Monday, July 12, 2010

Ghost Walk, by Brian Keene -- A Book Review

Skeptical about rumors of LeHorn’s Hollow being a haunted ground, a local hunter stumbles into a circles of old stones etched with strange, ancient-looking symbols. Excited by his find – and hoping these stones will prove to be a priceless archeological discovery – Rich digs one of them out. Unbeknownst to him, Noden, the living darkness who lay trapped beyond the gate kept sealed by the circles of sacred stones, is now able to reach out through the opening. In order for Noden and his minions to completely come out and destroy life, all the stones must first be removed by unsuspecting humans. Noden patiently waits to make his grand entrance at midnight on Halloween night, when the veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest. His plan is incidentally facilitated by Ken Ripple, a grieving widower whose goal is to build a ghost walk in memory of his late wife right in LeHorn’s Hollow. Only one person can stop Noden – Levi Stoltzfus was raised in an Amish family, but he abandoned his faith long ago to embrace a much wider truth. Levi is powerful, and aided by Spirit, yet he cannot act alone. With the help of Maria, a young journalist, and a novelist who’s dealt Noden’s minions before, Levi embarks on a journey against time to fight the forces of darkness.

As the hunter was skeptical about the rumors surrounding LeHorne’s Hollow, I must admit I was a bit skeptical about this story in the beginning. Usually unimpressed with most New Age fiction, I sat with this novel for less than thirty minutes before I became so engrossed in it that I didn’t want to put it down.

I immediately connected with Levi, and really appreciated the standpoint of Maria, the young journalist. I also found it quite endearing that this book linked, somewhat, to another favorite of mine, the Necronomicon; while unrelated to it, this story conveys some of the same information in a not-so-ominous fashion.

The writing style is pleasant and flows unrestricted. While I am not familiar (yet) with Brian Keene’s other works, I was quite impressed with Ghost Walk, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fiction sprinkled with a good dose of magick and small town lore.