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Crota: A Novel

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Overview

In a magical and hallucinatory tale that combines elements of mystery, blood-curdling suspense and Native-American mythology, Owl Goingback has created a visionary novel featuring a memorable duo whose shared history binds them together against a terrifying force and the ancient, awakening evil of the land. Crota is a harrowing depiction of time out of time, of the prehistoric in collision with the here and now.
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Overview

In a magical and hallucinatory tale that combines elements of mystery, blood-curdling suspense and Native-American mythology, Owl Goingback has created a visionary novel featuring a memorable duo whose shared history binds them together against a terrifying force and the ancient, awakening evil of the land. Crota is a harrowing depiction of time out of time, of the prehistoric in collision with the here and now.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
The energy of a grade-B monster movie pervades Goingback's debut novel. So do that genre's clichés, including the tired theme of the Indian curse. When Hobbs County, Mo., is besieged by the Crota-a brain-munching, bone-crunching bogey of Creek mythology-familiar characters surface: Jay Little Hawk, the Native American game warden who knows the creature's history and vulnerabilities; Skip Harding, the local sheriff whose reacquaintance with his own Native American roots is the linchpin for defeating the Crota; and a host of faceless types who appear just long enough to become the monster's prey. Goingback puts all of them through predictable paces in a novel that's little more than a standard chase-and-capture scenario played out above and below the ground of the small town of Logan. The narrative high points are the accounts of Indian history and legend, which have the flavor of the authentic oral tradition. These clash with descriptive prose that would have been stale in the days of the pulps (a stewardess has 'a pair of legs that seemed to go on forever'), but Goingback keeps the action brisk and knows where to put the necessary lucky coincidence or happy twist to distract readers from his tale's unwavering simplicity.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The energy of a grade-B monster movie pervades Goingback's debut novel. So do that genre's clichs, including the tired theme of the Indian curse. When Hobbs County, Mo., is besieged by the Crota-a brain-munching, bone-crunching bogey of Creek mythology-familiar characters surface: Jay Little Hawk, the Native American game warden who knows the creature's history and vulnerabilities; Skip Harding, the local sheriff whose reacquaintance with his own Native American roots is the linchpin for defeating the Crota; and a host of faceless types who appear just long enough to become the monster's prey. Goingback puts all of them through predictable paces in a novel that's little more than a standard chase-and-capture scenario played out above and below the ground of the small town of Logan. The narrative high points are the accounts of Indian history and legend, which have the flavor of the authentic oral tradition. These clash with descriptive prose that would have been stale in the days of the pulps (a stewardess has "a pair of legs that seemed to go on forever"), but Goingback keeps the action brisk and knows where to put the necessary lucky coincidence or happy twist to distract readers from his tale's unwavering simplicity. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
A first novel about an ancient monster that emerges from beneath the earth to terrorize a Missouri small town.

Some shift in a faultline has awakened the monster, which is huge and demonlike, with evil-seeming eyes. It looks something like a bear and has the skin and slithering capability of a reptile. And it's hungry. First, it kills a teenage boy on the way to pick up his date, then the man who discovers him. Then it devours a herd of cattle and the farmer who tries to defend them—giving rise to cattle mutilation stories among the locals. Bullets won't stop the monster, because it's really a demon. Only magic will work: Goingback, who is Choctaw, pits Jay Little Hawk against the demon, but even he, with all of his hunting lore, must consult with an old shaman to divine just what the demon is and how it can be killed. Little Hawk joins with the local sheriff, Skip Harding, who did battle with the demon and lived to tell the tale, and together the two bring the thing down with a magic, stone-pointed arrow. All of which is extremely similar to—though far less imaginative than—last summer's Christian crossover, Frank Peretti's The Oath.

Goingback is readable and his Choctaw lore appealing. But his story quickly drops into the banal suspense of a Dean Koontz or Clive Barker. He isn't, however, any worse.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451197368
  • Publisher: Signet
  • Publication date: 12/1/1998
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 6.72 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2001

    What A Fun Book!

    Finally a new fun horror author, Owl Goingback is good! I really enjoyed Mr. Goingback¿s style and prose in this book. I picked this book up because the author was awarded the Bram Stroker for best first novel in 1998. Yes, it sometimes takes me awhile to get to a book, there are so many to read. But, rest assured this one is worth the time. So take the time and enjoy the read. Owl Goingback is an excellent writer. He managed in just a few pages to have me caring for the characters in this book. Something that some authors can¿t do in a hundred pages. The characters are very nicely written and developed, I was a little sad when the book ended and I¿ll miss these characters. As for the plot, it is not an outstanding one. But in Mr. Goingback¿s hands it does stand out. I was tense and guessing what was going to happen the whole time I was reading ¿Crota¿. I¿m looking forward to reading more from Mr. Goingback. I would say that he has a bright future ahead of him. A very fun and interesting read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2000

    Non-stop suspense and horror!

    This book is fantastic! It hooked me right from the beginning when you don't know what Crota is and people are dying left and right. Owl Goingback's book is full of atmosphere when it comes to delivering terror. You won't be disappointed reading this suspensful and fast-paced book. I loved it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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