BOOK REVIEW: The Witching House by Brian Moreland
Ask any horror fan what they’re passionate about and you’ll find that movies consistently top their lists. I’m always recommending books to fellow horror nerds only to be met with bored stares. Well, Brian Moreland’s The Witching Hour is a book for all horror fans. Yes, even those that swear they never read.
Like a movie, Witching Hour is action-packed, suspenseful and you can finish it in one sitting. Moreland wastes no time throwing readers into his story about a group of thrill-seekers on an expedition to explore the Blevins House. If you’ve read the short story prequel, The Girl from the Blood Coven, you know the abandoned house is haunted and that that this trip can’t end well.
Moreland’s haunted house tale pays homage to classic backwoods thrillers like Deliverance (1972) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) as well as haunted house movies like The Amityville Horror (1979) and The Evil Dead (1981). There is a gas station filled with local hillbillies, an abandoned house in the woods, and a final girl named Sarah.
Like one of my favorite final girls, Laurie Strode from Halloween (1978), Sarah appears innocent and vulnerable at first but she is much tougher than she seems. Sarah has an added layer that is rarely seen in novels about evil witches, her grandmother was Wiccan.
Sarah’s background in Wicca is a reminder that not all witches are demons. Moreland’s research on Wicca is evident in his writing. While there are some terrifying witches in these pages, Moreland deviates from the standard wicked witch clichés and presents a refreshing take on the subgenre.
An absolute must-read for Wiccans looking for a book that doesn’t demonize their religion. Also, for anyone looking for a cinemagraphic experience. Witching Hour reads like your favorite horror movies. His third-person perspective of the story is like a camera lens that smoothly shifts from scene-to-scene and character-to-character.
With Witching House, Moreland has masterfully crafted a full-throttle horrorfest that is sure to satisfy the bloodlust of gorehounds while providing enough atmosphere and suspense to deliver genuine scares. His narrative reads like Bentley Little with the imagination of H.P. Lovecraft. I look forward to reading more from this author and am eagerly awaiting his next release Darkness Rising available this fall.
Brian Moreland writes novels and short stories of horror and supernatural suspense. His books include Dead of Winter, Shadows in the Mist, The Girl from the Blood Coven, The Witching House, The Devil’s Woods, The Vagrants. and Darkness Rising. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror book.
Review Clause: The author provided me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was provided.