Well, this was a fun romp! It has interesting characters, but we don’t learn everything about them. Perhaps in another book, a series, perhaps. It has, ok, well….. golems. It has blood, gore, and spooky stuff. And paranormal stuff.
I downloaded it because it is set in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. I am from that general region of New Jersey, and you don’t see many stories set in that locale. The Pine Barrens are a unique biosphere — a tract of pines that cover 7 counties in southern New Jersey. The unique ecology of the Pine Barrens supports a diverse spectrum of plant life, including orchids and carnivorous plants. The area is also notable for its populations of rare pygmy pitch pines and other plant species that depend on the frequent fires of the Pine Barrens to reproduce. The sand that composes much of the area’s soil is referred to by the locals as sugar sand. (Thanks, Wiki).
It is called sugar sand because it is so fine and white that in some areas it looks like sugar (or snow) lying on the ground. I’ve camped in the Pine Barrens many times, sometimes in a tent, primitive camping, and sometimes with a camper in a campground. In the summer, the Pine Barrens can be just stifling — the heat and humidy seem trapped within the woods and there is no air moving to help cool you off and the scent of the pines is really strong.
Well, our protagonist, JD, is a young man of 25 with some kind of psychic powers. He can see things through touch. It is a difficult thing to deal with, and he has gotten himself a residence in the local mental institution, where everything is safe, routine, and tranquil. Right up to the point where the events in our story come in.
The story hinges on a local legend of the Jersey Devil, a spectre, or creature or something that is believed to live in the woods. Two teens in the story disappear, and a search for them in the deep woods would indicate that some kind of supernatural something has grabbed them. The local State Trooper comes to JD to ask his help in finding the two teens.
Want a couple of quotes? OK.
See, this is the majority of everyone’s life …strings of numbingly boring moments strung together to make a whole.
The smile crawls across my face like a dying slug.
Told in first person by our psychic boychick, it is an engaging tale, that is if you don’t mind the scary parts. Bwahahahaha