Monday, July 9, 2012

Wood by Robert Dunbar


"Blessed is the creature that knows its purpose."

Woods surround a blighted section of a nameless city, and after dark something creeps forth into the streets, something that preys upon humans ... and may ultimately replace them.

One winter night, it begins to stalk a runaway girl.

The monster just made its first mistake.
“...watched human beings do things to one another-right here I this alley more often than not- that approached levels of savagery of which few animals could boast.”


Wood by Robert Dunbar is a moody atmospheric horror tale that excels like almost no other work in creating a living breathing setting.  This is combined with Dunbar’s amazing ability to create characters with a real sense of depth, without resorting to any tired clich├ęs.  Dunbar’s prose is also some of the strongest in horror fiction bar none.  The story follows Rosaria’s escape from Juvenile detention to check on her ailing Nanna.  What follows are her encounters with a series of odd happenings and entities.  It would be fair to compare the narrative setup as being similar to a fairytale. 

What is clear is that Rosaria is being stalked by a creature or entity that is kept masterfully in shadows for the story’s bulk.  Here is Wood’s only failing, I found the reveal to be entirely underwhelming.  Perhaps this is because the tension was drawn so tight there was no reveal that I would have found satisfying.  While the Novella still ends on a high note the creature’s reveal was just underwhelming. 

In the End;

In Wood Robert Dunabr has creates an eerie setting that you can almost reach out and touch populated by well-constructed characters and events.  While the creature reveal didn’t work for me personally I would still recommend this novella.   

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