Book Reviews

The Forlorned by Angela J. Townsend

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Title:  The Forlorned
Author:   Angela J. Townsend
Published: July 21st, 2015
Publisher:  Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre:  Horror
Content Warning:  Violence
Recommended Age:  13+
Synopsis:  When Tom Doherty first laid eyes on the lighthouse he knew it was damned.
An advertisement lured him to the island, offering a job renovating the old lighthouse and ramshackle buildings. What he didn’t know was that he was the only applicant. None of the locals wanted the job – no one dared.
Isolated and alone, Tom soon discovers why. Messages from disembodied voices; ghostly visitations and escalating horrors draw Tom deeper into the island’s evil past—a darkness that forces Tom to unbury the truth and bring demons of his own into the light.
The Forlorned upcoming movie release information can be found on IMDb at:
Excerpt from The Forlorned by Angela J. Townsend:
The trap stood in the entryway of the kitchen, smeared with a thick glob of Peanut Butter. Tom sat in the living room and waited for it to spring. He’d take the rat to the opposite side of the islandand release it. At midnight, he gave up and climbed into the chair by the fire. The tightness in his body relaxed and sleep overtook him.
Tom was awakened by his shivering only an hour after dozing off. He peered outside his frosted window. There must be a cold front moving in.
He added more wood to the fire and shivered under the quilt. The temperature continued to drop. He could see his own breath come in puffs of steam with every exhale. Exhausted and still shivering, Tom finally dozed again.
Deep asleep in the middle of the night Tom struggled, fought to move, but couldn’t. His eyes refused to open.
A sinister presence loomed over him, trapping him under like a heavy fish net, constricting his every movement, only inches from his face. Icy breath pelted his forehead.
Tom’s eyes snapped open. His chest seized with panic. He was no longer in the chair. He struggled to hold himself upright. Cold, fog-laden night burned his lungs with each gasping breath. His bare feet froze onto cold, wet wood. The crash of thunder and flash of lightning took turns adding to the torment of the night.
As if waking up from a bad dream, Tom stood on the deck of a strange ship. The massive vessel leaned forward and back, driving hard through the waves. Wailing winds and icy sleet tore at her ravaged sails, creating an eerie flapping noise. Tom’s heart pounded. Muffled voices of men shouted over the storm.
A shot rang past his head.
He struggled to wake himself from the nightmare but couldn’t.
Somewhere in the dark a man yelled, “Hold tight!” The sea rose and a wave washed over the ship.
Wrenched off his feet, he landed hard on the deck. He slid to the opposite side of the ship and grasped the edge of a rail just in time to avoid being washed overboard. A hot flash of pain seared in his back.
Tom rolled over and saw the men loading grape and canister shot into cannons lined upalong the deck. Scrambling to his feet, he bolted to a man busy loading another round into one of the large guns.
“Who are you?” Tom shouted.
The man looked directly at him but didn’t seem to hear. Angry at being ignored, Tom shouted again, “What’s going on?”
The man looked past him.
Tom ran to the other side of the ship to avoid the salt-stiff rigging as it crashed to the deck. He realized the crew couldn’t see him.
A flash of lightning struck near the rear of the ship and he saw the pursuer, a massive frigate. Her great prow sliced through boiling black waters. An English flag boldly whipped back and forth atop her mast. Daggers of ice hung from her gun ports.
Someone grabbed his arm. He tried to wrench it away, but the hand held fast. He looked into the eyes of a young mast-hand.
“What ship is this? Where am I?” Tom yelled.
Lightning struck again, and the young man turned into a bloated corpse. The flesh fell away from his raw bones. A grape shot wound appeared in his forehead.
“It was hell, Tom. Don’t forget us. Come find us, Tom. Come find us.”
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About the Author:
Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing.
Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.
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Crimson Tree Publishing Links:
(An adult division of Clean Teen)
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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I should not have started this book in the middle of the night. I always begin my reading well into what most would call early morning, as this is the most peaceful time of my day, however, that peace was quickly disrupted in the best way possible. From the very first paragraph, Angela J Townsend managed to transport me to not only another place, but another time. It was a time where peril was prevalent and truth was torn asunder. The eerie beginnings of this work leapt off of the page only to dance in the recesses of my mind, where only the terrifying things go. These scenes only continued to dominate my consciousness in the most intriguing of ways, pulling me into a high-stakes world that I could see just as clear in my mind’s eye as I could my very own memories.

The mood of this book was established early on, and impeccably at that. The darkness of the subject matter was a beautiful through line that kept me entertained until the very last page. I normally do not read thriller/suspense books as I scare easily, however I am very glad that I read this work, as it was more than simply it’s scare factor. Weaved in between the moments of terror and supernatural occurrences was a strong story that stands perfectly on its own. Very often in this genre, attention is only paid to specific scenes and the rest is just filler until the next terrifying twist. The Forlorned not only had these emotionally charged vignettes, but it also showcases exquisite prose and storytelling. It is a plot line that is incredibly original and captivation throughout.

The characters in this book were occasionally hard to relate to. The descriptive details of each of their lives were handled with incredible agility and the creative structure was brilliant. However, as soon as the characters began to speak their own dialogue, the writing became very generic and bland. There was not much to differentiate the characters from one another in their speech and vocabulary. This created such a stark contrast to the well-crafted prose found in the majority of the book that it became distracting at times. There were moments that I found myself rushing to get through the dialogue in order to get back to the meat of the work.

Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. The plot is one of the more original that I have had the pleasure of reading as of late and I appreciated the advanced level of storytelling. The emotions conveyed throughout its pages were electric and palpable, making this one difficult to put down. Had the characters been developed more past their current generic structure, this book would be nearly perfect. Aside from the distraction the contrast of these two writing styles, I very much enjoyed this book and found it to be an easy read. I look forward to reading more of Townsend’s work in the future and feel that her success has only begun.