Glenn Rolfe “Blood and Rain” Review

Posted: November 2, 2015 in Reviews, Uncategorized
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blood-and-rain

BOOK INFO

Length: 202 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Review copy provided as part of the Blood and Rain Blog Tour

During the spring of 1997, the small and quiet town of Gilson Creek, Maine was rocked by a series of attacks that left nine people dead. While the official cause of death was announced as an animal attack, some residents believe it was the work of the “Full Moon Monster”, a savage creature that leaves death and destruction in its wake. Now, years after those initial attacks and with summer arriving in Gilson Creek, there are reports of attacks that re-awaken the fear and paranoia of the town’s residents. Sheriff Joe Fischer is the only hope for this small town as he was there for the attacks in 1997 and knows what he is up against. Struggling to protect his daughter and the residents of his town, Sheriff Fischer must confront the secrets buried in his past in order to stop the carnage once and for all.

While I went into Blood and Rain excited about reading terrifying werewolf scenes, what I loved most about this novel was the little things Glenn does to bring the story to life. Glenn creates a large cast of characters but each has their own distinct personalities that help them from getting lost in the story. Glenn does an outstanding job with the characterization of his main characters, but what impressed me the most was the way Glenn brings even the most minor characters to life and weaves them into the fabric of Gilson Creek. Gilson Creek felt like a real town and the care and attention to detail Glenn shows in building up the town and its residents made me feel like I had lived there my whole life.

I also loved the tension Glenn created in this novel. Sure, the werewolf parts were awesome and among the best I have read, but it is the build-up to those scenes that makes them so great. Blood and Rain’s prologue introduces a character who is afflicted with the werewolf curse and Rolfe crafts a terrifying atmosphere that permeates the rest of the story by using great descriptive language to detail the gruesome transformation process that is jump started on every full moon. Blood and Rain opens pretty action packed with that scene and the blood-soaked attack on Brian Rowel, the creatures first victim in years. That opening attack on Rowel is brutal and vicious and is the same sort of straight-up horror that first made me fall in love with Glenn’s writing in The Haunted Halls. However, it isn’t just the monster and brutality that make this scene so great, it is Glenn’s attention to setting. We see the beast early on, but I loved how Glenn doesn’t simply rely on the beasts appearance to inspire fear. It is the cracking branches, the shadows in the trees, the raging storm and the ominous howling that gets the readers nerves on edge. When Brian sees the beast in a flash of lightning, those details make the scene that much scarier.

Glenn opened the novel with tons of action and great descriptions of the werewolf attacks before introducing readers to the residents of Gilson Creek. These moments of character-building are enjoyable and the attacks are like a shot of adrenaline that keeps the reader hooked. That approach to pacing is what made this novel such an enjoyable read for me.

I don’t want to spoil the werewolf’s identity in this review, but I loved how Glenn handled the character and how they dealt with the curse. It would be easy to have the character simply be at the mercy of a condition he cannot control or an evil person who uses the curse to his advantage, but Rolfe takes a more complex approach. The curse plays a part in the events that unfold throughout the course of Blood and Rain, but there are other factors that motivate the character to commit the savage attacks on the residents of Gilson Creek. Rolfe utilizes common themes from werewolf mythology, but he also sprinkles in some unique elements that helped this novel stand out. If you are a fan of Glenn Rolfe’s writing and have read his other stories, then you will enjoy the cool easter egg  hidden in the pages of Blood and Rain that connects to one of his other works.

I started reading Glenn’s work last year when I reviewed his debut The Haunted Halls and have been a big fan ever since. I have been impressed with the range of styles he utilizes in his works thus far – The Haunted Halls was no-holds-barred horror, Boom Town was a downright creepy sci-fi adventure and Abram’s Bridge was atmospheric with a dark beauty. Blood and Rain incorporates all of those styles to create a thrilling werewolf tale that is sure to delight horror fans. If you haven’t read any of Glenn’s work before, do yourself a favor and pick up one of his stellar releases. Glenn is one of my favorite newer writers and no matter what book you decide to pick up first, I guarantee you will have a blast!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for an excerpt from Blood and Rain and a chance to win a copy of Glenn’s work!

Rating: 5/5

LINKS

Glenn Rolfe’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Blood and Rain: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain or your favorite bookstore!

blood-and-rain-tour-logo1

Use these hashtags to help spread the word about Blood and Rain! – 

#BloodandRain #Werewolves #WereRolfe #Horrortober #horror #halloween #scaryreads

Blood and Rain Synopsis

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen.

Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past.

Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.

Find Glenn Rolfe at: http://glennrolfe.com/ or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Praise for Blood and Rain

Praise for Blood and Rain~

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” –Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

“With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!” –Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase

“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre

“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” — Horror Underground

“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” – Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon

“Some good ‘ol fashion violence and gore…” – Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil

“Glenn Rolfe takes a swing at the werewolf genre and hits a home run.” – Russell James, author of Q Island and Dreamwalker

“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” – Horror Novel Reviews

“The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.”–Horror After Dark

About Glenn Rolfe

glenn-bw-profile

Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon.

He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the novellas, Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

Excerpt

Stan Springs stared at the curse in the night sky. His curse. He clenched his jaw, and bit back the grunts that demanded release from within his sweat-covered body. His muscles tightened and took turns throwing fits. He could feel his heartbeat’s thunderous barrage at work inside his heaving chest. It was only a matter of minutes before the changes would come.

He ripped his gaze from the clouds, moved away from the window and knelt down next to the bed against the concrete wall. He slipped one shaky hand beneath the mattress and found the small incision he’d made when he first arrived at the institution. He had traded a guard, a heavyset fella by the name of Harold Barnes, his prized Ted Williams rookie card in exchange for a copy of the key. Parting with this gold mine had been necessary. Stan Springs had nothing else of value with which to barter. Harold trusted him enough to make the swap; he told Stan there were crazies here by the dozen, but he could tell that Stan was not one of them.

No, Harold, I’m something far worse.

Key in hand, Stan stepped to the unlocked door and cracked it open. The hallway was clear. He moved down the corridor, as stealthily as during his heydays working on the force in New York. Hearing footfalls ahead and to his left, he fell back and pressed his large frame against the custodial door. Hidden by the entryway’s shadow, he watched Nurse Collins—a tall, thin woman with a dark complexion—pass fifty feet from where he stood, before she disappeared into the nurses’ break room.

Barefoot and dressed in only a Red Sox T-shirt and his sleeping shorts, Stan made a break for the staircase across the hall. His breaths were coming faster now. If he didn’t hurry, he wouldn’t make it outside. He crept down the steps leading to the main hallway.

Through the small window on the stairwell door, he could see Harold Barnes’s haunted jowls illuminated by the laptop screen in front of him. The old man’s eyes were closed, his mouth open. Harold hadn’t even made it an hour into his shift before he was out. Stan knew Harold also ran his own antique shop in the neighboring town of Hallowell. He’d told Stan that working both jobs on the same day, which was sometimes unavoidable, made it difficult for him on the night shift. It was another shared nugget Stan had stored away for nights like this one—the nights the beast in him needed to get out.

Easing the door open, Stan skulked his way along the shadows on the wall, and tiptoed to the main entrance door. Despite the cramps now rampaging through his calves and thighs, he slipped the procured key into the lock, slow and steady. The door clicked open, and he stepped out into the night.

As the cool breeze brushed against the sweat of his brow, the tendons and bones in his face began to shift. The rest of his body followed suit. He dropped to one knee and cried out. His skin, his scalp, his eyes, his muscles were all too tight. He reached behind him and managed to push the door shut.

If you could see me now, Harold.

The private roads out front were deserted. He launched from the building’s stairs and landed on the lawn below, making a beeline for the woods to the left of the large property.

He was twenty feet from the forest when the change hit him like a massive wave, crashing him to the ground. His muscles clenched and squeezed and tore, while the bones of his face continued to crack and grow. His teeth began to fall out in place of the monster’s. Down on all fours, he crawled to the tree cover and vomited. A mix of last night’s cafeteria meat loaf, black coffee, loose teeth, and blood splashed the ferns before him. Stan’s fingers extended as his claws dug into the soft soil of spring’s floor. He moaned and grunted his way through the rest of the fluid process.

In full beast mode, Stan Springs stood and howled at the cloud-covered sky. The creatures of the night became ghosts among the trees. He felt the strength flowing through him and the hunger begging to be sated.

He burst forward, headed north. Despite Stan’s best effort to control the beast’s killing zone, he found himself heading home.

 

Giveaway

For a chance to win a print copy of Glenn Rolfe’s short story collection, Slush, or a chance to win your choice of any of his titles in e-book format, go to the link below for the Rafflecopter sign-up. Good luck! The print copy is only good for those in the United States. Questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/231aa30b22/?

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