Book Review: The Lurking Season by Kristopher Rufty

23715811Title: The Lurking Season

Author: Kristopher Rufty

Genre: Horror, Dark Fiction

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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

The legends were true. The creatures were real. And now they’re back!

People have whispered about the tiny humanoid creatures in the woods and cornfields of Doverton for decades. Three years ago a wildfire devoured much of the rural village, but as the ashes were cleared, more questions were uncovered—including abandoned houses, missing people and dead bodies. Since the fire seemed to wipe out the majority of the town’s woodland acres, the murmurs about the creatures have gone quiet. The residents have begun to rebuild their lives, trying to forget about the tragedy that nearly killed them all. Yet the mysteries remained unsolved.

Now a group of people will go there with good intentions, venturing into the dead heart of Doverton, thinking it’s safe. But they will find out that the legend was only sleeping. Now it’s awake. And ready to kill again.

It was only after starting The Lurking Season, I figured out it’s a sequel to a previous book, called “The Lurkers”. I haven’t read the previous book, but I had a good enough grasp of the book to decide to continue reading either way. Besides, I enjoyed the story (at least the start of it) and wanted to read what happened next. In retrospect, if I’d read “The Lurkers”, maybe I’d have a better understanding of this book. Most of it seemed straightforward though, so I don’t think it’s a necessity, but maybe I would’ve enjoyed it more had I read the first book.

Anyway, I liked the premise of the book, and it started out with a bang, introducing us to Brooke, and then followed by a gruesome scene, kind of like the opening scene of a slasher movie. The story slowed down after that, introducing us to the other characters as they make their way to Doverton. We get some background information about the background story. Three years ago, most of Doverton was destroyed by wildfire, but afterwards, authorities discovered more questions than answers, with abandoned houses, unexplained dead bodies, people missing who never turned up. Local residents tried to forget what happened and rebuild their lives, and forget all about the local legends of tiny humanoid creatures stalking the nearby woods, but now a similar murder has happened as the murdering spree they went through years ago, the locals start to wonder if their nightmares have returned. And for the newcomers, they might find themselves running straight into a nightmare.

The villains here, the Haunchies, are perhaps the only thing I found particularly interesting about the book. When you read tiny humanoid creatures, you don’t exactly get the chills. Let’s just say that after reading, they did give me the chills. At the same time, I didn’t understand much of their motives (if they had any).

That’s the problem with most of the book. The characters are flat. We get so many characters passing by, and the POV then switches from one character to another per chapter, and it’s hard keeping track of all of them, let alone connect with them. I couldn’t connect with a single character, not even Brooke, who was probably the most sympathetic of all of them. The dialogue was stiff and dull, and didn’t feel realistic. The violence was over the top and gross, and while I usually don’t mind that, it didn’t seem necessary at all here. I mean, the book practically lived on gore, like those slasher movies, and I never really found them intriguing anyway. If there’d been more lore, more interesting characters, then I might’ve been able to root for them, and want them to survive. Now, I didn’t feel much when one of them perished, and I actually started doing a count down.

The book is also incredibly long. I wouldn’t have minded, if the pacing had been okay. But as it stands now, we had chapters where next to nothing happened (especially the middle part was oh-so-slow) and then suddenly everything happened at once. I didn’t feel scared or surprised, in fact I felt more bored than anything. I can say this was a little dissapointing. The writing worked though, so I’m sure the author is talented and can craft a great horror book, except that this just wasn’t it for me.

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