I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.by D. Nathan Hilliard
Published by Createspace on August 31, 2015
Genres: Cosmic Horror, Dark Fantasy, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Supernatural
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Welcome to Coventry Woods,
...a tranquil, middle class neighborhood where trees turn the streets into shady tunnels, soccer moms jog on secluded paths, and backyard barbeques are weekend staples. It's a quiet, urban example of the American dream. Here businessmen are neighbors with radio DJs, young doctors buy their first houses, and author Mark Garrett has been settling in with his lovely new wife and stepdaughter.
But tonight Coventry Woods is going to come with something Mark never bargained on.
The pits of hell have yawned wide and poured their contents into the midnight streets and homes. Everything has gone insane. Shots and screams ring out in the night, while death stalks the darkness in forms this earth has never before seen. Even worse, the only hope of escape is by foot.
Now Mark, along with his stepdaughter and his back-fence neighbor, must flee the neighborhood while attempting to help anybody they meet. And it won't be easy. They will be walking a gauntlet of unearthly predators, as they strive toward a goal they aren't even sure still exists...the outside world.
NIGHTWALK, by D. Nathan Hilliard is a fast paced, relentless novel that I loathed to put down. Hilliard’s story combines some fantastic sarcasm and quick wit alongside blood-drenching, horrific scenes straight from the nightmares of H.P. Lovecraft, himself. This unique gem of a horror novel starts out running from the very first few pages.
Something bad–inexplicably bad–has happened in the area of Coventry Woods. Something that only those awake at the time will have the chance to bear witness to.
“This wasn’t Coventry Woods anymore.”
Those “lucky” enough to be awake will walk out into a nightmare world that they once knew so well. A world now inhabited by bloodthirsty, monstrous atrocities that defy explanation. As if that wasn’t enough, Hilliard also reminds us through the use of his characters, that monsters can also hide behind human guises . . .
I positively loved the comedic tension between Mark and his stepdaughter, Casey. At one point, while Casey argued with Mark, “…she visibly grimaced, then toned the glare back down to “medium surly” before stating the obvious.” This tactic was used so well as to give that much needed tension-release between the scenes of carnage. Few authors I’ve come across are able to utilize this approach so effectively. After another differing of opinions, Mark muses, “I hate it when women say “It’s fine” because it never leaves me feeling it’s fine. Most of the time they make “It’s fine” sound more like “Screw you” . . .
Joining the two are the ever resourceful back-fence neighbor, Ed, another unfortunate family, the neighborhood “femme fatal”, Darla, teenager Ashlyn, and psychopath-in-training, Tommy. Not only must they battle the elements and creatures set forth in the hopes that there is still a world as they know it out there, but they must also deal with each other.
Darla’s pampered, always-gets-her-way universe is suddenly confronted by Mark’s more practical concerns, which makes for many an interesting scene. “She glared at me with such intensity I honestly wondered what I could have done to piss her off. . . other than lead a pack of killers to her front gate . . .”
Throughout the novel, I feel that Hilliard does an amazing job with keeping up his menacing, death-shrouded atmosphere while remaining true to the characters he creates. The only point which I didn’t truly understand the need for was a more “fantastic” element, introduced into a couple of scenes. Beyond that, I felt that this was quite an original horror novel that had all its elements working together.