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Shadows of the Past by Richard Schiver
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Shadows of the Past

by Richard Schiver

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I received this book free from LibraryThing for an honest review.

Years after his wife's death, Sam Hardin is still overcome with grief. So much so, that he ignores his children and wishes for his own death.
An ancient being is released into the world, and is searching for Sam's son.

I enjoyed the story. It has just the right amount of horror, family dynamics, and retribution. Sam learns how much life and his family means to him, when he has to fight off the monster threatening his family. There are many grisly death scenes. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Stephen King or Dean Koontz. ( )
1 vote pamkaye | Apr 4, 2013 |
When an undergraduate student steals an ancient ceremonial dagger to pay a gambling debt, all hell is unleashed on an unsuspecting and unprepared populace. Found under the ice in Antarctica, the dagger has been dated to many millions of years old. This is no ordinary dagger, but an artifact that predates man’s history, emanating from a primordial past. When the bodies of people who come in contact with the dagger start turning up with strange and devastating wounds, Washington DC Homicide Detective Sam Hardin realizes these crimes are out of the ordinary. But can one take seriously the possibility that the ancient horrors of the past, now part of mythology, have revived and are searching for a special someone, someone that might be the closest person to Sam? This dark malevolence has found a home in an unsuspecting Vietnam veteran, Jack Griffith, taking over his mind and body, and manipulating him to achieve its purpose. In a race against time, Sam and Jack clash, pitting mere mortality and pathetically weak human weapons against something supernatural, overpowering and diabolical. Can Sam save his family, and conquer this evil? Is this the beginning of the end, always predicted in Doomsday scenarios? The fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

A nail-biting, spine-chilling read that will take readers to the edge of their seats! Author Richard Shiver knows how to crank up the tension and bring out the scary monsters. The book had me riveted from page one. The author has an excellent grasp of characterization, bringing each character to life, and getting under their skins, tapping into their worst nightmares and blackest memories. The pace never slackens, racing along with the reader in tow, on a breathtaking and electrifying ride. Masterly descriptions tease the reader’s imagination as the author depicts what happens both internally and externally as characters fight for their souls. I couldn’t put the book down once I had started reading.

Richard Shiver acknowledges the influences of authors H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and filmmaker John Carpenter, but he has created something new and fascinating in this work. I enjoyed the surprise ending that suggests there could be another book in the making. Fans of horror, thriller, and ancient mysteries will simply love this book. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote FionaRobynIngram | Aug 25, 2012 |
Rick Schriver’s “Shadows of the Past” is a well written tale of the age old battle between good and evil. Through a supernatural aspect, the story takes it to an entirely new level. This is definitely not a story that has been done over and over again.
The way the author’s words flow freely makes for an easy read. With well-rounded characters, you will find yourself drawing parallels to your own life. As the story progresses, the readers will no doubt see that all the character’s have something in their past that they now regret. It is wonderful to see that even fictional characters have skeletons in their closets, as so many of us do in this day and age. I highly recommend this book for anyone out there. ( )
1 vote lms1982 | Jul 30, 2012 |
Shadows of the Past brings an alien feel to evil as we follow the existence of a wicked life form, bent on eliminating the human race. Parallel to this is the story of a child who has brain damage from an accident at his birth, who seems to have the gift of bringing people back from near death... at the cost of the lives of another, however. The good and the evil must battle out, but it is those taking care of the good child who must do the battling. The story itself sounds like some kind of twisted science fiction or holy story, but really it is a suspenseful tale of the struggle to reach beyond what you are, survive the end of life as you know it, and save mankind. I could not put it down.

There was some repetition through the story, but it was easy enough to ignore for the most part. I was more distracted by the constant sorrow of the main character, feeling that it was driven home a little too much. Grief lingers, but I think we can understand that without the constant reminders of just how much it does. Also, there were a few elements that were out of place, such as the worry of getting lost while it is snowing and wandering in circles. Depending on how hard it is snowing, wouldn't you be able to avoid your own footprints? I also found it hard to believe that a being out to kill someone wouldn't smash through glass to get at them. Some events like that were simply too convenient.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book that kept me reading to the end. It well matched movies of the same, where you would expect a family to bond through grief as this terrible ordeal occurs to them and to those around them.

Note: Though this book was a free gift from the author, the content of my review was in no way influenced by the gifting. The book speaks for itself and my review would have been worded just this way even if I'd gone out and bought it. I also give bonus points for Text To Speech enabling on Kindle format.... but that also wasn't a factor in the above review. ( )
1 vote mirrani | Apr 15, 2012 |
This books seems to be based on an ancient evil originally concocted by horror writer Lovecraft. Though not exactly fan fiction, SHADOWS OF THE PAST attempts to recreate the sense of dread and horror that Lovecraft created in his tales about the pseudomythic creature called a Cthulu. It's a bold attempt. For my tastes, the experiment almost succeeds, but the writing ultimately resorts to too many repetitive descriptions ('ebony tendrils", etc.), which make an otherwise absorbing tale a bit tedious and over-wrought (if that's possible in a horror story.) I'd like to see the next attempt by this writer, hoping that he trusts his story a bit more and tames the writing just a shade so that the crescendos have something to rise above. ( )
1 vote grlindberg | Feb 5, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I enjoyed reading SHADOWS OF THE PAST. The story is an engaging one that for the most part is well-written and suitably frightening. Character development is good and we are given enough of Sam’s past to pity him, while at the same time wanting to tell him to get it together already!
 
Shadows of the Past is a horror-filled ride that left me white-knuckling all the way to the end! The subplots, such as the death of his wife, and the injury to his son, as well as his teen daughter's escapades into crime, lend an even more realistic feel to the story.
 
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To my wife Dena, whose willingness to share me with the mistress that is my writing has made my dream a reality.
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There was no denying he loved the horses.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615583180, Paperback)

They have watched from the shadows since the dawn of time. Jealous gods who once ruled a young planet. Seeking a return to their former glory. An ancient dagger, discovered in Antarctica, paves the way for their return. First they must defeat an old legend that appears in the guise of a brain damaged four year old whose fathomless black eyes contain the secrets of life and death.

The battle between good and evil is joined in the snowy foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In the balance hangs the future of all mankind, and his place at the top of the food chain.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:11 -0400)

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Richard Schiver chatted with LibraryThing members from Mar 5, 2012 to Mar 19, 2012. Read the chat.

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