An unlikely crew—ghost hunter, police officer, soldier, EMT, security guard, engineer, and priest—teams up to fight paranormal evil.
When an unnamed ghost hunter and his team are lured into the woods by a collective dream, they quickly learn that the paranormal forces at work are more than they prepared for. “They had summoned us there,” the ghost hunter somewhat vaguely recalls, “to a town lost to the world and buried deep within a bizarre forest, luring us with a dream—my dream.” After researching the location, the ghost hunter explains that the once-burgeoning town was decimated by a massacre. No one who investigated was able to return and explain what happened. The police apparently left the mystery at that, and the place lay abandoned for over 100 years. Howard’s premise starts off with the promise of a classic paranormal horror story. However, the plot takes a decisive turn when the protagonist meets the unlikely crew also summoned to the woods by the collective dream. A strong dose of Christianity is then infused into the storyline. The priest leads the men with biblical wisdom and inspiration, and the protagonist reports says Christianity always wins out against evil: “I could feel a force attempt to block me—but Jesus was stronger.” The story expands to be about more than one befallen town, as the men learn from a journal—“a logbook of demonic encounters”—about various good-vs.-evil battles throughout history. Howard’s writing is clear enough, but sentences are often repetitive. “The memories felt like those I’d experienced when I read the diary, except these memories belonged to someone else, someone who was able to read others’ thoughts. This person had known that he was being misled, that they were hiding something, and he had sensed the dark presence in the forest.” As the plot thickens, Howard shows off a keen ability to craft an action scene, even if the good-vs.-evil thread is rather overstated.
Paranormal fantasy adventure that might shine a light for Christians.