Salvation Spring: T.C. Parker
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I keep seeing the name T.C. Parker come up time and time again for authors I should read. Having connected with T.C. a while back on Twitter, it’s been great seeing her various releases come out and see her books do so well.
Now, I want to caveat this review by saying – ‘Salvation Spring’ just so happened to share a release date with a recent release of mine (co-written with David Sodergren) so I was excited to watch people share the ‘happy release day!’ posts and tweets with us. What I will say, is that going into this book I believed it was a western-horror (both from the cover and the category it shared with my own release) and the only bit of the synopsis I really knew was that the character Sasha seems to have this pull, this drawback to Salvation Spring.
What I liked: Parker crafts a very intriguing, borderline post-apocalyptic story with ‘Salvation Spring.’ The story does in fact follow Sasha as she finds herself back in Salvation Spring. Back to this place where she knows she’s supposed to remember things but can’t. This place holds a key to her past and her ‘why’ but what it is? She doesn’t know and wants to find out.
One thing Parker really excelled at here was atmosphere. This book had a palpable feeling of that moment right before you rip the band-aid off. Something was primed to happen and you just dance and get excited awaiting that moment.
When things kind of get revealed and Sasha sees the true forms of different characters and creatures, that was a fantastic moment and really a highlight for me.
The story arc itself was incredibly intriguing and how it wraps up had me curious to see if this was going to have a follow up at some point in the future.
What I didn’t like: I really, really struggled to know when this book took place. I went in thinking this was a western/horror mash-up, thinking we were dealing with the old west, a few centuries back, but references to Sasha’s driver’s license as well as specific movie moments involving Kathleen Turner and Linda Fiorentino. It really messed with my perception of the ‘when’ of the book, as I’d been so stuck on this taking place in the early 18th century.
Why you should buy this: Parker is a fantastic writer and while this book left me a bit stumbled for the time period, the core theme of this book was fantastic and really opened the door for the carnage within. I’d love to share the exact theme, but don’t want to give anything away.
Overall, I had a fun time with this one, and I think a lot of people will enjoy the darkness and brutality that Parker delivers.
She doesn’t know where she’s been, these last few years, or how she came by the scars that mark her body. She can barely remember who she is, a lot of the time.
But Sasha knows Salvation Spring, the tiny nowhere town out in the middle of the desert that calls to her in dreams and haunts her waking life.
Getting there is hard. But what she’ll find there – and what the place will ask of her – will be much, much harder.
Because the Spring isn’t what it seems – far from it. And neither, for that matter, is Sasha.
Not by a long way.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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