The Hungry Ones – Chris Sorensen
Reviewed by Steve Stred
2018 was a banner year for indie authors, at least from my point of view. It may have been partly because I became significantly more involved in the community, but I think that played a small role in it.
As the releases kept coming, more and more indie authors pumped out fantastic release after fantastic release.
When all was said and done, Chris Sorensen’s release The Nightmare Room: Book 1 in The Messy Man Trilogy remained high on my list of top reads. It received universally high praise and even wedged itself into the Stoker considerations and rightfully so.
Book 2 now arrives and from all my interactions with Chris, it would be safe to say he is excited but also nervous. When a book delivers as The Nightmare Room does, who wouldn’t be nervous about its follow up? We’ve all seen the sophomore slumps in music before.
I finished The Hungry Ones last night and I can assure you all that Book 2 delivers in buckets.
For most of us voracious readers in the horror community, The Hungry Ones will be a one sit reading. I ended up reading it over a few days as I was trying to also finish two other books this weekend, but truth be told – almost any other time, this would be a 3-hour thrill fest for me.
The story picks up shortly after Book 1, but I need to let you all know this – Chris does such a fantastic job with this book that if you haven’t read The Nightmare Room and overlooked the trilogy description you’d be just fine. This is a sequel that works well as a standalone. It’s obviously connected through the trilogy storyline and all of the key characters from Book 1 are here, but the new setting and new characters introduced all play such a vital role that you’ll be just fine if you’ve missed part 1.
The story centres on Jessie and her purchasing of a motel. The motel played host to a horrendous rampage two years prior that resulted in numerous brutal deaths. So brutal that the spirits of those snuffed out still linger.
We get little rumblings of things to come at the beginning but when the Larson family from book 1 (Peter, Hannah and son Michael) arrive, things awaken and come into the light from out of the darkness.
Sorensen has this ability to keep you firmly on the edge of your seat throughout that you’ll need to stop and remember to breathe time and time again. As the action picks up and the puzzle pieces begin to fall in place Chris does a magnificent job of maintaining horror and scares while also building the emotional connections again that were so prevalent in Book 1.
I do need to point out that by moving the setting to a hotel, Chris is able to continue adding in new areas of creepiness. Motels have always been a staple of the horror world, but I didn’t feel like I was reading a book I’ve already read. It felt fresh and speaks to Sorensen’s ability to drive a haunted house narrative with possession themes in new exciting directions.
The ending was incredibly satisfying and answered a number of questions that Sorensen had asked earlier in the book. I enjoyed again that the ending closed the book but also gave an inkling into where Book 3 might head. I sure hope Jessie and Steph remain characters that play a role in Book 3 as they were both fun players added into this game. Jessie and Michael’s connection was really well done and I’d hope that Chris closes out some of their own stories in Book 3.
This was an easy 5-star read and I’ve already noted it on my spreadsheet as a book that will fall into my top reads of 2019. The anticipation for Book 3 will remain until it arrives on my Kindle. Here’s hoping we get to see it arrive in early 2020.
Star Rating (out of 5): 5*
The Hungry Ones
BOOK 2 OF THE MESSY MAN SERIES
The Nightmare Continues…
At the outskirts of Maple City sits the Crossroads Motel, a throwback to the days when the motor lodge was king. Two years ago, the motel was the site of an act so brutal that its buildings were left to rot.
Jessie Voss, however, sees promise in the Crossroad’s bare bones and buys it up, determined to breathe new life into the place.
When the Larson family shows up on her doorstep, road-weary and desperate for a break, Jessie offers them lodging, even though her grand opening is still a week away.
But the arrival of guests awakens the motel, and Jessie soon finds herself host to both the living and the dead.
Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak 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, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.
On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
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
Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?
Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.
Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?
But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.
While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.
The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.
The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.
Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.
YOU TAKE FROM ME
I TAKE FROM YOU
Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.
But what if it’s not…
What if there is something out there?
The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”
With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.
Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.
Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…