Everyone had an agenda, and it just seemed like coincidence - and of little consequence - that they happened to end up in the small town of Cedar Falls, nestled at the base of Bakers Mountain, deep in the ancient Taconic Mountain range. Completely involved - even obsessed - with their own pursuits, it was hardly surprising that the visitors would be unaware of older agendas both within the dying town and up in the forests and ridges of the mountain looming above.
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 4
This is out of my comfort zone genre wise, being far more menacing and dark than titles I normally review. It started out without great menace, with the darker tones coming as experiences with the occult began to occur. That being said, I was captivated with the story: could visualize the environment and the flora and fauna, and found myself immersed in the mountains that are so beautiful and can be so menacing.
At times feeling like a story around the fire, then switching to show the author’s knowledge of how things work and his characters, each moment was a new revelation. Each character is defined and developed in pieces, both wholly complete and incomplete leaving their faults, foibles and agendas to be doled out in tiny pieces as the tension builds. Sadly, with so many characters and so many personal stories that intersect, parallel and diverge, it was often hard to both keep track of each and find them leaving a lasting memory or fully drawn impression. Ideally half of the characters would have been eliminated in this story, and perhaps a second story to bring in their views on the overall.
Rammeling narrated the audiobook himself, his familiarity with the text and his hints that foreshadowed the ‘spooky moments with a soft tonal difference in his voice. He has a particular timbre to his voice, with a reverberation and tone that is rich and full of bass. There was, however, hollowness in the recording, much as if the recording was done in a shower room or there was no soundproofing in the recording studio. While notable, it was not dramatically distracting and was an interesting accompaniment to the story.
I couldn’t stop thinking about what next in this story, and found myself taking extra ‘listening time’ when I should have been working on other things. This is the perfect accompanying listen for a long car trip, preferably heading out to camp in the mountains of New England.
I received an AudioBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.