Blood, gore and sex pretty much sum this brutal horror tale, The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz.
Ben and Eddie are composers and currently are working on a score for a new horror movie except Ben has writers block. Eddie rents Castle Blackwood based on an island called The Sorrows for a month, hoping the spooky atmosphere and the folklore that surrounds the area will inspire Ben to write. They bring Eve, the sexy glamorous assistant/girlfriend of the movie producer, Lee Stanley who is paying them to produce the music for his film. Also, Claire, a wannabe composer, who they met at a party (!), who is less glamorous and often portrayed in an unflattering way. As soon as they get there they start having unsettling dreams. An ancient monster roams the island and shades of tragedy. Eve finds her erotic dreams becoming too real. Eddie is haunted by past sins. Ben is haunted by fears for his son and Claire’s self hatred manifests in reality. Flashbacks in the form of a diary tell the story of how the monster was created and origin story.
The problem is, it wasn’t for me. Sexual violence makes me uncomfortable and it contains this a great deal. Sexual references involving animals also makes me uncomfortable. I found I disliked the characters mostly. Ben was OK but he became superman, running around with broken ribs etc. Claire was OK but I has issues with her following a group of strangers to an island for a month, she was a groupie really. Everybody seems to be trying to get into each others pants. I wasn’t a fan of the flashback diary entry chapters and yet again the characters were in my opinion unlikable. Certain parts of the story just didn’t make sense, like how come the property is in good repair and waiting for them when it has been uninhabited for so long. Certain characters very conveniently turn up. I struggled to get through this book. I think the writing is fine, it is well written and it flowed well. I could imagine it as a movie, certainly a video nasty. I don’t want to criticise the authors ability but the stories content and some of the style didn’t work for me.
3/5….Nasty, gore and sex if you like that sort of thing.
Thank you to Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for eArc copy for an honest review.