Shades of Green by Ian Woodhead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Shades of Green" is a horror novel that gave me bits and pieces of Lovecraft nostalgia while drawing me in and giving me a real story I could sink my teeth in. I'm not comparing Woodhead to Lovecraft, however, because Woodhead has carved himself a definite niche in the horror genre that's a little unlike anyone else out there.
From the first scene, the story takes on a detached, dreamlike quality. Brothers Alan and Damien stumble across strange happenings in the forest, only to wake up to the possibility that it might have been a dream. Damien's girlfriend Jennifer is seeing signs of a strange transformation in her brother Tony. Some of the older citizens of the town of Holburn are visited by their past sins, and the town becomes infested with a sinister plant invasion that turns people into hideous creatures. It's up to Jennifer and Damien to figure out what's going on and to survive with the help of Alan, the obsessive compulsive brother who gains the ability to invade their minds and see and feel through them. Does he hold the secret to the plant infestation?
No spoilers here, as I think my fellow horror fans should give this one a read. Ian Woodhead takes several mysterious scenes and weaves them together to tell a full story. Don't let any initial confusion deter you from finishing. The journey is worth it. The horror scenes are great, relying on disturbing imagery rather than outright gore to entertain, and there's definitely a "can't put it down" factor to the book.
The only criticism I can give is that some of the punctuation and grammar seemed to be a little off, though I realized in some places this was a matter of dialect and regional writing that I wasn't used to. The issues didn't take away from the enjoyability of the story. This one is recommended and I definitely want to read more by this author.
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