Faithful Shadow

Faithful Shadow

4.6 13
by Kevin J. Howard

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How often do you really notice a shadow?

Kevin J. Howard�s novel, Faithful Shadow, takes you beyond the splendor of nature to the terror that lies beneath, one that should have never been discovered.

Yellowstone is suffering from the largest forest fire in the park�s history. Ranger JOE RAND, once passionate about nature and now drowning in alcohol


How often do you really notice a shadow?

Kevin J. Howard�s novel, Faithful Shadow, takes you beyond the splendor of nature to the terror that lies beneath, one that should have never been discovered.

Yellowstone is suffering from the largest forest fire in the park�s history. Ranger JOE RAND, once passionate about nature and now drowning in alcohol after the recent death of his son, notices something is very wrong after a string of disappearances. When a fireman is found dead in the Old Faithful Inn after falling into a hole earlier that day, his body mauled and deprived of all its fluids, Joe knows he has no choice but to set down his flask and investigate. Joe and Lieutenant DALE CAFFEY of the Billings Fire Department go into the woods to search the hole the fireman had fallen into. They discover a series of tunnels lined with bones, the air thick with smoke. Joe and Dale conclude that the creature that had killed the fireman had left its subterranean dwelling to flee the overwhelming smoke from the fire above. The creature takes shelter inside the Inn, concealing itself within the darkened crevices, emerging only to feast on passersby. After staging an evacuation of the park, they lock themselves inside the Inn to hunt the creature. After just a short while it becomes frighteningly clear that, in fact, the creature is hunting them.

Editorial Reviews

Readers' Favorite - Lee Ashford
�Faithful Shadow� by Kevin J. Howard tells the tale of one fictional, but terrifying, result of the major fires in and near Yellowstone National Park several years ago, or in any year yet to come. Smoke from the main fire, several miles from park headquarters, has invaded a massive network of undiscovered tunnels below the park. Living within this network of tunnels is a previously undiscovered �thing�: not animal, not human, but best described as a "shadow" monster.

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Outskirts Press, Inc.
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Meet the Author

Kevin Howard lives with his family in Washington. He worked in Yellowstone National Park for the summer season as part of a family tradition. Kevin, his wife Melissa, and his two young children enjoy spending summers there.

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Faithful Shadow 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Alison1 More than 1 year ago
A very well written novel set amongst the beauty of Yellowstone National Park. Kevin J. Howard does an excellent job creating a creature that's fresh and original, a true killing machine without a conscience. A dark monster hiding beneath the soil amongst the tourists for centuries, forced out of its bone filled caverns by a raging forest fire. Ranger Joe Rand is a very well rounded character that I felt very sorry for and I routed for him. One thing about this novel, don't become attached to the characters. One of the things I loved about this author's style is that you never knew what to expect and no one was safe. I really recommend this novel to anyone that wants a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found it hard to put this book down. Right from the start it hooked me and reeled me in. It was action packed and fast paced, and I found myself hoping that my favorite characters would escape the monster roaming the park.
Margaret_Marr More than 1 year ago
Every now and then, I’ll come across a gem among self-published books that makes the search worthwhile. Kevin J. Howard’s Faithful Shadow is one of those novels. Faithful Shadow will keep you on the edge with its suspenseful flow and interesting characters. It’s the kind of story that moves along with a smooth rhythm that will keep you up half the night reading. Ranger Joe Rand may have a drinking problem that was born out of depression over the loss of his son, but he hangs in there with a minimal amount of whining, and he does what he has to do in order to protect the many tourists who flock to Yellowstone National Park. He’s a good man who just happens to be down at the moment, but you’ll know that he’s going to pull through. Meanwhile, part of the fun of reading Faithful Shadow is trying to guess what kind of creature stalks the park. Since it hides in the shadows, you’ll never quite be sure of what it is, but you will know that it’s vicious and deadly, and it deserves its fate, whatever that might be. Somewhat creepy and terribly suspenseful, Faithful Shadow will not only hook you, but it will make you swallow the line and sinker as well, leaving no hope for a getaway—not that you’d want to get away from this entertaining tale of horror.
DonaldHarris More than 1 year ago
I came across this novel from a post I found on Facebook and thought it looked interesting enough. Most new books by authors these days are sloppy and full of spelling error, but this was a nice surprise. I could tell the novel was either professionally edited or just extremely well written...or both. It started off with the feel of a horror movie, as if I were watching it rather than reading it and he kept that momentum through the entire novel. I thought the setting within a nation park was great. I myself have been to Yellowstone several times and felt he captured the essence of the park very well. My wife and I have also stayed within the Old Faithful Inn, but I had never noticed the employee areas or how it functioned behind the scenes. I found the employee elements of the novel engaging and fun to follow along. The creature itself was rather interesting. I'm getting a little annoyed of always seeing zombies or vampires, not that I don't love them, so it was refreshing to see something different. Just as Stephen King used an unusual creature in IT that would take the shape of a taunting clown, I feel Kevin J. Howard did an incredible job creating a malicious killing machine. And as I read through the novel I found this creature has no problem snacking on whoever it wanted, much to my sadness at times. Let's just say there are characters I had been rooting for that didn't get their final lines at the end, but it was well done the way he wrote their deaths. I also liked the troubled Ranger Joe. I could see his pain through much of the book and found him to be a very unlikely hero by many of his actions, but then I began rooting for him. The ending was dark, but well done. I will definitely be reading the next novel this author publishes.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
A creature unlike any other, nothing more than a shadow, has been living in tunnels and caves until Yellowstone National Park. It has survived decades on animals and tourists that fall into the tunnels and pits. But now Yellowstone is on fire. The smoke has chased the shadow out of its tunnels. Now it is looking for a safe place to hide. But it is stuck in man’s world, where can it go. Joe Rand is a ranger for Yellowstone. He once cared for his job but now dwells on the loss of his son and drowns himself in alcohol. But when a firefighter is discovered sucked dry, he knows something odd is happening. Joe is going to have to surface to find the killer before it strikes again. But how do you fight a shadow? This is a great thriller. First, you can tell Howard has spent time in the national parks. There was so much imagery that I felt right there with Joe. Joe was a great character, it broke my heart about him losing his son but I was glad that he could pull it together to stop the shadow. I was just a kid and lived in northern Montana when Yellowstone was on fire so I don’t really remember much except the smoke and hearing about all the firefighters. But I was in western Nevada when Yosemite fire was on fire. Just thinking about forest fires scares me. Then you have to add in a mystery creature hunting, yep I was thoroughly scared. I had to finish this book in one night. I was NOT going to be trying to go to sleep knowing that it was still alive even if it was just in a book. This is a great thriller/horror story that anyone would like. I recommend that you get a copy; you will be adding it to your collection. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It’s summertime in Yellowstone National Park, but it’s far from a pleasant escape for the park’s visitors and staff. First a wildfire threatens nearby, inching closer and closer to the visitor’s area and leaving a thick smoke hanging in the air. Then people start disappearing, but there is no sign of a struggle; it’s as if they simply vanished. After days of searching, Rangers Joe and Andy finally stumble upon a watch in the underbrush from a missing staffer. "The watch was almost stuck to the plant with some sappy, black liquid. Joe held it up to his nose and took a whiff, pulling it away instantly. The smell was foul. Like mold and bog water rolled into one." But what could leave such a substance? Not any animal the rangers are familiar with. Unfortunately this is only the beginning of their interaction with a mysterious shadow creature that feasts on human flesh. As more people go missing, those left must decide how they can possibly find – and destroy – this beast. But how can you find something that lurks in the shadows? Though I rarely read the horror genre, I do enjoy “creature features” like the SyFy original movies, and Faithful Shadow unfolded in a similar fashion. It was a little gory for me, especially towards the end, but regular readers of horror may have less of a problem with that. In a former job I read a great deal of self-published novels that were so bad I could barely understand what the author was trying to communicate, much less enjoy them – but Howard’s writing is truly professional. Not only was the story enjoyable, but it was free of the usual errors one would expect to find without a professional editor on hand. The author obviously put a lot of time into crafting not only the plot but the language to create a picture in the mind of the reader. He used great skill in writing horrifying descriptions of the monster and his wrath throughout the novel. He also kept me turning pages by giving so little information about the monster early in the story. I kept wondering what we were dealing with, and that kept me reading. Faithful Shadow should appeal to anyone who enjoys dark tales of evil creatures unknown to man.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite “Faithful Shadow” by Kevin J. Howard tells the tale of one fictional, but terrifying, result of the major fires in and near Yellowstone National Park several years ago, or in any year yet to come. Smoke from the main fire, several miles from park headquarters, has invaded a massive network of undiscovered tunnels below the park. Living within this network of tunnels is a previously undiscovered “thing”: not animal, not human, but best described as a "shadow" monster. For untold centuries this beast has survived on hapless animals it hunted after dark, along with the occasional “missing” tourist who happened to fall unaware into one of the many access and egress holes the “shadow” has situated at numerous locations along its tunnels. But smoke in the tunnels has forced this “thing” out into the surface world to seek the cover of darkness wherever it can. Will it find a safe place to wait out the fire storm? Will the park staff and visitors be safe with this “thing” evicted from its tunnel home? "Faithful Shadow" is crafted by an author who quite obviously worked for a season or more at Yellowstone during his younger days; his detailed depiction of the seasonal park aide life is precise and totally accurate. I was a seasonal park aide myself; I vouch for the accuracy of the author’s descriptions. I can also vouch for the sentimental attachment Park Rangers have for their parks, for I had the same connection with the natural beauty and wonder of the various parks and refuges where I spent more than 25 years. Kevin Howard has an impeccable talent for building a story around the reader. You are more than just an observer; you are on the scene, a part of the action. In spite of the horror unleashed by the unidentified creature, Kevin still manages to make you want to visit the park, to inhale its beauty. I look forward to more of Kevin Howard’s artistic way with words. This book is a must read, not only for horror fans, but for fans of nature and the wondrous natural world.
Lily_F More than 1 year ago
Don't blink..... Originally Featured on Bookluvrs Haven. Those eyes. Glowing an unnatural green from the darkness of the forest. Staring at you. Urging your primal instincts for flight, as the hair on your arms and the back of your neck raise. Terror blinds you. Your hearing is hindered by the frantic beating of your frightened heart. There is no stand to fight. You are gripped in your terror, and you run. Run faster than you though you could possibly run. But you can't run fast enough. Because it is hungry and it screams for your blood. A shadow crosses your path. A long limb emerges from the darkness, talons extended. You open your mouth wide to scream, but you don't make a sound. The last thing you see is the glow of those unnatural eyes, before life escapes you, and you know no more.... If I had an interpretation of some of the last moments of hundreds of deaths hinted at in this novel, I imagine many of those moments would be such as I imagined above. Because for decades, a shadow monster made its underground home in Yellowstone. With a park as large as this, with so many visitors over the seasons, some in groups, others alone to backpack and reflect, that disappear over the ages never to be found.... Surely they were lost forever due to the elements, getting lost within the kilometers and kilometers of land. Who would ever think to attribute any of it to a monster that may even defy the imagination. Definitely not Ranger Joe Rand. That is the furthest thing from his mind. But as this immense fire rages through the park, and disappearances increase, it is undeniable to some of the characters in this novel that something very strange and unnatural is out and about. And when a mysterious death occurs that defies all explanations, even the biggest skeptics must finally concede that the shadows are alive with a beast the likes no one has ever seen. From the very first page of this novel, Kevin J. Howard had me completely captivated. Only showing me a little glimpse of a creature I struggled to imagine, and almost didn't want to imagine so I could sleep well at night. He isn't interested in readers with sensitive stomachs either as he doesn't have an issue giving you graphic descriptions. Heads rolled, guts spilled, blood sprayed. Horror lovers will understand when I say that I love a good scare. I love the adrenaline rush that a descriptive horror scene brings. When you are in the dark room with your characters, watching a shadow move faster than your brain can capture. The shock you feel as a reader, when you realize that just a sentence ago a character was speaking, only to understand that their sudden silence is due to them missing their head in the blink of an eye. Your heart pounds with the carefully woven intense tension and anxiety of not knowing where this thing is going to come from next. And you wonder... How do you kill a shadow? Will it ever end? One of the best monster novels I have read since picking up Michael Crichton's 'Congo', and I read that ages ago! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! *I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*
EmilyJohnson1 More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent first novel. The last novel I read by a new author was poorly edited, so right away I was thrilled with this novel. The idea was simple enough, a monster in the forest forced out by a forest fire, but the execution was wonderful. I've been to Yellowstone many times and never did I think I was in danger. The author does a fantastic job taking you out of your comfort zone. I felt the employees of the park were kind of punks, but that's probably how they really are. Young people in their twenties, partying in the woods every night without really knowing what is lurking in the trees. What a fun read. The creature is an original creation, which is a breath of fresh air. I hate reading about the same kinds of evil creatures all the time, but this was a nice change
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kinder More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a horror book in a long time, but it kept me glued to the pages as I furiously turned to find out what happened. The first chapter sucks you in with the disappearance of park tourists, and the vivid details makes you feel like you're actually seeing it. As I read the whole book, I could see everything in my mind, like a movie. A monster is terrorizing Yellowstone, killing not only tourists but the firemen who are fighting a fire miles away and employees of the park. But is it really a monster?