Book Review: The One You Feed by James Drummond

THE_one_you_feed_cropped2Title: The One You Feed
Author: James Drummond
Genre: YA Horror
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Like most kids who grew up in the small Oregon town of Silver Falls, Toby Hoffman had heard all the scary stories about the monsters living in the neighboring woods of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Now a teenager, he knows the stories are made up to keep the town’s children from wandering where they aren’t wanted.

Then his best friend, Nate, wakes up covered in blood in the reservation woods, with no recollection of whose blood it is or where it came from. When even more brutal attacks follow, Toby can’t help but wonder if one of the fables he was told as a child might be true. With the help of Rachel, a determined Native American girl who has moved off the reservation and into the house next door, he begins searching for an explanation for the recent carnage. He also develops feelings for his new neighbor, which are put to the test when he and Rachel discover that her uncle may be responsible for the emergence of a legendary monster that does in fact exist.

To make matters worse, there’s evidence that Nate was turned by the beast, and that he has every intention of holding onto his extraordinary new creature capabilities no matter the cost. In order to save Silver Falls from a true scary story, Toby will have to face off against forces he doesn’t fully understand – and his closest friend.

In The One You Feed, Toby has had a tough time ever since his Mom passed away in a car accident – while he was driving. He and his Dad try to get to terms with what happened, but it’s tough on both of them. Then a new girl arrives in town, Rachel, a Native American girl who originally lived in the nearby Umatilla Indian Reservation. Toby immediately feels attracted to Rachel. She’s anything like he imagined – she’s willfull, persistent, strong. But he’s not the only one who has an eye on the new girl, and the town’s bullies try to get their hands on her right away.

While the bullies take Toby’s best friend Nate, on a paintball-shooting-trip to the woods (where Nate is the living target practice), something stirs deep inside those woods. Nate doesn’t return and when Mike, one of the bullies, goes to look for him later that night, along with his girlfriend, he gets attacked and murdered. The following morning, Toby finds Nate in the woods, covered in blood.

As the town gets stalked by a legendary monster that has come straight out of the fairytale books into the real world, Toby grows convinced Nate may be involved somehow. Nate on the other hand, discovers more and more supernatural abilities of his own…

Toby was an interesting character to read about. After his Mom’s passing, he goes through severe depression, and it sounded real. Authors all too often want to get rid of a character’s pain to focus on the story, but not here. Apart from his emotions and guilt about that, he seemed like a regular teen, and talked like one as well.

The plot had both original and familiar elements. It was quite obvious to figure out what was targeting the people of Silver Falls, but the characters and the Indian lore, brought some original elements to the table. The writing was great, and the author has a knack for describing scenes in just a few sentences.

If you like young adult horror, this book definitely won’t dissapoint. I didn’t find it that scary – monsters don’t scare me all that much, so far only ghosts have succeeded to do so – but it was entertaining.

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