Between the Birches: Awakening

The e-book Between the Birches displayed on an ipad propped on an ivy-covered tree.
Between the Birches: Awakening

Between the Birches: Awakening opens with Beth, her husband Tom, and their best friend, Grady heading on a camping trip in the Appalachian mountains to celebrate Beth’s 25th birthday. Shortly after they arrive, the trio unexpectedly encounters two of Tom and Grady’s old friends, and the trip quickly turns into a nightmare.

Told from multiple points of view, Between the Birches is an imaginative, unpredictable, genre-bending story. From cults to forest beasts to magic, this book weaves in a little bit of everything – and it works. Throughout the book, I honestly had no idea who or what was lurking on the next page.

Like all good horror stories, there were several moments, especially early in the story, when I wanted to grab the characters and scream, “Turn around” or “No. Don’t go there!” There is also an unusual love triangle that is responsible for a lot of tense and tender moments. All three of the main characters are relatable in their own way, though Tom was my favorite.

As a side note, I enjoyed that there were a few references to my home state of North Carolina (although, after reading, I don’t think I’ll be going into any forests on the NC/Tenn border any time soon!). 

The book ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, setting us up for the next installment in the series. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this crew.

Thank you to K.P. Roberson for providing a free e-ARC. The views expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Between the Birches: Awakening, featuring a new cover design, will be available through Amazon in May 2022.

Humanity Lost by Meghan Douglass

5 out of 5 stars

Photo by Flash Mama Photography

“Things that no person should ever consider doing had now become necessary, reasonable, and entirely justifiable.”

Meghan Douglass, Humanity Lost

Meghan Douglass is my most recent find through following the Twitter writing community.

In her debut novella, Humanity Lost, conditions on Earth make it uninhabitable, sending the 6 person crew of the spacecraft Valhalla on a mission to save humanity.

Events quickly progress after the crew awakens from stasis and is faced with making some unthinkable choices. 

I sometimes struggle with shorter works, wanting more character development and longer scenes in order for the story to feel complete. That wasn’t the case with Humanity Lost. Although it has fewer than 60 pages, the tale felt finished.

Douglass makes the most of every page, creating memorable characters and packing several shocking twists in this horrific story that leaves a lasting impression.

Fear Farm by S. J. Krandall

4 out of 5 stars

With the exception of my Stephen King obsession in high school, I haven’t read many horror books over the course of my life. When S. J. Krandall asked if I’d be interested in reviewing Fear Farm, Spooky September seemed like the perfect time to give the horror genre a fresh try. 

Fear Farm was a great reintroduction to the genre. This novella, which can be read in one sitting or over several days, has all the things you want in a good horror story — gore, terror, and suspense. 

I liked that the novel was a series of connected short stories. This approach kept me engaged, giving me just enough detail about the characters in each vignette while keeping the suspense level high.

I also appreciated that all of the photos used to illustrate the book were taken by the author.

Whether you are a horror junkie or new(ish) to the genre, this fast read is sure to spook.

Thank you to the author for providing a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.