If you’re a fan of the zombie apocalypse (and who isn’t?), you may want to pick up a copy of Brandon Luffman’s Frostwalker. It’s not great literature, but it is well written, entertaining, and a pretty good way to spend a few hours if you enjoy spending time with the undead. I grabbed it off my TBR list for an escape after working my way through a couple of deeper reads this past week, and it provided just the right touch of horror that makes for an enjoyable but not too over-the-top-frightening read. You know the kind – you get involved with the characters, you’re willing to go along for the ride, but you don’t lay awake all night jumping at every little sound after reading it.
As the tale begins, local geek business owner, Jake Marsden, has been sleepwalking into the woods every night, dreaming of both a light and a darkness. When an ancient evil begins to take out his small town’s citizens one by one, Jake and his friends are the town’s best hope for deliverance.
I don’t know what it is with me, but the minute a big, strong, silent Indian guy shows up, I’m in for the long run. The inclusion of native American elements in tales about terrors that come from the woods is not overly original, but it did add to my enjoyment of the story. I also enjoyed the inclusion of female characters who were partners with and equal to the men instead of only sex objects or mother figures who cringe in the background and have no concept of how to defend themselves.
Author Luffman has a particular talent for description: he painted vivid pictures of the action of the story, and I always felt firmly grounded in each scene. He is more than capable in this critical component of a story that depended almost entirely on physical threat from scary monsters for suspense.
Where the author shows a lower level of skill is with dialogue. At times, I found myself wishing that the characters would stop talking, because I began to like them less – it isn’t that the author is particularly bad at dialogue, it’s simply that his characters are ordinary people, and ordinary people say ordinary things. Fortunately, the novel took place primarily through descriptive passages. Dialogue was sparingly used to show just enough interaction between the characters to establish personality and relationships.
Overall, when comparing Frostwalker to other action-based horror novels, I give it something between a 3.5 and a 4. Fans of the zombie novel should definitely consider purchasing it, and fans of more general horror might also want to give it a go. The squeamish will want to skip it because of the graphic descriptions of the typical gore left behind when zombies attack.
Currently available for $3.99 in ebook format, I feel the novel is appropriately priced. You can pick up a copy from Amazon.com by clicking here, or snatch it from iTunes by clicking here. For you old-skoolers, it is also available in a paperback edition from Amazon.