Deep within the forest of Silverwood, California, a crack between dimensions has appeared.
A dark force that lurks among the trees is growing stronger, determined to return home if it can only gather the strength to open the door—bad news for a Boy Scout troop and the employees of Hirsch Capital on a company retreat nearby. As their darkest fears and impulses power the mysterious force, their bonding exercises take a deadly turn. Will anyone be able to keep their minds long enough to close the door before our world is torn apart? Created by Brian Keene, based on Silverwood by Tony E. Valenzuela.
Authors: Brian Keene, Richard Chizmar, Stephen Kozeniewski, Sisters of Slaughter and Tony E. Valenzuela
This is the first time I’ve ever read anything in this format – episodic and written by a collaboration of distinguished horror authors, each taking their turn at the helm.
Each episode is framed to take about 45 minutes to read (1hr15 in audio format). I read freak fast but it still took about 20-30 minutes, so I didn’t feel like I was losing out on the experience.
I was initially concerned that there would be a ‘too many cooks’ feel to a collaborative project, but I’m pleased to report that this wasn’t an issue – they all have subtle quirks that you’ll recognise if you’ve read any of the authors’ work in the past, but the tone and style is consistent throughout which keeps you fully immersed in the nasty goings on of Silverwood.
Each episode is a self contained part of a larger story, as you’d kinda expect from a series. The ending of each one is suspenseful and leaves you wanting more, but doesn’t leave you with an infuriating cliffhanger which I personally find to be a massive turnoff.
The story itself is magnificent – body horror, gore, violence, paranormal evils and insidious voices whispering in your ear – what more could you possibly want?
The main characters are well written and behave consistently between authors and episodes, there’s a great mix to enjoy and have their own fascinating (and sometimes gross) storylines.
This is a particularly graphic title, which makes it feel like it really could be a TV show – using classic tropes that your mind can fill the gaps for. Particular nod to Kozeniewski’s The Thing reference! It’s action packed from the second people arrive in Silverwood, dragging you in with the atmosphere and rewarding you with everything a horror/sci-fi nerd could ever ask for.
My only issue was that some of the characters, in particular Kristina (no hints), were really fascinating but didn’t get enough back story to go with their present day mischief.
This series has a strong ending which reminded me of another Netflix TV show (the no hints are killing me here), leaving it comfortably open for a revisit in the future if the authors are that way inclined.
*Thank you to SerialBox for an ARC of this title*