Ghost River- Chad Ryan
Orphan Rock, that little sunset town in the middle of the Ghost River Nation.
Locals call the land haunted. Wiser folk call it cursed.
Whatever the case may be, something evil’s stirring under the dirt. This is the story about the folks who still live out there. And the dead ones too.
Part horror, part American magical realism, Chad Ryan’s Ghost River is a dark, gritty, and desolate journey into the peaks and gulches of the human spirit.
First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to Chad Ryan for gifting me a copy of his book. This is no way affiliated with the outcome of this review.
This was the biggest book I've read so far this year, and wow. What a whirlwind?!
It's perfect that Chad placed an advisory warning at the start of the book, because JEESH, this book was another level of horror and disgusting imagery, so there is your first warning. I was so shocked at first as this isn't the typical genre that I'd actually pick up first and read, so I'm grateful I was thrown out of my comfort zone and as soon as I realised what the book was about, I slowly came to terms with the graphic nature of the book.
I'll be honest the first few chapters or so made me physically sick, but it helps you connect to the characters in the novel in such a weirdly addictive way. Chad's ability to create a whole other world, full of realms, religion, control; part magical realism and horror was overwhelmingly intriguing, for his debut novel, I'm honestly flabbergasted. Character development was key in this novel, as it's easy to be swayed and confused as some of the characters have multiple names, yet the more you read the more the clues and plot slowly unravelled. I feel as though it was written spectacularly as it remained at a steady, descriptive pace all the way through, and I wasn't bored at any moment.
I loved Chad's unique writing style, as it is like nothing I've ever read before, he cleverly switched between times through chapters which slowly made sense at the novel carried through, as it starts smack bang in the middle of action. The ability to create such powerful and dark imagery amazed me, I could easily see this being made into a film. I reckon there are plenty of authors out there who would love to push the boat out and convey such strong imagery and abusive nature, yet Chad grabbed this idea by the horns and ran with it, so pat on the back to Chad for having the courage to publish something so dark, and gritty. Isn't this what people want in a horror novel?
This novel was carefully crafted into a horrifying whole other world which makes you feel uneasy at every moment, which is a hard feeling to shake off, but this isn't a bad thing. It is actually terrifying to a great degree. I'd say to anyone who likes Stephen King to give Chad a chance, and read his novel. You will NOT be disappointed.
His power to make me emotional, shocked and disgusted all in one sitting is impressive, if I say so myself, without ruining the book, or adding any spoilers in, the darkness, the death, yet the incredibly raw scenes in this novel were delivered beautifully. I am really looking forward to reading another book from this author. Thank you again for giving me nightmares!