the sake of adding in sex. The characters are real, and they each have their own quirks and personality, however the reader doesn’t connect with them, which is probably a good thing. If anything, the more I got to know the characters, the more alienated I felt from them.

The downside was that I couldn’t relate to Scott either, who is probably the only character one should really relate to while reading this book. That’s the only downside I could find to the book though: the writing is excellent, the pacing is fast, and the story screams originality. Too bad I couldn’t relate to the main character, else I would’ve given this a higher rating.

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