Ancient Eyesby David Niall Wilson
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Abe Carlson left the mountains years ago but he's never quite gotten them out of his blood. Terrible nightmares followed by a cryptic letter from his mother draw him home, and drop him in the middle of an ancient battle between good and evil brewing in the deep woods and rocky hills of his childhood, a battle his father fought, and failed to complete This time he wonders if goodness and light will have the strength to triumph as they did so many years before.
On the mountain, Silas Greene is lured into the deep woods by an ancient spirit that baptizes him in blood and fire.Bound to the spirit, Silas and his followers begin rebuilding an ancient church , intent on resurrecting the dark sacrifices and rituals of years past.
Two men. Two churches. One of darkness and one of light. And only one can triumph.
- Crossroad Press
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With Ancient Eyes, David turns up the dial on tension and brooding malevolence, and throws in more than a little backcountry isolation, Faith and dramatic history. (Oh, and lots of snakes!) He sets out to show you both fear and hope - and achieves both with plenty of action to spare too. Set halfway up the middle of nowhere - not actually that far from civilisation, but seemingly removed in time from the rest of California, the story brings together a dark and terrible past that is repeating itself again, with a new and ambitious figure in the little Church forming a dangerous relationship with the dark presence above the door that has rooted itself in the very bones of the mountain. Another, more primal force also seeks mastery of the scattered denizens of the mountainside, and it is this powerful and mysterious interplay of forces that pulse in and out of the storyline, throbbing with gelid power much as Silas Greene makes his moves - recruiting the more easily led villagers to his cause as he seeks mastery both of the mountainside and what he believes to be his Destiny with the dark powers. If you've had the chance to read the excellent Heart of A Dragon, you'll have spotted the references to San Valencez - and a similar slightly otherworldy aspect to events is very much to the fore here also. With strong characters, rooted in their family ties, their Faith in their elders, and a belief in Light over Darkness - the story plays out as it draws Abraham Carlson back to the memories of his Father's failed attempt to root out the evil decades ago, and we find the events leading inexorably to a dramatic conclusion with Greene and Carlson, and more than a few clever twists along the way. With a peerless skill for a good story, David draws together the disparate mountain-dwellers and the fragments of their long-buried past and drags you and them up the mountain behind Abraham in search of redemption and an end to the madness the dark powers have wrought amongst them. One tip - When you reach the end - remember to breathe again!