Author: Chris Coppel
Publisher: Troubador Publishing
First Published: September 20, 2020
Genres: Horror, Paranormal
Format: ARC, eBook
Ever wondered what it would be like if hunted animals were able to fight back?
The Lodge unveils the mystery of a hunting lodge in the remote hills of the Scottish Highlands during the Christmas holidays. After the report of an accidental death at the lodge, Andrew, a young constable from the nearest town, drives up through a growing blizzard.
Snowbound, Andrew and the guests take cover at the lodge as the terrifying ordeal unfolds. These animals have souls. Souls that won’t rest until they’ve had revenge...
But will the hunters become the hunted?
I need to preface this review by stating that from looking at the cover and reading the blurb, that I had expected this to be a spooky supernatural thriller with a serious tone. What the book delivered was far from that: campy Christmas horror and vengeful furniture. The set-up was pretty good, a mysterious death occurs in a forboding-looking hunting lodge filled to the brim with disgusting trophies and animal furniture.
I’m glad that I could be eased away from my expectation of a serious book from the earliest chapters. The protagonist was a seemingly bumbling constable that doesn’t seem all that fit for the force and the pages are filled with flirting with one of the hunting lodge employees who is openly vegan.
“The entire animal gathering then slowly turned their attention to the people on the stairs. Their blood-soaked faces looked up at them. Their lifeless eyes stared at them.”
The story tries to misdirect the reader but it all was pretty predictable from start to finish. The first half of the book, unfortunately, drifts randomly into the backstories of the four main characters, most of which don’t have anything to do with the plot. It seemed to be an attempt to make the reader care about the characters while also providing a distraction from the one backstory that matters, which again was not really needed because it was already kind of obvious.
There was some decent creature horror and at times a creepy atmosphere, but it was sparse compared to the romance and comedy. I also dislike when books have to explain exactly what is causing the supernatural phenomena. The explanation made me roll my eyes and the epilogue was entirely unnecessary.
When I finished I felt really conflicted about what to think about the book. This was one of the rare cases where I thought that the story was so utterly ridiculous it bordered on being bad, but the creative creature horror and well-placed jokes made for a somewhat enjoyable experience. It was the type of campy B-movie horror that will delight the right kind of reader. This book was a swing and a miss for me, but I can appreciate what the author was trying to do.
Warnings: violence, gore, animal death