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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

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on 23 August 2012
Graeme Reynold's gripping debut novel, High Moor, is the story of people struggling to survive.

The action kicks off - and ends - in 2008, but the bulk of High Moor takes places in a small town in the north of England, in 1986. The town, the eponymous High Moor, is in decline after Margaret Thatcher's government has given it a good kicking.

John, Micheal and David are schoolboys trying to survive the assaults of Malcolm,the local bully, and his cronies.

Davey and Michael are also trying to survive living with a violent and drunken father.

And then the stakes are raised even higher when a werewolf attacks.

High Moor is a true page turner. A gritty,social-realist horror novel and a coming-of-age story that is full of down to earth and likeable characters.

The pacing is great and the lives of the people living in High Moor is accurately and dispassionately portrayed.

High Moor is highly recommended and I look forward to a sequel.
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on 26 August 2015
I would absolutely recommend this book to a friend...and non-friends alike. The writing is captivating and drags the reader along for a wild ride. I was completely engrossed in the storytelling that once I started I just had to finish, in fact, at the halfway mark I had already decided I needed the next book in the series. If I had to pick a favourite character it would have to be Marie - that girl has some serious balls. I'm not a horror fan by any means and put this book off for a while and now I'm kicking myself, I have a small list of favourite books for the year and this book has definitely made the cut.
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on 5 June 2012
I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of books based on werewolves. I've seldom read any that have truly impressed me and if I'm honest, I'm of the opinion that there's only so much you can do with a werewolf story.

Against that background, I started reading Graeme Reynolds' High Moor with some hesitation.

I found the synopsis for High Moor to be uninspiring and fairly generic. However, this is not a fair reflection of the contents of High Moor. There are no cursed noblemen here or hybrid vampire/ werewolves; Reynolds takes the lycanthropic legend and drops it off in the North East of England of the mid-1980s; replete with unemployment, urban decay and other realities associated with the area at that time. Moreover, Reynolds central characters being children are not the naive youngsters might see in many horror films or books but streetwise, with mouths like sailors; and an attitude that is appropriate for kids growing up in such surroundings. Reynolds clearly remembers the 80s with numerous references that were a real blast from the past for me: computer games on cassette, World Cup sticker albums, etc. It's little flourishes like these that start to set High Moor apart from other werewolf tales.

Where some authors would have been content for their work to finish, I found that Reynolds continued. In fact, I felt that there were two natural points during proceedings (setting aside the open ending) when the story could have been satisfactorily concluded. Instead, Reynolds chooses to advance his werewolf tale and at no point, did it feel like it was dragging out. It gave me a great sense of fulfilment to know what ACTUALLY happened to characters after the dust had settled on their own werewolf encounters and how it had impacted on their lives. Normality is quite often overlooked as an effective tool within the horror genre, with many writers simply plumping for the gore-factor. That's not to say that Reynolds doesn't have some fantastic action sequences and indeed, some particularly bloody deaths in High Moor; he just uses them to tell his story rather than making them the focal point of his tale.

Another point which sets High Moor above its contemporaries in the sub-genre, Reynolds makes his werewolves seem real with them having to deal with the same problems that non-lycanthropes have to face and also, the practicalities of dealing with bone-shattering transmogrifications and how to keep oneself restrained at times when the moon is full...

Critically, there are some sub-genre cliches in there but to my mind, those that were used enhanced the author's ability to tell a story, since they added depth to the proceedings. Reynolds takes various aspects of common werewolf lore and creates a tale that has the potential to be a real foundation for a series of books spawning from the High Moor story. For me, there were scenes in High Moor that were reminiscent of Silver Bullet, An American Werewolf in London and a handful of other similar tales. However, I would suggest that being mentioned in the same breath as a work of Stephen King and my first memory of a horror movie (the changing scene in American Werewolf) is no bad thing.

High Moor is a solid action horror with visceral scenes, dark humour and realistic characters; and is a robust British addition to the werewolf sub-genre. Moreover, High Moor refreshingly does not simply conform to the genre archetype or tread the increasingly popular and woeful Twilight route.
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on 28 December 2011
Well I do enjoy a good horror book and having read very little concerning our good close doggy friends the ever pleasant werewolf I thought I would give High Moor a try especially as the price had just been reduced by the author for a limited period...and I must say I was pleasantly surprised :)) The action is fast and most of it takes place in the 1980's with the last third moving forward to the present. Anyone meeting or infected by the werewolf can expect to meet a sudden and very nasty death, we are introduced to Carl Schneider werewolf hunter extraordinaire arriving with a full arsenal of weapons to tackle the nasty epidemic of the werewolf. The real werewolf beast is the "moonstruck" variety and as the name implies only emerges at a full moon name but boy does he reap carnage.....whereas the more "pleasant" :)) werewolf can change at will and as the action in the book shows they are the only real weapon available to kill the moonstruck werewolf. The story essentially is the return of John Simpson to his childhood home and there he confronts adversaries from his youth....but in order to achieve a good and enjoyable werewolf read the author must blend storytelling with dark humour and Graeme Reynolds does an excellent job at portraying the full horror and joy of the werewolf sage to an eagerly waiting reader salivating at the mouth...with a little bit of blood and grizzle.....enjoy!!
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on 4 June 2013
What a bloody good read.

Not my usual material as I'm normally into pulp s-f.

This had me hooked after just a few pages, I had this on my kindle for quite a while before I finally got around to devouring this with gusto.

The story starts in Wales 2008 and due to a news report about a strange animal attack our protagonist John Simpson heads off to the town of his youth High Moor, through his eyes as an 11 year old the tale travels back to 1986 and we meet the tough life of children in a northern town growing up and making there own entertainment and dealing with the local bully and his gang. I don't know why but the old tale of KES (a tale of a boy and his Kestrel) kept popping into my head, such was the power of the events described, surely the mark of a good storyteller.

Great characters and really excellent gut busting scenes of horror that should please most true fans of gore fest tales.

There are a few plots that you could see coming but as they say there's nothing new under the sun, or moon in this case. I will definitely get the follow up novel, it was that good. I think I got High Moor free after I'd read the sample so for me to actually buy a book is saying something.
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on 8 August 2017
I love werewolf books eg Wolf Hunt by Jeff Strand, Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King and the Howling series.
I thought this series was really good - a different take on the myth whilst keeping certain traditions - it was well written and I couldnt wait to read the next one!
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on 14 June 2014
This was actually my first time listening to an audiobook so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had previously read High Moor so I knew it was going to be an entertaining story but never having heard an audiobook before, I wasn't sure how if it would have the same effect on me as reading the book- if the characters could come to life the way they do in the book. I needn't have worried. Chris Barnes did a brilliant job. As a narrator, he didn't influence the characters at all, allowing the reader to form their own views on them. Extremely entertaining and fast paced with just the right amount of comedy. Chris has a natural talent for accents. The action scenes have the right amount of tension and leave you wanting to hear more. I would highly recommend this audiobook. A word of warning though, it may give you nightmares.
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When John Simpson hears of a bizarre animal attack in his old home town of High Moor, it stirs memories of a long forgotten horror. John knows the truth. A werewolf stalks the town once more, and on the night of the next full moon, the killing will begin again. He should know. He survived a werewolf attack in 1986, during the worst year of his life.

It's 1986 and the town is gripped in terror after the mutilated corpse of a young boy is found in the woods. When Sergeant Steven Wilkinson begins an investigation, with the help of a specialist hunter, he soon realises that this is no ordinary animal attack. Werewolves are real, and the trail of bodies is just beginning, with young John and his friends smack in the middle of it.

Twenty years later, John returns to High Moor. The latest attack involved one of his childhood enemies, but there's more going on than meets the eye. The consequences of his past actions, the reappearance of an old flame and a dying man who will either save or damn him, are the least of his problems. The night of the full moon is approaching and time is running out.

But how can he hope to stop a werewolf, when every full moon he transforms into a bloodthirsty monster himself?

There is a lot of love for lycanthropes in our house. In fact we like werewolves so much so, that Mrs. Cheesecake and I entered into a lively debate about who should review/read this book first as she probably likes werewolves more than me. Fortunately, I'm far sneakier than she and time constraints/technology were on my side.

The events of 1986 form the largest part of the story and offer a good introduction to the world of John and his friends. They are a small gang of typical young children, always looking out for any mischief they can get themselves involved in. Through a stroke of bad luck they get caught up in a hunt between the local authorities, and a violent beast. As the werewolf attacks increase, events swiftly spiral out of control and build toward a violent confrontation that leaves no-one unscathed.

The story then jumps ahead twenty years and the second part of the novel picks up in the present day as events force John to return to High Moor. It's interesting to see how he has changed in the intervening years. John has effectively been on the run since he left town, and his journey from boy to man has frequently been punctuated by an ongoing, often violent, battle with his inner demon. His return home opens up old wounds and he runs into both old enemies as well as friends.

There are some nice touches interspersed throughout the narrative. Growing up in the nineteen eighties, it raised a smile to see references to pirated computer games on cassette tape and temperamental video recorders. Anyone old enough to remember that decade I'm sure will feel the same. Another element that I particularly liked was the short paragraphs written from the werewolf's perspective. Getting some small insight into a werewolf's thought processes adds an extra depth to plot as it unfolds.

This story begs for a sequel and based on the events in the novel's closing chapters, I do hope that there will be one. I'd happily read it. Reynolds has created a gory, graphic tale that features some nice fresh ideas about the werewolf mythos, and I would be keen to see where he could take them in the future. There are plenty of hints that the events in High Moor are just the tip of the iceberg and it struck me that this is fertile ground worthy of further exploration.

Werewolves in literature tend to fall into one of two categories. Firstly there is the purely animalisitic, the creature of base instinct, that is driven to kill, feed and mate. The second is the werewolf that retains some human characteristics while having the added benefits of the wolf. Reynolds story skillfully manages to bring these two differing interpretations together in a rather clever way. I wouldn't dream of revealing any plot details but I do suggest it is certainly worth your while finding out. High Moor is a worthy addition to any self respecting werewolf fan's library.

High Moor is published by Horrific Tales Publishing and as available for Kindle now.
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on 24 November 2011
High Moor is my first ever werewolf novel. I wasn't sure whether to be excited or apprehensive. I'm not good outside my comfort zone (it's called comfort for a reason!).

We begin with a prologue set in England in 2008, with a man shutting himself in his basement and a Rottweiler mutilated and killed in a local park. Despite the short prologue, the scene is perfectly set for what is to come.

The story really begins in High Moor, 1986. The descriptions of the down-trodden and depressed town which has been sliding into decay since the closure of the local mines are enthralling - I was instantly transported into the gray world of semi-poverty, fish and chip shops and small town bullies seen in so many TV series, movies and documentaries about 1980's England.

As the story progressed, I found myself more and more drawn to the werewolves and
The Pack, the illuminati of the werewolf world, and the characters within the book. The characters were so vividly drawn, I could hear their northern accents and visualize the way they moved and their homes and surroundings.

The return to High Moor in 2008 is also fantastically described and again conjures visions of small working-class northern-English towns and the connections between the residents, who have been born, grown up and will die in the same place, surrounded by the same people.

High Moor is fast-paced, creepy and gives a completely enthralling concept of werewolves that I hadn't imaged would be contained in this book.

Will there be a sequel? I bloody-well hope so! I was incredibly disappointed when High Moor ended (in a good way!) - I want Moor! (see my joke there?)

I understand this is Mr. Reynolds' first full-length novel and he has a lot to be very proud of.

*High Moor was kindly provided by the author for review, but this has not influenced my opinion in any way, shape or form.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 7 December 2011
NOTE : This is an updated review of the original book to take into account the audiobook version.

I'm going to get right to the point you need to go and buy this novel. Normally when I read the debut novel from an author, I lower my expectations a little. It takes time for an author to hone their craft and find their own voice and style. This is a brilliant book, I decided to cast aside all first novel expectations after 30 minutes of reading this book. Graeme has produce what can only be described as howling success of a novel (see what I did there folks)

I'll be honest I can count the number of werewolf books I have read on one hand, so I have very few points of reference to judge this book against. What I will say is that out of those books this ranks up there with the best of them. This is an utterly thrilling read, that will have you turning the pages at breakneck speed. The book is littered with great characters, both loveable and despicable. Characters that you will grow to care about, to such extent that the midway climatic scenes ring with emotional intensity.

As for the werewolves Reynolds has created a great and believable mythos. The pack has a strong identity, these are not just the monster of the week type werewolf, their actions and rules are an important factor in what makes this a great book. These are proud, but vicious animals, don't go into this book looking for cuddly furballs, you will be disappointed, these werewolves have big sharp teeth and claws, and they are not afraid to use them

The majority of the story takes place in 1986. I was 15 in 1986, having a ball of time. Reading this book is like looking back at old film footage of my life. Reynolds has expertly captured the feel of what it was like to grow up in a small town in 1986.

But fear not folks this is in no way a rip off Stephen King's It. High Moor is it's own novel, it will strike one hell of a chord with those of a certain age, who grew up in the UK. But it will also appeal to a much wider audience such is the strength of Reynolds writing. The last time I connected so strongly with the setting of a novel was with Joe Donnelly's Twitchy Eyes, and in many ways this book share similar themes, and is of a similar quality.

It takes a writer of tremendous skill to imbue a an action packed novel with as much depth, as is displayed here. This book was a joy to read, not just for its ability to transport me back to a time gone by, but also because it is so well written. If this is the level of writing Graeme is capable of producing in a début novel, then I for one cannot wait for his next novel.

Right so we all know that I am a huge fan of this book and its sequel, so how did I feel about the audiobook treatment of this splendid novel?

Audiobooks, are a funny thing, unlike normal books they can live or die nit just by the quality of the writing, but also by the quality of the production of the book. Many a great story has been rendered unlistenable by poor production values, and terrible narration. If you don't believe me just search for M.R. James audiobooks, don't say i didn't warn you though.

The author of High Moor handed over the mammoth task of bringing this book to audio glory to fellow Scot,Chris Barnes of Dynamic Ram Audio Productions. A task that Chris has risen to with fantastic results. Chris's narration and use of incidental music breath new life into this already brilliant book. We all read books with our own voice, and while unlike myself, your voice probably doesn't have a lyrical Scottish brogue to it, upon hearing Chris's voice for the first time you will be drawn into the story immediately.

Chris's reading of the book is full of excellent vocal performances as he gives each character their own voice. His narration is polished, confident and above all very engaging, this isn't just a plain a reading of the book, this is perfomance in its own right. The book lasts for about seven hours and at no time throughout listening to it did I find myself drifting from the narrative.

Even if you already own a copy of this book, I would still recommend purchasing a copy of the audio version, as it really does add to the overall enjoyment factor of the book.
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