Brian Keene shows that he is in top form with his latest (and last release) release from Leisure Books.
A Gathering Of Crows not only brings back the fan favorite character, Levi Stolzfus, but also shows that Keene is an ever evolving writer who is poised to take more than the genre by storm, and vehemently claiming modern horror as his own. This is a novel that not only attacks with visceral action and horror, but also hits you in a more emotional place - with a dark, dreadful feeling - that only Keene can pull off this well.
From the Leisure website:
Brinkley Springs is a quiet little town. Some say the town is dying. They don’t know how right they are. Five mysterious figures are about to pay a little visit to Brinkley Springs. They have existed for centuries, emerging from the shadows only to destroy, to kill. To feed. They bring with them terror and carnage, and leave death and blood in their wake. As the night wears on, Brinkley Springs will be quiet no longer. Screams will break the silence. But when the sun rises again, will there be anyone left to hear?
From the beginning of this novel you know that you're in for what is possibly going to be one of Keene's finest efforts. The opening paragraphs are written with such aplomb that I found myself trusting Keene's flow implicitly, and got lost in the story so quickly. This is a very, very fast read, packed with enough Keene trademark characters that it's easy to become increasingly confortable and watch the hours tick away. His writing style is faithful to the perfection that was Dark Hollow and The Rising, but with a more matured and worldly feel to it this time around. To me, Keene's novels are usually a whirwind of satisfying horror, tempered with a certain element of knowledgeable dedication to the horror genre; but this one was much more than that. This is what it feels like to wait for something for so long, and to end up being sufficiently satiated - yet craving more.
The craving for more reveals itself (to me) in the form of the character Levi Stolzfus. Never have I read a character so engrossing, entertaining, and yet so familiar and surprising as the aforementioned Stolzfus. His back story is only hinted at in Dark Hollow and Ghost Walk, but with each appearance becomes something less secret - as evidenced by his appearance in this novel. If you've ever read a Brian Keene novel, you already know what it is that makes this character a fan favorite. If not, well...you really have to get out there and dive in.
As usual, Keene's writing is as tight as hospital corners and as action packed as a frog in a blender. There are moments in this novel where the action slows down, but only for a moment as Keene takes us through very detailed (and incredibly complex) explainations of the mythos involved in so many of his books. Keene obviously does his homework before he sits down to craft these incredible efforts. It's no surprise that the Keene brand is known as on that does not fail to deliver.
As usual, you can find Brian on Twitter and his website, as well as the forum hosted by his website - The Keenedom (registration necessary).
Also, keep a look out for some VERY interesting news in the next few months. As per Keene via his website and Twitter, if you're a fan, you should save $125 by 10/01/10 - and be ready for Maelstrom.
I know I will.