Blood and Rain by Glenn Rolfe

Standalone Book - No Series

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man's terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen.

Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can't even comprehend?

One night can - and will - change everything.

“Under the last full moon of February, rousing from the latest of his nightmares, he heard something that commanded every hair on his body to rise—a single howl rang out through the darkness.”

My teenage-hood was filled reading horror books. It used to be by far my favorite genre, but as I grew older I branched out to include other books, making horror not even the most commonly read genre for me yearly anymore. That’s not to say I don’t still appreciate and genuinely love the genre – I do – but I’ve found as I get older that I grow pickier. Not just with books, but with horror movies, another thing I indulged in almost non-stop.

Blood and Rain has a stellar reputation as an “IT” werewolf book. It’s recommended on most horror lists and most of the friends I have online who read horror wholeheartedly recommend it. If you dig werewolf stories where the furred villain is a monster through and through, if old-fashioned monster type stories are your bag, you’ll probably enjoy this more than I did.

The plot isn’t bad for this type of story - fits a werewolf tormenting a tiny town quite well; blood-splattered pages don’t hold back the violence, body count number, drawn-out deaths, gore level, and these monsters even have a rape mentality. If you like your werewolf violent and pure-bred, Blood and Rain may be a better for you than it was for me. The simplicity of the characters, storyline, villains, and writing are not what push my horror buttons anymore. As I said, I’m pickier now when it comes to this stuff. There are also some grammar errors that didn’t bring it down a star, but it was noticeable.

I prefer villains who have layers in that they’re conflicted, or we see a steady progression to the darker path. This opened where the big-bad was already fully bad, with a backstory already over and explained, telling instead of showing. There is not any remorse with these creatures.

Likewise, the good characters are a bit one-dimensional themselves. Joe as the town sheriff who has battled this particular monster before isn’t that interesting. He’s fine, but most of the good guys sort of blend together, and there is an over-abundance of head hopping. I don’t need to switch between Mel from the diner, each deputy, the villains, the teenagers, the sheriff, and various people so much to get the same effect. Let me stay in the head of someone long enough to actually care more or invest myself into the story before jumping.

I grew confused with some of the town’s history. It’s explained there was a rash of werewolf attacks in 1997, but the relationships characters hold with some of the deceased is a little foggy. Having the backstory connection makes sense to add another layer to the story, but I had a hard time knowing who was truly affected other than Ted’s connection to a brother. Also, it was pretty clear immediately who the villain would be and I’m surprised Joe didn’t figure it out.

One’s thing for sure, no one is safe here – even the best of the characters get munched on. Action isn't an issue, it's almost on superspeed.


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