Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review - "Island of the Forbidden" by Hunter Shea

Let me begin with a little confession.  While I love everything I have read by Hunter Shea, I only first read one of his books less than a year ago.  Given the extremely limited time I have to read things that are not in the form of a textbook, I have not read nearly as much as I would like to by Hunter.  With that in mind, it may not come as a surprise to you that I did not realize that this novel was a continuation of a character’s story from some of his earlier work.  It became clear shortly into reading that this was the case as backstory was referenced.  I began to fear that I would not be able to do a worthwhile review that gave an honest, fair opinion of this novel if I had trouble due to a lack of background knowledge on the character.  I decided to continue on with my reading and hope for the best.  Not long after getting past the point of my concern, I found myself not wanting to put this book down and realizing, yet again, that Hunter Shea is an amazing story teller.

Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?

Despite not having read the previous books, I had little trouble finding the characters engaging from the start.  Hunter Shea does an excellent job of providing an adequate amount of backstory for readers like myself who make the mistake of picking up a book that comes later in a character’s story without spending a large amount of page space rehashing previous writing.  He wastes no time getting right into the thrill of the current tale and drawing us into the story, hooking us quickly and relentlessly.  I quickly found myself drawn into the mystery of what was happening and was turning pages with equal levels of anticipation and hesitation as the thrills and chills piled up.  The characters were well written and Hunter Shea does a great job of really breathing life into them. 

Overall, I found myself in a rare position where I had no complaints about a novel.  While I would much rather have read the previous stories first, I was still able to really dive into this book and let Hunter Shea take me for a thrill ride one page at a time.  All of the horror, suspense, action, and character development I have come to expect from Hunter Shea’s work were present in large amounts.  This is definitely a novel for fans and new readers alike (although you may want to read the earlier novels first).

So what’s the Rage Circus breakdown?

Story Concept – 4.5/5
Story Execution - 5/5
Story Flow – 4.5/5
Character Development (give-a-damn factor) - 5/5
Gripping visuals/details - 5/5
Entertainment Value/Story Engagement - 5/5
Editing (including grammar and spelling) – 4.5/5

Overall – 4.79/5 – DISCOVER THE MYSTERY OF ORMSBY ISLAND, READ Island of the Forbidden TODAY!

Island of the Forbidden by Hunter Shea continues the story of Jessica Bockman, the ghost-hunting heroine who has appeared in Forest of Shadows, The Graveyard Speaks and Sinister Entity, all published by Samhain Horror. 
You can get your copy of Island of the Forbidden at any of the following:


Samhain Horror:

Barnes and Noble:

Hunter Shea, Biography
Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity,  HellHole and Island of the Forbidden, which are all published by Samhain Horror. 
The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle. His second Kensington novel, Tortures of the Damned, will be published later this year.
He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls.
His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.
He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.