ARBOREATUM by Evans Light
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of ArborEATum by Evans Light
When I grow up I want to learn to write poetic description like Author Evans Light. This is an electrifying and vibrantly vivid tale of Wild West horror. Religiosity becomes psychosis on a long journey West across the plains, putting families in jeopardy, and crossing boundaries that should never have been crossed. Abuse of power is abuse no matter who wields that tool, and Lemuel—self-appointed “Messiah,” propounder of religious visions—leads a small group of pioneers (his family plus his best friend’s family) into what may be a literal new Garden of Eden—or it may be a nightmare beyond recall or escape.
The escalation of tension, so gentle and subtle, is exquisite. The readers keep pondering, “Is too good to be true, true, or a façade?” Scarcely two days into the “new Garden” everybody and everything begins to change; a wise person would probably “run for the hills,” but it’s unfortunately true that humans like to take the path of least resistance and usually manage to fall for a con, whether it’s a manmade trap or one of preternatural design.
Now the question of horror: this is one terrifying book! By the time I had reached midpoint, I had developed permanent chills, not just up and down my spine, but all over. “ArborEATum” carries that implacable juggernaut style of horror that for me is the best horror there is—the utterly inescapable, back to the wall, no way out, give up and take it kind of horror. No escape—and the reasoning behind it, Mr. Light’s particular spin on the mythology and religion: oh, my! I don’t know how I am going to sleep tonight. I’ve always loved trees and wished to live surrounded by them, but now? Not so.
I reviewed a complimentary copy kindly provided by the author.
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