Welcome to my stop for Jeff Gunhus’s Night Terror, Book II of the trilogy.
I read Night Chills, Book I and new this was a series I would follow to the end.
Each page I turned made me wonder what Jeff Gunhus’ dreams must be like.
The cover is so appropriate for spooktacular Halloween.
Title: Night Terror
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Horror
Purchase at AMAZON
Ten years after her abduction and near-sacrifice to the Source, Sarah Tremont struggles to be a normal teenager. As much as she’s tried to suppress the power inside of her, it’s grown dangerously strong and has drawn the attention of those who want to possess her power for themselves.
The nightmare that she thought was long over starts again as powerful forces descend upon Prescott City to seek her out. With her parents and Joseph Lonetree’s help, Sarah must stand up to an evil much more powerful than the one she faced in the caves a decade earlier. But in the end, she discovers the greatest danger might come from the power living inside of her.
Spoiler alert – Book II of the trilogy
Book I Night Chills. See my review here.
Night Terror starts out with a gruesome and horrifying description of Charlie’s death, making me prepare myself for a frightening and terrifying ride into the unknown evil. I am really looking forward to getting my scare on.
I was surprised at the horrible action from the very beginning, but I rubbed my hands with wicked glee and a gleam in my eye. I want to be terrified, hanging on every work, rapidly turning pages, having to know…to know what comes next.
Lonetree loved fighting the evil that roamed his world, but not Jack. When Jack saw Lonetree, he knew the news had to be bad.
Jack saved his family once with Lonetree’s help, but you kill one evil and another rises in its place. Would he be able to do it again?
Sarah could look into others minds. She did her best to control it. At times it seemed as if it wasn’t her, but someone else making her do things. The threat is back and the danger is real. And they are after Sarah.
“…We can go to the police…”
“…And tell them what? That your daughter with psychic powers is being hunted by a horde of semi immortal cannibals…”
They had been lulled into complacency, feeling as if the danger was over, then a new evil reared its ugly head, a new threat that must be stopped. They are back to where it all started and it makes me wonder when it will end and who will be left standing.
The characters are real to me, as familiar as a long lost friend. I missed them and their struggle to fulfill their desires and save their souls? Sarah’s growth throughout her ordeal is believable and I had a lot of feeling for her. I worried, was scared, was proud and I felt confident she would come out stronger than ever.
Jeff Gunhus’s ability to create tension that builds throughout the story is amazing. The world he builds is so clear it is as if I am there. As I near the end, I am sitting on the edge of my seat, my fingers gripping my Kindle tightly, and my expectations run rampant. I keep thinking the end must be here, but he adds this and that and takes me on a roller coaster ride of terror that won’t let me go.
I love this trilogy…and we know it’s not over. So, Jeff, where is Book III?
I received this ARC in return for an honest and unbaised review.
5 Stars – Would Buy It For Others (lol)
The woman didn’t look evil, but there was no better word to describe her. Charlie Winters would wonder later how he could have missed sensing her earlier than he did. It was equivalent to normal people walking halfway through a field only to look down and find themselves thigh-deep in a pile of rotting animal carcasses, the stench hitting them like a wave. After retching their stomach contents, they would question both their senses and their sanity. How could they have missed such a smell? How could they have not felt their feet sinking into the liquefied soft tissue?
Charlie’s senses were better than a normal person’s. Way better.
It had started when he was only a baby, a fact he knew because he still remembered every second of this life since the moment of his birth. It was a long time before he understood that such a memory was not a normal thing. Other people, normal humans, could not remember the first feeding at their mother’s breast. The hot pain of circumcision. The first glimpse of sunlight as they left the hospital. So many firsts, memories as clear to Charlie as what he’d had for breakfast that day.
Inside those memories, the echoes and shadows of his other unusual senses lingered. The ability to sense emotion. To pick up on intention. Sometimes these abilities strengthened what he observed in the physical world. His grandparents’ cooing excitement over him matched an internal warmth that felt the same as sunshine. His father’s thoughtful stares mirrored Charlie’s sense that his dad would do anything to protect him, to provide for him. Even if there was an undercurrent of trepidation that vibrated like a single out-of-tune string on a guitar, the other intentions drowned it out and gave Charlie a sense of comfort. This was very different from his mother, whose kind smiles and soft features once masked a nearly constant desire to kill him.
Her thoughts alternated between putting a pillow over his head or dropping him down the basement stairs. In darker moments, when his father was gone overnight for a business trip, she would consider carving up her child with a knife. Even going as far as pulling a cleaver from the block and slowly running her sweaty palm down the length of the blade. She never did this in front of him, but that was part of his gift. He could see through her eyes. Feel her emotions. Know her dark intentions. And understand that the threat of violence was very, very real.
But as much as she fantasized about it, his mother didn’t kill him. In fact, she never so much as laid a finger on him in anger. Slowly, over time, the dark thoughts faded, and the light inside his mother came to match her soft eyes and the beautiful mouth that sang to him and called him sunshine. A normal person might never have been able to forget the darkness and might never have trusted the woman who once considered taking a ball-peen hammer to his forehead, but he wasn’t normal people. He was special. And it was that specialness that showed him the truth in her absolute love for him once the veils of shadows had fallen away from her like someone passing through heavy curtains.
Much later, Charlie read about a condition called post-partum depression and understood where the dark had come from. It hadn’t been his fault. Or hers. It was the depression that spawned the evil thoughts. And he liked to think it was her love for him that pushed them back enough to keep him safe.
Even after she recovered, he could sense when she felt pangs of guilt about those days. They were like electric bolts jolting through her. When those moments happened, and they could happen at any time, he would come up and hug her, kiss her on the cheek and tell her how much he loved her. At first, she cried harder when he did it, and he sensed her guilt grow even stronger. Later, she puzzled over how he timed the affection to her thoughts. Over time, the puzzling turned to suspicion, even fear that somehow he knew. After that, like with all of his special gifts, he learned it was best to hide.
But he hadn’t hidden his powers well enough.
If he had, then the woman who called herself Mama D would never have come looking for him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Gunhus is the author of both adult thrillers and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. As a father of five, he and his wife lead an active lifestyle simply trying to keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.
His latest book is the thriller/horror novel, Night Terror.
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