This week’s selection reminded me of an old saying every state likes to claim. If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change. I don’t know how true that is for weather, but it is dead on for The Gorge by Jason L. McPherson. The book is a plot heavy page turner that effortlessly pulled me into a world of supernatural warfare, religious fanaticism, and all kind s of brutality. Without a doubt, the stand out strength of The Gorge is its continuously evolving plot. Readers can expect to be carried from one harrowing event to the next, and just when you say this story is like a supernatural Southern Comfort with Keith Carradine, it changes to another well-loved B movie. But the story keeps its continuity throughout.
We begin with Nathan Mires, a seemingly ordinary family man in Raven Falls, North Carolina, being compelled by a strange voice to commit heinous acts of murder. This road of carnage leads him into hiding in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the outdoor skills passed onto Nathan by his grandfather come into use. As he becomes the pawn in ancient Native American curse, he must face various foes for his survival. His bloody path brings him to join forces with a Cherokee Medicine Man and a former enemy. Together they set out on a mission of dread with all the odds against them.
Sometimes the story sacrifices characterization for plot, but the action makes up for it. I think Spore Press should have edited the first chapter slightly differently, and the book would have been even better. There are a few typos that I noticed, so if you really don’t like those, I encourage you to overlook them in order to have a great time. Don’t waver in chapter one, put on your seatbelt because two onward makes you want lots of popcorn and Cherry Coke. At about 95%, I wasn’t sure I was going to be happy with the ending, but then in McPherson fashion it changed right before my eyes. The last sentence gave me chills..
I give it a solid three severed heads. Of course these severed heads have bad ass Indian war paint and timber rattlers crawling into their gaping mouths. Look for a future interview with Jason L. McPherson on writing Appalachian Horror.
Heads Will Roll,