Firstly I'll paraphrase this review by saying i ONLY got my copy on the weekend so it is all still pretty fresh in my mind. First I was thinking Id read bits of it every day or so but "fortunately" for me illness meant I had a few days off work so it gave me plenty of reading time....almost enough to finish it.
This book is a ride from start to finish. There is no let up in between and the niceties of wasting a large body of text on character and plot development are foregone. This suits me just fine as it immerses the reader from the beginning. This is not to say that we don't learn anything about the character and plot as we go along. In fact it's quite the opposite but only giving you glimpses into the flawed nature of many of the books central characters, Brewin' has pulled a master stroke in that he tells you just enough about them to get you interested in them and leaves a lot to the imagination. The way the book is written, the reader will often come to the realisation that these characters are not all good people and as people get systematically killed in a myriad of ways you wonder if the person really deserved their fate or whether it was uncalled for......one thing i can guarantee you though is that this book is unique in the way it describes scenes, places, people, feelings and thoughts. It's done in such a way that it really puts the reader in the situation at hand. This is all the more effective due to the sheer violence and gore contained in much of the book.
Make no mistake, this IS a very confronting and scary piece of work. In a time when many authors and filmmakers are using gore for gore's sake, Brewin' pushes it to the extreme but never unnecessarily or for the sake of putting as much blood and shocking themes in the one passage. Instead Brewin' uses the gore and violence in a way that it adds and enhances the story (and scares the reader as most of it you will NOT see coming). This is horror writing at it's best.
Going back to the plot-line, as mentioned, this book starts off at a hundred miles an hour and doesn't let up. The early plot development is lacking (but not in a bad way). I think this was done on purpose as it leaves the book open-ended at both ends. For example we never really find out who the Horde are, where they came from, why they chose to come here, etc and at the other end of the book we never really find out what becomes of them in the end. Leaving this book open-ended in this regard is effective on two fronts. Firstly it leaves a lot to the readers imagination to try and work out the beginnings and the endings of the Horde themselves.....and given the content of the book, the reader will probably have no choice but to think up the most evil, twisted, gruesome, and brutal beginning and ending possible (and even then probably wont come close. Secondly, it leaves the possibility of a prequel (or sequel) open to Brewin' to investigate further.
All in all, this is a real ride from start to finish and a real page-turner if only because you do not know what is coming up next....and when you think you have it figured out, only then do you realise how far off the mark you really are. This is a very confronting and scary piece of work that really involves and immerses the reader and demands repeated reading in many parts. This is a very fine piece of horror writing and well worth the time invested in reading it, which at the end of the day is all anyone can really hope for. The meticulous effort and detail that Brewin' has put into this book is outstanding on all fronts and is evident from start to finish....HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!