The Reddening by Adam Nevill

The Reddening

The Reddening
by Adam Nevill

Horror/Folk Horror/Supernatural

415 Pages

Published by Ritual Limited (31st October 2019)

Purchase From | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Booktopia* | Fishpond AU* | Book Depository* | | Dymocks |

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My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Katrine moved to a quite seaside coastal town after her life fell apart. Working for a lifestyle magazine, and dating a younger man has helped her heal in some ways, but the past still rises up to haunt her at times. After an ancient burial cave is discovered in nearby Brickburgh and she covers the story, her life begins to change again, only this time not for the better. A dark shadow that follows the found human remains and the reason behind it begins to haunt her days.

Helene is a single mum, she lost her brother six years ago in an apparent suicide near Brickburgh, and she hasn’t really let herself grieve, until she comes across a bunch of CD’s from Lincoln’s adventures recording subterranean sounds. It leads her back to Brickburgh to finally find out what really happened to her brother, and what is the cause behind the bone chilling sounds she hears.

Rumors of hidden drug plantations and the strange sightings recorded of these “Red Folk” surround the homestead of a retired rocker along with strange disappearances and suicides in the area, and let’s not forget the myth of an ancient hungry beast said to live beneath the Earth…

I picked this book up straight off the back of finishing Nevill’s other book The Last Days. I absolutely LOVED Last Days and I had a book hang over so figured following up with another of Nevill’s catalogue would work just fine and was probably the best idea. However, this one let me down a bit.

The story opens on an unknown couple who experience the Red Folk in a truly horrifying way which I felt really set the scene and made me excited for what was to come. However, I’m not sure if it was because this story jumped between two alternating points of view, or what, but the story really fell flat. It felt like it took a long while to pick up and become riveting which made me sad because the premise of this book is fantastic! The story seemed a bit convoluted in the first third odd of the book, which I put down to the alternating points of view, I felt as though I was being thrown out of the story. I almost feel like simply following Katrine’s POV would have worked even better for the story, even though Helene’s story was interesting, and it lent a little bit of building to the overall plot, I almost feel like it still could have happened without us moving between the two.

This story had definite creep factor and I absolutely loved the lore behind the Red Folk and that which they worship. It also really set the atmosphere for isolation and abandonment which I felt really put me into the story and felt what the characters were feeling, which believe me, wasn’t very good at all haha. I felt Katrine’s entrapment and her being cut off not knowing where to turn. I also felt Helene’s horror at realising what had really happened to her brother all those years ago, and her fear at leaving her little girl behind.

I really loved the lore in this story, it was well rounded and the explanation towards the end of how the people of today came across the ancient beast was fantastic. Nevill is amazing at being able to set the scene and write a story that feels so realistic that it’s terrifying. Finding out how deep the ties of the Red Folk run was amazing and not something I was expecting. Though a certain side character that Katrine finds out too late is a part of it, I had already kind of picked due to information given earlier in the story, it’s not a deal breaker though, it more resulted in me going ‘NO YOU STUPID WOMAN!! RUN AWAY!”

Nevill really is a master of his craft, and it’s so difficult to find good horror writer’s who don’t rely simply on shock value, though I will say, I found this book to be more gruesome than Last Days with more body horror than supernatural horror, so do be prepared for that. There are animal deaths, but they’re not glorified or dwelled on they are just used to bolster the destruction in a certain part, so if that’s a trigger for you as it is for me, know that it’s there, but it’s easy to pass over.

All in all, the premise was interesting and the pacing really picked up in the last quarter of the book, however it did drag a bit and took a while to get going. Not one of my favourites from this author, but I’m planning on working my way through is catalogue as I’m impressed with his style and I really enjoy his stories for the most part.

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