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Brian Keene's 'Ghost Walk': A Review

Updated on March 10, 2015

Pages: 275

Rating: ****

Keene continues to impress with his unique take on modern survival horror. Truly a master at crafting suspenseful, dark, intriguing page turning stories. Keene just may be the greatest horror writer of my generation. 'Ghost Walk' cements all the praise that I've ever given Keene. I didn't realize it at first, but 'Ghost Walk' is actually a follow up to his novel 'Dark Hollow'. Fortunately, not only does 'Ghost Walk' break the curse of sequels being severely below standard compared to the original, but it's great as a novel all it's own. An ability that's truly rare and one that you should hold on to.

LeHorn's Hollow is the kind of place the smart locals avoid. Riddled with legends of hideous creatures, sinister demons and occult practices, the area has a reputation that few have the guts to try to disprove. Those who have foolishly ventured into the Hollow, never come back, or are so mentally damaged that they wind up at the local asylum.

Allow me to introduce you to Maria Nasr. An ambitious young journalist trying to eek out a living writing for her local newspaper. Looking for a bigger, fresher challenge, Maria accepts an article covering a special new Halloween attraction. Ken Ripple is a man eternally in mourning. Having just lost his wife to cancer, Ken decided to pour his grief into a project known as the Ghost Walk. A tour that winds through the haunted grounds of LeHorn's Hollow. Complete with sound effects and volunteers in costumes, Ken thinks he has created something that his departed wife could be proud of. When spiritually sensitive Levi Stoltzfus approaches Ken about an evil that his attraction is about to unleash, the three must team up to combat a force that could devour the town whole. The town laughs at Levi when he rides rides to town on his faithful horse, Dee. Dressed as a member of the Amish community, nobody takes him seriously. Although, within Levi is a power that goes beyond imagination.

At first, I wasn't sure if 'Ghost Walk' would be a book I could finish, especially since the first part of the story is almost painfully slow. My faith in Keene's story telling ability kept me from wavering, and I was rewarded with an incredible tale that I just couldn't put down. The characters are great. Ken is easy to sympathize with, and Levi is so mystically intriguing that he easily steals the show. Another wonderful trait of Brian Keene is writing powerful characters that deliver emotional sucker punches to the reader's senses. While a sequel to 'Dark Hallow', 'Ghost Walk' has the strength to stand as an individual story all it's own. Yes, I'm absolutely curious about what happened the first time around, but Is it necessary? No. There is some name dropping from 'Ghoul' but I'm glad it didn't effect the story at all like it did with 'Dead Sea'. All and all, Keene continues to prove why he deserves a seat amoung the elite in the horror genre. The dreadfully slow beginning is the only thing that prevented this novel from receiving a perfect score.

Ghost Walk (Lehorn's Hollow)
Ghost Walk (Lehorn's Hollow)

Enjoy this great horror novel. I love Keene's zombie novels, but this story is just as good. Check out the mass market paperback edition for the best deal.

 

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