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Cold on the Mountain by Daniel Powell
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Cold on the Mountain

by Daniel Powell

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Very unusual, entertaining supernatural thriller. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it. ( )
  igilbert | Jun 15, 2015 |
“Cold on the Mountain” was a fun and freaky read! The premise is one that I think many readers will find immediately appealing: a shortcut through the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the border between Nevada and California is actually a portal to a very dark town called Adrienne. Why the darkness? The town is where serial killers and other famous murderers go when they die and where they wait for their lottery number to be called in order to be re-born and provide darkness to the world in order to balance the light.

Many poor, unfortunate travelers are accidentally caught in the portal during the periods it opens to release dark energy and to restore normals who had previously gone missing. These normals have been kept in indentured servitude to the dark forces. They are there to provide labor and the occasional necessary sacrifice to denizens of Adrienne.

This story centers on a family of four: Phil, his wife Wendy and their two daughters Cammie and Carrie. As they are caught in the portal, they must face the dangers inherent in living with people like John Wayne Gacy who runs the local hotel and Joseph Goebbels, the town’s current mayor. Along the way they meet Albert De Salvo a.k.a. the Boston Strangler who happens to be the landlord of another normal, Denny Wren, a San Francisco 49er also caught and who had been helping others acclimate during his two decade stay in Adrienne. An interesting cast of characters populating Adrienne provide an portrait of the town and there is some wonderful black and gallows humor.

The people that have gone missing have not disappeared without notice however. There are many family members on the outside of the portal seeking resolution to the loss and hopefully recovery of the missing. This group is led by Bo, Phil’s brother and Bo’s wife Kelli. They are joined by Miriam who escaped from the portal and who had come to understand how it worked and had developed a technique to access it and the sheriff, of a skeptic of Miriam’s but willing to try anything to solve the large number of missing persons cases in what essentially amounts to the mirror town located outside of the portal, Bishop.

All manner of events transpire to those on both sides of the portal. The grand finale takes place during the yearly opening of the portal where the lottery is drawn for both dark energies to be reborn and normals to re-enter Bishop. This is a thoroughly entertaining story. I was loath to put it down. I almost managed to read it in one sitting. I look forward to more stories by this author. A short book, but worthy of four stars! ( )
  ozzieslim | Jun 15, 2015 |
Wow great supernatural thriller page turner, Read this in a couple of days. Unique story line and very creepy. It sure made me hope a place like Adrienne does not exist in our world! Chilling! And the ending.......that poor baby and his parents :(

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review ( )
  LorettaR | Apr 7, 2015 |
This is a good dark fantasy novel. While on a trip to the Grand Canyon, Phil Benson and his family take a wrong turn and end up in Adrienne, a very dark, unusual town inhabited by al the evil souls of people who have lived in this world and those unfortunate people who ended up in Adrienne—and cannot leave. These wretched people have become “slaves” in this town. The story plot was interesting and a bit novel, but dark fantasies do not usually interest me, so I had difficulty getting into and reading this one. The author has made the tale interesting with characters the reader will not soon forget. There may be a higher idea behind this book, but I definitely did not see it as I read. In fact, I had difficulty, as I said, getting through it. The story was just too dark for me to enjoy. If you are into this sort of thing, this book will probably appeal to you. I received this from Library Thing to read and review. ( )
  KMT01 | Mar 15, 2015 |
This book was a surprise. I very rarely read or enjoy fantasy books, but the author sent this to me and requested a review, so I thought I would trudge through it and try to be as objective as possible. The only fantasy books that I've read and enjoyed in the past have been Stephen King's Dark Tower series, so I was setting the bar pretty high when I learned that this book was fantasy and not a straightforward thriller.

To my surprise, I found myself staying very engaged with the story. Briefly, a young family is enroute from California to Las Vegas, and takes a shortcut that turns out to be a one-way street into the town of Adrienne. This town not found on any map, and Phil, Wendy and their two children soon discover that there is no way out - all roads lead back to town. They soon learn that the inhabitants of Adrienne are the dark souls of the world's most evil human beings that ever lived - a cauldron of negative energy. Dictators, killers, despots - once they die, they come to Adrienne. Every so often, "normals" like Phil and Wendy find themselves trapped as unwilling residents of the town. Nearly 1,000 "normals" are expected to live there, work, not make any trouble and, of course, not leave. Many of Adrienne's "normals" have been there for decades. Incentives for good behavior are occasionally offered, and bad behavior is dealt with harshly.

The author knows how to tell a good story. The reader gets a good sense of place and, more importantly, really gets a good feel for the main characters. The ending is satisfying and ties up all the loose ends. Although it is fantasy, I found myself really engaged in the story as Adrienne seemed to take on a life of its own. I was also relieved to find that there were no space aliens, vampires, werewolves or zombies!

Upon reflection, I think that this book is every bit as good as King's fantasy books. The writing is smooth, the plot is carefully woven and it's told very well. I am always happy when I read something outside of my usual genre and find it worthwhile - enough so that I feel comfortable recommending it to others and would buy another book in this genre by this author. ( )
  tumbleweeds | Feb 23, 2015 |
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