Author: Andrew Richardson
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publication date: May 2009
Length: 238 pages
Reviewer: Clayton Bye
Kath Mahoney has written a book debunking Celtic Legends. To celebrate the book’s launch, Kath and a group of friends are invited to join in a real-life role playing adventure based on the same Myths she professes to disbelieve. The game is to take place in a mysterious wood, supposedly within one of the many Celtic Otherworlds.
From the outset of their journey, the nine participants are beset by unearthly forces and creatures which appear to be far too realistic. As the quest degenerates into a struggle to survive, each of them must answer the question “Are they in an Otherworld?”
The Woods is a decent read. Richardson slowly ramps up the horror until the story becomes a gruesome depiction of survival at any cost. He does this well enough that I was shocked when the graphic violence exploded off the pages.
The author didn’t fare so well with other writing challenges. In his attempt to keep his characters separate and true to form (which he did), Richardson became irritatingly repetitive. I would be happy if I never again read the word “peridot” or saw the phrases “bit a lip” or “chewed a lip.” I also found the heroine, Kath, far too in touch with the supposed undercurrents of evil for someone who isn’t a believer in the supernatural. And her decision at the end of the story didn’t make sense. There was no apparent or logical reason for her to make the choice she did. I was left thinking “How absurd.”
Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye 2009
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