New Era: Tommy B. Smith
Reviewed By Sarah J. Huntington
This was an enjoyable book and although it fell flat with mundane details in a couple of places, I liked it and I found myself eager to find out what happened next.
The story begins with Terry and Marjorie and the year is 1982. They are a couple who wanted to escape the dangers of the city and decided to build a remote cabin. They stumble upon a curious Black Carmenia flower, and eventually, many more sinister things occur. The land does not truly belong to them.
The reader then jumps back to 1918, and we follow Raleigh and his family. So, we essentially have two timelines to follow. The author does make a good job of this and it runs fairly smoothly without being confusing or jagged although I didn’t fully understand Raleigh’s motivation, his behaviour was irrational and without much explanation. I think his character was a little underdeveloped.
Most of the other characters are likeable, well-formed, and believable but some of the female characters are not and I found that I didn’t particularly care about any of them. The reasoning behind Marjorie’s insomnia, stress, and need to leave the city was, in my opinion, weak, and unrealistic. She is a poor portrayal of a middle-aged woman and of women in general. Terry and Majorie’s daughter Natalie was a nice addition and she was interesting and stronger than her mother.
That being said, the plot of the book is quite unique, and it’s compelling enough to capture the reader’s attention.
Interesting mythology in the form of Uktena, the horned serpent, is used. I haven’t come across this in a fiction book before, and this makes the whole story quite exciting. What I liked best was how it all connected together and flowed really well. It was easy to picture the scenes playing out inside my mind, the ending was done well and left open for a sequel with new characters.
Tommy B. Smith has clearly worked hard on New Era and it did show. There was real emotion with plenty of tension at times. The reader can feel that and as a concept, it was very chilling, especially if a person is afraid of snakes.
I would definitely read this again at a later date and I’ll likely buy the paperback version too. I would also be interested to see how the story might continue. This is absolutely worth reading and there is plenty of horror to enjoy.
Insomnia. Headaches. Fear.
It drove Marjorie down, cost her a career, and almost destroyed her marriage. When she and her husband Terry escaped to the quiet green countryside west of the Mississippi River, their new home, it seemed too good to last.
The snake-ridden adjoining property, bordered by a row of maple trees, hosts a deadly secret. There the blood of fiends and innocents stain the crumbling ruins of an old farmhouse, a decaying testament to a web of treachery and murder stretching back to distant times.
The horror in the ruins watches in wait. Marjorie fears the end, and the end is coming.
Sarah Jane Huntington
I am the author of several short horror story collections, Paint it Black, Iron Maidens, Between light and shadow and Waves of Mutilation.
Cabin Terror is my first full-length novel.
My stories have appeared in a few anthologies so far.
I am a nurse, currently working in hospice care.
You can follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJaneHunti1