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The Haunted Forest Tour / James A. Moore & Jeff Strand

th1506.jpgEarthling Publications / October 2007
Reviewed by: Jeff Burk

Earthling Publications is back with the latest edition in their annual Halloween Series. Combining gallows humor with a non-stop parade of atrocities, The Haunted Forest Tour by James A. Moore and Jeff Strand is a non-stop monster-mash that mixes Jurassic Park with every creature-feature ever imagined.

In the middle of nowhere, aka Cromay, New Mexico, H. F. Enterprises runs The Haunted Forest Tour, a tourist attraction like no other. Where else can one see real-life werewolves, ghosts, giant spiders, aliens, dragons, and every other fantasy creature imaginable, all within the safety of a reinforced, heavily armored tram car? This Halloween, the tour will go deeper into the Forest then ever before and only a lucky few will be apart of it. Of course, the festivities go terribly awry.

Moore and Strand manage their freak-fest with originality and gusto. While the plot may sound like a by-the-numbers gore fest, the authors ramp up the chaos every few pages. Once the tour gets into the forest, the reader is never given a chance to catch his or her, with each scene more graphic, thrilling, and surreal than the one before.

The book is filled with a large and varied cast of characters (about a dozen) who are the driving force in the novel's horrific scenario. The large cast never becomes confusing, as each character leaps from the page with their own distinctive voices and motivations. While the extreme violence of the book will be what many readers will most vividly remember, the characters are what will keep one riveted through the end. There is no predicting who the survivors will be as Moore and Strand tear apart their cast with gleeful abandon.

If the aim of The Haunted Forest Tour is to thrill and titillate the reader through all manner of violent horror, then it succeeds wonderfully. Moore and Strand continuously assault the reader with scene after scene of monsters assaulting the characters. The events never become repetitive as both authors present more creative ideas per chapter than many entire horror novels.

It is obvious that Moore and Strand had a blast writing this book. Their macabre merriment (along with other substances) drips off each page. For those who may have missed this literary confection, The Haunted Forest Tour would make for a perfect post-Halloween treat with its endless supply of monsters, blood, and fun.

Purchase The Haunted Forest Tour by James A. Moore and Jeff Strand.

Posted on Monday, November 5, 2007 at 07:51AM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

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