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The Wicked by James Newman
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The Wicked

by James Newman

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a free copy of The Wicked via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Well, that was a lot of fun. The Wicked is everything that I loved about the good old fashion trashy horror novels of the 80's. It's a bit of a car crash. It's cheesy, it's gruesome, it's fast paced, it's your stereotypical good vs evil horror, but that's why it's so good. It's a roller-coaster ride that blasts through the doors of every ghost train and haunted house in the park without allowing you to catch your breath in between. There's no fancy prose, no heavy wordy detail, no pages and pages of world building or character building. It's straight up horror, no bells or whistles and I had a blast reading it.

Definitely one I would recommend. ( )
  Scarlet-Aingeal | Jun 2, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Wicked by James Newman is a book I won on LibraryThing and it is pretty exciting. Lots of twists, turns, murder, supernatural elements, and an ending I did not see coming. A good thriller/horror to please those that love this kind of book. Not too much gore, suspense mostly. A little wordy at times but I enjoyed it. ( )
  MontzaleeW | May 22, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book had a lot of potential and started off great. A ‘town consumed by evil’ tale, it begins with a description of the tragedy that befell the Heller Home for Children in ’02 when an arsonist, Robert John Briggs, burned the place to the ground, killing all the children housed within. Briggs was found to be clearly insane and during his trial kept smiling and would scribble the word “Moloch,” or variations of this word, on his palms and other places. Despite the teen’s subsequent incarceration, the town of Morganville, North Carolina would never be the same again.

After this beginning, we are introduced to the protagonists who are re-locating to Morganville from New York City. The Littles (David, Kate, and young Becca) are a family in crisis. Kate is pregnant but the child may be the result of a rape, leaving David with ambivalent feelings. Morganville is the home of Kate’s gay brother, Joel, who is the acting county coroner. David apparently has some homophobic feelings about Joel, but these are never explained or explored in the novel, leaving the reader wondering why the author included them in the first place. We are also introduced to the Littles’ new neighbor, George, a retired ex-Marine.

The action starts with the suicide of the town’s Fire Chief, who is also a neighbor, and accelerates from there. There are some truly nasty creatures that murder a young boy and I was disappointed that these did not play a more prominent role as the novel progressed.

I guess what I found lacking in the book were explanations as to the what and why of the events surrounding the Littles. Why does this family, their neighbor, George, and the Chief of Police, remain immune to the forces that consume everyone else in the town? Is there a common denominator somewhere in their past? And why is Becca singled out for sacrifice? These and other questions are left hanging by the wayside as the events unfold.

This is not a bad read and, if fact, I’m sure many will enjoy it. However, for me, it left too many loose ends. Written as homage to horror novels of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, a “Salem’s Lot” it’s not!

I received a free copy of this book as part of Library Thing’s Read and Review Program. ( )
  splatland | May 20, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A very entertaining tale of terror that uses much of the classic horror formula with new vitality. Newman's The Wiked tells the tale of a young family rocked by tragedy that moves to a small looking for a new beginning only to find themselves in the middle of an ancient demon's attempt to resurrect himself. Physical and psychological torture of the townspeople is often hidden behind insatiable lust. ( )
  Crus458 | May 3, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an unashamed hark back to 1980's horror, noticeable from the first chapter, where a family escapes from the painful memories in the city, moving to a small town with it's own dark secret. It's hook may be stereotypical, but it's written well enough and the characters strong enough to keep you immersed from the the start, right until the last chapter.

This novel stands tall amongst it's genre for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the relationships are well conceived, the family's dialogue seems realistic, their frustrations real world ones. Both genders are well represented, avoiding some of the weaker narrative and stereotypes in pulp horror. As tension builds, this helps create more realism, the familial discourse is spot on.

There are plenty of established authors (King, Koontz, Bentley Little) who have used the small town scenario and Newman mimics none directly, yet his style includes a little of all their approaches.

The horror itself is grandiose, reminiscent of Graham Masterton, where no taboo is too far, the horror real and grisly. Newman seems to never hold back, freely using sensual and sexual elements to escalate the terror and feel of malevolence.

It's not a clever horror novel, nor does it try to be. This is a very enjoyable roller-coaster ride in a small town beset by evil. It may be typical of a genre popular a few decades back, but it's done well! ( )
  SonicQuack | Apr 25, 2017 |
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