Wednesday, 15 April 2009

‘The Bone Factory’ – Nate Kenyon

When I was younger I used to think that horror was all about monsters and the supernatural which is fair enough when you’re a child. As I grew older though (and thanks to repeat watching of ‘Dawn of the Dead’, which is a great film) it became a lot clearer that humans don’t really need monsters when we are more than capable of doing horrific things all by ourselves...
I’ve still got a soft spot for the supernatural but am beginning to really get into the other kind of horror as well. Nate Kenyon’s latest offering has a little bit of both and not only is that just the way I like it but it’s a very good read at the same time...

The only news bigger than the reopening of the hydropower plant, in the Canadian town of Jackson, are the deaths and disappearances that have begun to happen in the meantime. A farmer has been found horribly mutilated, a little girl has disappeared and so has the deputy sheriff who came across something horrifying deep in the woods...David Pierce has just taken a job in the plant and he is about to find that his four year old daughter’s nightmares are more than just bad dreams. The ‘blue man’ is coming and he is bringing terror and pain with him...

After reading ‘Bloodstone’ I knew that Nate Kenyon was an author that I would need to keep an eye open for, ‘The Reach’ confirmed my suspicions. The only slight sticking point though was that both books were a little too ‘Stephen King’ for my liking. Both books were good but what I was looking for was to see what Kenyon’s work would be like when he ‘struck out on his own’...
While there are some influences that you just can’t escape from, ‘The Bone Factory’ sees Kenyon strike out on his own and show without a doubt that he has got what it takes to write top notch horror.

The action takes place in a snowbound Canadian town and right at the very heart of a psyche that has been tortured beyond breaking point. Kenyon flits between both and uses them to build up a plot where the tension is racked up to the extreme before readers are hit by scenes that do more than just make you jump...
Kenyon proves himself to be a real master with this, writing the kind of scenes where you’re glad that you’re not the guy who thinks there is someone watching his family from the woods... There may not be much out there in those woods but Kenyon really makes the silence work for him. There’s nothing there but... is that a footprint? And what was that in the corner of your eye? There were a couple of moments where I had to resort to a little skim reading as the tension got too much!

There are also elements of the supernatural that add an air of mystery to ‘The Bone Factory’ and these left me wondering if there was more to the story than met the eye. The best kind of horror/ghost story is the one that leaves you with that real uneasy feeling when you finish the book and ‘The Bone Factory’ delivers as far as this is concerned!

The only area where I felt ‘The Bone Factory’ fell down slightly was its habit of occasionally going into a little too much detail about the circumstances of the villain of the piece. This approach didn’t detract from the tension but it did come across as an ‘info-dump’ approach that got in the way of the story itself and stopped things flowing as smoothly as they could have done.

This is only a small niggle though. ‘The Bone Factory’ more than adds to Nate Kenyon’s growing reputation as someone to watch out for if you’re a fan of horror fiction. It isn’t actually published until July, do yourself a favour and grab a copy when you see one.

Eight and Three Quarters out of Ten

2 comments:

Mishel said...

I'm not a big horror fan but this sounds pretty darn interesting. Thanks for the review! I'll have to look for this one.

Dark Wolf said...

Unfortunately humans can make monsters look like babies sometimes. This sounds like an interesting book.