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1.0 out of 5 starsAwful
Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2019
I seldom feel the need to leave a review for a book but this was absolutely horrible I finally stopped at 60% and could read it no more. Where to start? The characters you could care less about. The author threw in a gratuitous sex scene for who knows what reason . It was not scary at all it was just gross and morbid. Again I could not complete this book and threw it away. I am so glad I did not purchase the set of books. I will not be reading anything else by this author.
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat atmospheric tale of an old, supernatural evil!
Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2019
FOREST OF THE DAMNED is Book Three in Lee Mountford's Supernatural Horror Novel Series. These books are stand-alone novels: "Separate stories. The same terrifying universe."
In Amaley, Northern Scotland, the four person crew that made up "Paranormal Encounters Limited"--Ken, Tony, James, and Roberta--hike into an area known as 'The Black Forest'. Cameras and recorders on hand, they are hopeful that this next trip will give them what it is they seek.
". . . we are hopeful that our week-long stay in this forest will provide us with . . . irrefutable proof of the supernatural . . . "
From the very beginning, Mountford sets an ominous tone that I was instantly immersed in. Even the banter of a couple of the members helps to let the reader understand that there is something . . . different . . . about this place than the others that the group had previously investigated.
". . . The Black Woods ain't somewhere you want to be going. It ain't a place for the living."
Moving forward, we learn that the place is rumored to have once held a small town somewhere in its depths. Despite the fact that nobody who had gone searching for it in recent years had ever located it, the rumors persisted.
". . . He wanted everything the Black Forest had to offer."
Mountford nails the atmosphere in every single page of this novel. Even for someone "not" expecting supernatural encounters, the tension and the feeling of being "watched" by something unseen is impossible to shake. I could picture myself in the middle of a vast forest, without any discernible things in sight besides the trees and foliage.
That isn't quite right, though.
". . . sometimes, the other side breaks through."
There is more to this forest than what the eyes can see. There is a sense of wrongness so strong that even the readers can pick up on it within a few well-worded sentences.
". . . it looked more like some kind of disease than a burn mark or anything of that nature . . . "
The characters, too, begin to change. Where most had started out happily at the prospect of potentially finding some real supernatural presences, a day into the trip, and "most" are already wishing they had never stepped into the Black Forest. Even the shadows and the wind through the trees could be used to mentally break the strongest of wills.
"The lines of existence here . . . have blurred . . . "
It's important to note that changes the characters go through are all "plausible" in the context of the story. we are shown exactly how different forces are working on each individual, and the responses to this are as unique as the characters themselves.
". . . that was the thing with unresolved grief and guilt--it could override common sense and logic . . . "
Overall, I felt that FOREST OF THE DAMNED delivered everything I was hoping for. With a 'haunting in the woods' theme, it would have been easy for Mountford to lose himself in an old, "been done before" story. However, the basis for this concept and the nature of the occurrence was unique in many ways. The scenes were painted well enough to visualize clearly in my mind, and there were some unexpected changes along the way.
". . . mission over the past ten years had been to reveal the existence of the paranormal . . . he wished he could continue on in blissful ignorance again."
I find that it's often the details we least expect that elevate a novel's status in our mind, and keep it there longer. A great testament to Mountford's skill as a writer, is that I can still vividly "see" many of the scenes in my mind, several books afterward.
4.0 out of 5 starsAnother great book by Lee Mountford
Reviewed in the United States on March 19, 2019
Lee Mountford has this 'bit of something extra' in his storytelling. It's this unsettled disturbing vibe that is quietly introduced and grows with every chapter read. Forest of the Damned centers around a paranormal investigative team that plans to stay a week in a supposedly haunted forest. A forest they seriously underestimate. I literally had to stop reading at one point because I knew what was about to go down wasn't something I should read before going to bed. Definitely read this and check out Lee Mountford's other books. You'll never look at horror the same.
It started out ok but then became tedious and you could see the ending a mile away. The rape scenes were unnecessary and gratuitous. I couldn't wait for the book to end and had little sympathy for the characters.
5.0 out of 5 starsHorror in the woods vibe, AMAZING
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2019
Fantastic read as usual from Lee!! It had the same vibe as his first book “horror in the woods”. Which is my favorite of his, but this came in close second!! I love how all the books intertwine with eachother, each discovery you make that you can correlate with another story of his is like finding an Easter egg! The book kept my attention so hard i couldn’t sleep! I spent almost 6 hours reading it straight and I’m glad I did! I can’t wait for his next book to come out! I know it will be a winner! Thanks Lee!
5.0 out of 5 starsDoes the paranormal really exist?
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2019
If you love genuine horror, Lee Mountford is the way to go! Forest of the Damned keot me turning my ebook pages until I literally dropped my phone on my face because I was so tired. A story about a group of paranormal investigators whose goal is to prove the existence of the afterlife, come across stuff that would give anyone nightmares! 5 stars as always! Please check out the rest of this brilliant man's books! He is amazing!
Forest of the Damned...such a promising title and concept. But this is quite possibly one of the worst books I have ever read. Lee Mountford regurgitates the same phrases over and over again in his attempt to shock or elicit a response from the reader but it comes across as tiring and feeble. There are moments where you feel like something more may be about to happen but then it sputters out dully, leaving the reader frustrated and dissatisfied. When our protagonist(s) finally make it to the center of all spectral activity Mountford relies on banal cliches, gore, and cheap sexual imagery that adds nothing to the story line. It was at that point that I finally gave up...and I never give up on a book because some books are slow starters. But with Forest of the Damned I saw no reason to continue when it was not getting any better and I was more than half-way along. I really had no interest in how the story ended or in the fate of his shallow characters. Perhaps his other works are better but this one certainly did not make me want to find out. Stick with the likes of Joe Hill, Ruth Ware, Diane Setterfield, Ania Ahlborn, and Jonathan Auxier (specifically The Night Gardener) for true story-crafting.
Ken (leader), Tony, James and gf Roberta head to the Black Forest looking for paranormal adventure to post on their internet site. Ken's heard of it since he was a child, the missing village and the people who's gone missing from there. Ken has an ulterior motive for visiting the Black Forest and felt the need to confirm there's life after death due an unfortunate life event. The place is avoided by locals, cautious of it's dark history. From day one the crew experiences hard times, quick scares and attitude changes. Will they make it out alive or endure the same fate as the others before them?
5.0 out of 5 starsNot since childhood has a book given me genuine nightmares!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 2019
Lee Mountford hits a hole-in-one, a homerun and a first round knockout in this smoothly written novel - his best work yet. The tale follows four paranormal investigators who embark on a hike through the infamous Black Forest to uncover the legend of Mother Sibbit and the Lost Village. Little is known about these ancient woods, other than the warning of a local resident. The investigation has a promising start, but when one off their number goes missing, Hell is only the begining. Lee Mountford has already proved himself to be one of Britain's best horror writers working today, but The Forest of the Damned is his greatest achievement to date. His writing is fluid and flows at an ever increasing pace, building layer upon layer of intense horror and suspense. The characters are well developed and likeable, and Lee unleashes some of his most hideous and terrorfying creations so far. If you're serious about horror, get serious about this one. - Duncan Thompson.