Woom – Duncan Ralston
Reviewed By Steve Stred
It’s there in the title friends. Ralston makes sure to warn you well in advance – “An Extreme Horror Novel.”
This isn’t a book for the faint-hearted or the “maybe I’ll try reading a horror book” crowd. This is for the tried and true fans of the genre. The ones who don’t get squeamish much anymore. If you watch a horror movie and have ever thought ‘you know if they would have had more gore in that scene, or made it more offside,’ then this novel is for you.
I snagged this one specifically because of a Facebook comment. I’ve followed Duncan for some time on the various social media platforms and on his personal Facebook page, he’d posted that this book was on sale a while back.
Another person (I won’t mention who… but her name rhymes with Karen and her poetry book rhymes with Read, Read… cough cough) commented that she’d love to read this but didn’t think she had the stomach for it. SOLD!
The story within isn’t fun, nor kind, but by God did it scratch a lot of places in my horror brain that hadn’t been scratched in some time.
The story is pretty straight forward – we’re introduced to Angel, a man who has a scarred face and a scarred life. He’s checked into a familiar room at The Lonely Motel, a seedy, hourly place on the outskirts of town. The one’s most people drive by but never wish to stay in.
He calls an escort service and requests a specific lady and is pleased with Shyla when she arrives. It doesn’t take long for Angel to discover that his specific requests were exactly what he was looking for. Then Ralston runs us through the gamut as Angel tells Shyla some stories, seemingly random stories, as he explores Shyla. The stories are horrible, awful, heart-wrenching snippets of lives suffering and experiencing the worst there is.
But it’s all for a purpose and Duncan does a great job of keeping things unknown until they arrive at the right moment.
I really enjoyed this depraved jog through Angel and Shyla’s meeting and while normally this would probably say something about my mental state, most people who know me in real life, know I don’t really have a filter, nor do I have a line that can be crossed.
If you have more than one trigger issue with reading horror, you’ll probably tap and DNF at the first story Angel tells, if not for sure at the second. But if you can push through or don’t suffer from triggers, you’ll be in for a treat.
Star Rating (out of 5): 5*
“I believe pain lingers,” Angel said. “Do I believe in spirits? In the supernatural? Probably not.”
The Lonely Motel holds many dark secrets… and Room 6 just might possess the worst of them all.
Angel knows all about pain. His mother died in this room. He’s researched its history. Today he’s come back to end it, no matter the cost, once and for all.
Shyla, a plus-sized escort, thinks the stories Angel tells her can’t be true. Secrets so vile, you won’t want to let them inside you.
But the Lonely Motel doesn’t forget. It doesn’t forgive. And it always claims its victim.
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official Website here
The Girl Who Hid In The Trees
Something lurks just beyond.
Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.
Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.
Jason lost his brother when he was young. He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.
Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.
But something is waiting for them. She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.
She’s out there. And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.
From the dark mind of Steve Stred, the author of Wagon Buddy, YURI and Invisible comes this fast-paced, seat of your pants coming-of-age tale. A quick, violent, bleak read, The Girl Who Hid In The Trees will make you think twice about those sounds you hear far off in the woods.