While Savannah burns on the horizon and the final battle of the Civil War is fought, an old woman discovers the corpse of a satyr floating in her pond. When a confederate officer arrives and claims the body is a demon, the homicidal ghost of the old woman’s daughter instigates a night of horror and recrimination while crimes long hidden and secrets too terrible for the light of day are revealed.
This is a long, long over due review. I picked up my copy last November during the VirtualFantasyCon 2015 event with high expectations of finishing it long before now. It is not a long read – I finished it in about an hour. However, it is very, very dark. If you are easily frightened, or have nightmares inspired by your reading you may not wish to read this one just before sleep.
Normally I look at 3 elements in a story for my reviews – the world building, character development, and pacing. However, this story does not lend itself to that format. When I first started reading, I actually thought that I had somehow forgotten that I’d started it previously and then walked away. This is told from a first person point of view, which makes the opening a little unsettling. Don’t worry – it never gets any less unsettling, it just gets darker.
There is some work done to sketch in the setting, but no extensive world building. Barely enough to establish when this story is taking place. As for where, there’s a few hints that I’m sure the history buffs will pick up on, other wise the story remains very contained within the confines of a specific place that are painted with a few broad strokes with a couple of highlights. However, from the point of view the tale is told, it somehow works – once you get used to it.
The abstract work continues with the character development. There is no real “good vs bad guy” in the story, but there are some who are less welcome by the narrator than others. The narrator is slowly built up throughout, though never quite finished, even by the end of the work. The others who cross her path are like spots of developed color in a black and white photo. Glaringly out of place, yet so fitting to the scene they are needed.
Since this is a darker piece, I did expect the pacing to be unsettling. And, I was not too far from the truth. There is a jaggedness to the way the story is presented that fits with the mental state of the narrator. After I finished, I was left with more questions than I expected. There is no real conclusion to the tale, which also adds to the haunting feel of the piece and makes the pace even more jarring.
Overall, it was an interesting read. But, the things I found lacking override the things that worked, and so in all honesty the best I can give this one is a hard fought 3 out of 5 stars. It could be because of the lack of neatly tied ending, or the jarring way the tale was presented, but this one just didn’t quite grip my attention the way I hoped it would.
If you enjoyed the review, and wish to read Hecate’s Faun for yourself, you can find it on Amazon Here.
And, if you are a fellow author who is seeking reviews, please stop by my Offered Services page and fill out the simple submission form. I’ll get back with you soonest to discuss details. Polite warning: I prefer fantasy and sci-fi over other genres, and I will refuse erotica or the really steamy (R or X rated) romances.