Publication Date: May 17, 2013
In Frostwalker by Brandon Luffman, the town Wynn in North Carolina is facing the worst snowstorm in years when a hunter goes missing in the woods behind Jake Marsdon’s house. Jake has been having nightmares compelling him to visit the woods. An ancient evil lurks threatening all that Jake holds dear. Can he beat the monster that lurks or will Wynn fall victim to its curse?
The author, Brandon Luffman, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
In the age of “Twilight”, stories featuring paranormal beings get a bad rap. People browse the Amazon shelves and see a novel described as a zombie story and groan heavily. “Not again,” they say, “no more paranormal creatures.” I can tell you, readers, this novel is like no other paranormal novel you have ever read. For its faults, Luffman’s story is wildly original. There are horror and lore aspects reminiscent of the work of Stephen King without King’s legendary inability to self-edit. This is the story you tell around the bonfire when you live in a wooded area. It’s chilling horror that thrills with a sense of danger.
Luffman presents the reader with an elaborate story that was overall a beautifully written piece. One of my favorite scenes involved Butchie. Butchie is a dog that is wandering the woods. He knows he’s a good dog because his alpha tells him that he is. Butchie’s internal dialogue reminded me of a non-fiction book I read and reviewed not long ago regarding working dogs. His storyline felt very authentic.
In contrast, the internal dialogue of the other characters felt forced for the most part. I know that some readers will find Jake’s internal dialogue as it relates to Nancy endearing. I found his internal dialogue a little precious for a man his age. Danger and a sense of urgency forge quick connections and their relationship is believable without the sense of a scene overacted.
In contrast, Jake’s relationship with his best friend Eric seemed very natural. I worked hard not to hate Eric for using the word “Awesomesauce” and in the end, they were regular guys. Eric’s relationship with his long-term girlfriend is very smoothly written. They are a natural team for what they will next face.
While it takes a long time for Luffman to get to the action, he wisely builds tension while the main characters go Christmas shopping, eat take-out food and experience obsessive dreams. Luffman does creepy very well. When we finally get an answer to what happened to the missing hunter the scene is so horrifying that I want to go back and read it over and over. Poor Rhonda. I would be remiss in not mentioning the cover which ties into a wonderfully written scene in which a hunter sees the ancient force tearing a deer apart. Very fitting.
For all the brilliance imbued in the storyline and obvious thought to construction, the ending was too pat. While the ending made sense and came together, it was somewhat disappointing in light of what the main text led a reader to expect.
I would highly recommend this book to those readers who like paranormal stories. If you don’t like zombies, don’t think of this as a zombie novel. Frostwalker is a more original animal. Horrifyingly beautiful. If you live in a wooded area, as I do, you might want to leave the lights on for this one. Please also check out our review of Brandon Luffman’s The Card.
If this sounds like a book for you, read an excerpt and buy the Frostwalker by Brandon Luffman on