Monday, January 23, 2017

Run to Ground [Book Review]

Genre - Horror
Year Published - 2016
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing
Length - 92 (digital) pages
Written by Jasper Bark

Rating: 4 Skulls

Plot Summary:
Jim McLeod is on the run...

…from his responsibilities as a father, hiding out from his pregnant girlfriend, and working as a groundskeeper in a rural graveyard.

He’s running from a lifetime of guilt and bad decisions, but principally he’s running from the murderous entities that have possessed the very ground at his feet.

Jim has no idea what these entities are, but they’ve done unspeakable things to everyone in the graveyard and now they’re hunting him down. There is nowhere Jim can hide, nowhere he can walk and nowhere he can run that isn’t under the lethal power of the things in the ground. If he stands any chance of survival he must uncover the link between his murderous tormentors, three mysterious graves and an ancient heresy that stretches back to the beginning of time.

Run to Ground is a tale of extreme folk horror. It opens the reader’s eyes to a terrifying new breed of gods and monsters, but be warned, within these pages you’ll find blasphemy, brutality and unbelievable depravity the likes of which you’ve never read before. Think that’s too grandiose a claim? Why not put us to the test. Go on, click the ‘Buy now’ button, we double dare you...

Run to Ground carries on the proud tradition of Jack Ketchum and Poppy Z. Brite, and is brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from the Darkest Depths

This is the first book that I am reviewing of the "10-book set" that I won from Crystal Lake Publishing last month.

This one was a no brainer as I was looking for a short read, (the book that I have been waiting all month for is finally being released tomorrow!) and Bark is another author recommendation from author David Dubrow, who hasn't steered me wrong yet.

I already own two of Bark's other works ('Stuck on You and Other Prime Cuts' and 'The Final Cut' - I just haven't read them yet), however this is the first book that I have read by Bark, and it definitely will not be the last!

As I said, I chose this one solely based on the author and its size, so I did not even read the above book summary, I just dove right in. Needless to say, it was a jolting dive! The story opens with a shockingly, gruesome discovery and never lets up!

Whoever says that originality is dead has obviously never read Jasper Bark!

I will say that this story goes pretty far out there and definitely will not appeal to everyone, so don't say that you haven't been forewarned.

My only real issue with this story is a minor one. The main character is named Jim Mcleod and another character is named Kit Powers (these are both real-life authors, whose names I am familiar with, but whose works I have not yet read). That being said, their names were a slight distraction which kept me from being fully rooted into the story. Other than that, this was a welcome introduction to Bark's writing-style.

This book also includes another story by Bark - 'How the Dark Bleeds' (a fascinating story about blood! I may have enjoyed this one even more than 'Run to Ground') It looks like this one is also in Bark's 'Stuck on You' collection. There is also an excerpt, at the end, of the 1st two chapters of Bark's 'The Final Cut'.

On top of all of the above, after reading 'Run to Ground' you learn that it is part of a story-cycle known as the "Heresy Series". ('How the Dark Bleeds' is also part of this series, as is 'The Final Cut')

This book also includes an essay by the leading academic expert on the Qu'rm Saddic heresy - Nicola Tanthur PhD.

So, whether you buy this book in print or digitally, you get your money's worth


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