It’s been a while since we’ve had a review from Theresa! Our resident author has been very busy with the release of her novel Fountain Dead, but we’re sure glad to have her back!
Night of 1,000 Beasts
During the longest night of the century in Deer Springs, Colorado, the native creatures turn into the hunters, targeting a group of vacationers, and turning their winter vacation into a living hell.
For the ones who lurk in shadow, anxious to even the score.
Tonight’s the longest night of the century.
The night of a thousand beasts.
The night when they rise up
and get to do to us what we do to them.
It only happens once every seventy years.
The night smells like blood and fear and sweat.
The night smells of death.
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One of the elements that works well in this novel is the alternating viewpoints. It keeps us guessing, while at the same time keeping the story fresh.
What starts off as a group of friends on a ski trip quickly takes a dicey turn. Two make it back to the lodge, while three are still MIA somewhere on the mountain. Palisano uses all the characters to take a look at the beastly cult lurking in the wilderness. We learn these human/animal beings take a strong dislike to visiting vacationers—and on this endlessly long night of winter seek to wreak havoc until the break of day. Who will survive? Who won’t? What do the beasts really want? We get resolution to most of these questions, while learning a few other side things like how meat can be grown in laboratories (one of my favorite tidbits in this read). Palisano’s indirect commentary about being a carnivore, versus a vegetarian/vegan, is quite amusing.
Don’t worry, I won’t reveal any specific spoilers (or the ending). Generally speaking: skiers die (and at least one other townsperson), yet sporadic moments of comedic relief get sprinkled in here and there, which is amusing. And, so does some character depth. For the most part, we can glean what these friends mean to each other and what conflicts they’ve had amongst them. There’s enough tension that I wondered how dramatic the trip would’ve been if they’d all made it safely to the lodge. My guess is that things wouldn’t have gone so smoothly anyway, just like on a crazy reality show. But I digress. As events escalated, I wondered who would be left standing, if anyone at all. Palisano’s choice and what he does with that person’s characterization is rather effective. It isn’t run-of-the-mill predictable, which is refreshing.
Overall, Palisano weaves a satisfying grisly adventure packed with moments of gore and bestial cringe-worthiness. Often the line between human and beast is blurred, which I’m sure is one of the many themes here. In short, there is much in this novel to be enjoyed by readers. One of my only complaints is that I wanted to see more from the human/animal cult’s point of view. I understand that by not doing so, Palisano is able to amp up the suspense and the horror. Sometimes what we don’t know is more scary than what we do. However, since he’s left the ending up for a possible sequel, I’d like to see that explored in the continuation—if he chooses to take us there.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Available on Amazon