Published by Meridian Codex Books on 6.22.14
Genres: Dark Fantasy
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Saul, who has lived his entire life on the edge of the Copperton Forest—known for its strange and unusual wildlife—knows little about what stalks him. He knows only that it is dark, and powerful, and unnamable—and that it has stolen his nine-year-old son, Ezzy, from him. Now he must travel into those ethereal woods, further upriver than he’s ever gone, into a wondrous, yet surreal and nightmarish world unlike anything he’s ever known, to recover his son from the shadows, if he can survive the journey…
Shadow Animals is a novella of dark fantasy. It’s quite different from anything I’ve read from this author before.
Imaginatively written world building sets us deep into the woods of New Mexico in the Copperton forest. An area not fully mapped to this very day. There, our protagonist, Saul, is searching for his lost son Ephraim. During his journey, Saul encounters beings never before heard or thought of, a town unreachable by any normal means, and help from an unexpected source. That’s all I will say about the plot.
I enjoyed the character of Saul and I liked Koryn as well. They were believable and the author had me caring for them both quite a bit. I loved the imagination shown in creating Ji/Ja, but I would have liked to have known a little bit more about how they(it?) came to be and the town/environment in which they lived. Perhaps this is something I can look forward to learning more about in the future? I hope so!
The only other issue I had was that the novella ended rather abruptly at 82%, which left me wanting.
Overall, I thought this was a creative piece of work that I enjoyed and would recommend to fans of dark fantasy and horror. I am hoping that there will be more stories set in this world in the future, because this novella could be the bare bones of something truly wondrous.
*I was provided a free e-book of Shadow Animals by Horror After Dark in exchange for an honest review. This is it.*