Wednesday 8 June 2022

BLOOD MOUNTAIN by Brenda S. Tolian


In this mosaic of Southwestern Gothic Horror, a primordial goddess awakens deep within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The mountain hungers for revenge as invaders leave her emaciated with their greed and brutality. She cries out for blood, infusing the minds of those who do not belong—twisting them outwardly into the dark forms of their true intentions.

An Under Sheriff struggles to grasp brittle threads of hope within the valley and mountains, his soul tormented by the unanswered questions of crimes he can’t explain and the dead and missing he could not help. The demented Red Women fracture the meaning of being maiden, mother, and crone within the shadows of twisted belief systems. Men and women devolve into the grotesque, drowning in their greed and violence transmuting into creatures too hideous to name. Others find seduction on her rocky hips and release within the baptism of her blood. The valley steeped in cults and crime hides something dark, where mirage plays with the senses, disappearances go unexplained, UFOs and creatures await watching in hunger.

This composite novel of interwoven stories and brief vignettes invites the reader to hear the hypnotic call of the Blood Mountain. Will she ask you into her vortex or swallow you whole?

With such an awesome and atmospheric cover, of course I was interested in checking this out.

Deep in the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Colorado, something hungry awakens after an ancient being is fed up with the greedy invaders and trespassers that leave her feeling used and abused...

Well, this collection of interconnected stories sure was brutal.

Although there are twelve different stories with interwoven interludes featuring the struggling Under Sheriff, Dave Blackwood, as he contemplates the carnage he's seen, these tales all come together to complete one very violent and bloody novel. Within these pages, there are many characters living through a variety of situations that often focus on the cultish and selfish behaviour of humans. But the narrative always returns to the mountains. Or rather, the darkness haunting the mountains and how she takes payment in the form of possession and death. 

These stories don't hold back and dare to tread into very dark and claustrophobic trails to follow those who dare to enter, because of one form of depraved greed or another.

They're all horror stories to the core, and also provide plenty of social commentary from the beginning. Not just in the way that men take, take and take some more, but also in how easily women can be twisted as well. At the end of the day, even though the patriarchy tries hard to convince us otherwise, we're all human. Man or woman, we're all capable of unfathomable things. We all wear skin over our brittle bones and can conjure truly horrible things with our minds, especially when caught up in the claws of religion. But we're not the only ones living on this planet, and sometimes the Earth bites back with a vengeance.

One last thing, my favourite story was Seraphim because I loved the imagery, anger and mood. Plus, it captures the essence of this book and is the perfect conclusion.

Thank you Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Raw Dog Screaming Press for sending me a copy of this book!

No comments:

Favorites More