There are so many amazing female authors out there, especially in Horror! There’s even a month to celebrate these fantastic writers and storytellers, and we’re in it. February isn’t all hearts and roses, there’s also scares and chills! Personally, I prefer the latter.
Today, Theresa shares one of these authors and a review of her book, Forest Underground.
Forest Underground (Publication Date: August 2017)
Luna was lost. Hospitalized following an incident in a local grocery store, she finds herself volunteered for treatment by the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr Sizemore.
As the doctor’s interest in her new patient grows, Luna reveals shocking details of her past. Ailing grandmothers, seductive strangers and a blood-soaked childhood are only the tip of the iceberg as her revelations paint a picture more akin to a twisted and nightmare-fuelled fairy-tale.
Detailing this case for the publication of a book, Dr Sizemore’s fascination reveals a dark history of her own. One that continues to haunt her to the present day. The pair take a journey, twisting and turning through the labyrinths of their psyches. Through lands, fertile with anguish and dread.
Join them if you dare, to a place where glowing eyes are forever watching, lurking in the shadows of this internal woodland; of this forest underground.
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Whoah, what an experience. This read. There’s a lot going on and a lot to process, especially for a novella. Faust throws us into several therapy sessions with Luna, who is obviously dealing with a uniquely troubled past, one right out of a nightmarish fairy tale. However, we soon sniff out that Dr. Sizemore has a skeleton closet full of her own issues. What makes these women tick? And where is this all going? Those are only two of the questions keeping us hooked on the page. The believable dialogue, the colorful minor characters, and the atmosphere, all contribute to a well-crafted tale where reality and delusion meld together.
It’s difficult to go into more depth here, without giving all the pieces away. However, Faust makes us contemplate how our past shapes us. Specifically, it’s a careful look at the female plight of abuse, neglect, and bullying. Oh, and let’s not forget the complicated agony of young lust/love. These characters are literally haunted by their experiences, and not handling the fallout very well at all, which is the core of this disturbing read. Indirect themes abound, like how we are all more connected than we realize. And how stories like “Little Red Riding Hood” are possibly a deeper part of the collective unconscious than we realize. I’m just scratching the surface here. I think readers will take away their own meanings after finishing this, which is a compliment to the author. Not easy to pull off.
Just some minor notes of critique. The switch in POV from Luna to Dr. Sizemore is somewhat abrupt. I would’ve liked to see more of a transition, or even more time spent on both characters. Although the construction of the story lends itself to a quick paced read, Faust could surely have turned this into a longer work. Also, I was thrown off a few times when Luna talks about herself in the third person. But I understand how it’s a mark of someone who’s not well, so…
In the end, readers should thoroughly enjoy this read, especially the twisty ending. In my opinion, one of the best parts.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Lydian Faust is a writer of horror, poetry, dark fantasy, and speculative fiction. She is also a painter who likes to lay it on thick.
See all of her published work at amazon.com/author/LydianFaust