Something is happening to the children of Morgantown... One by one, they are claimed by a strange illness that cannot be identified. Night after night, they are haunted by terrifying creatures that invade their dreams. Moment to moment, they dread the final hours of daylight. When the towering mountain called Thunder Rise casts its shadow over the town. When childhood innocence surrenders to primal fear. When evil reaches out-and into-their minds.
©1989 G. Wayne Miller (P)2013 David N. Wilson
I loved this book!!!!! Great read, from beginning to end. The story takes A LOT of twists, and turns, from character to character. Miller does a great job of developing each and every character. The plot is AWESOME, and the writing pulls you into this town and its plight. It starts out with Brad and his 5 yr old daughter Abigail leaving New York and his psychotic druggie actress ex wife for a country setting near Thunder Rise Mountain. Soon Abby & many other children become ill and have horrifying nightmares. All about horrible evil talking creatures that only children can see. Bear, Wolf Vulture and Snake. Turns out there's an old indian legend that an evil deity is imprisoned in Thunder Rise and just waiting for the chance to escape and steal the souls of young children. hmmmmm Charlie one of the last indians of a local tribe is on a quest to save not only his nephew Tommy but the other children as well. I wish the adults would have been "let in on what is really going on" allot sooner. I loved the small town doctor as well. Its not everyday you see one going out on a limb for their patients and one with such an open mind. I loved the characters! My biggest complaint is that the sequels have nothing to do with the characters in this book. I thought the ending was setting us up for Book 2 and book 3. Nope. Totally new stories about Thunder Rise and its mystic. Don't get me wrong. There is a resolution BUT I would love to know if Brad's ex wife goes to jail or if Brad and Thomascina, his love interest, end up together. Overall a GREAT read. I loved it!
I don't want to be too harsh in my review, because 1) there's still a lot that's done right in this book, and 2), other readers/listeners might not be put off by the same aspects of the work I was.
I liked the premise: an unspeakable evil has reawakened to victimize a small, relatively isolated community, preying on the community's most vulnerable members: children. G Wayne Miller writes well, and the book's overall outline/plot arc is entertaining, if overlong.
However, none of the characters in the book is particularly well-drawn out (in fact, two relatively minor characters are inexplicably given more detailed backgrounds than most of the principles). Moreover, I found several of the main characters to be fairly unlikable, although I don't believe that's the author's intention..The protagonist in particular seems to be kind of a jerk, waging a not-so-private war with his ex-wife (a nasty piece of work herself) at the expense of their daughter. But at the worst, their seemed to be no life to these characters.
And one VERY big complaint I have, which is no fault of either the writer or the narrator, is that the audio production is very sloppy in places. This ranges from weird buzzing sounds after chapters (tolerable), to long (maybe 45 seconds or so) periods of silence (not too cool) to the volume actually going out for a few seconds and then coming back as if a volume knob had been lowered and then raised, interrupting the text (unacceptable).
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