The nightmare begins on a lonely country road when young bride Elaine Stern suffers "a fate worse than death" at the hands of a werewolf. Nine months later, the traumatized woman gives birth to a pair of fraternal twins. One, Jason, is frail, bespectacled and timid. The other, Joshua, is aggressive and hairy, with uncanny strength. When the boys are in their teens, they arrive at Hallerton College, a mysterious place where weird things tend to happen even before they get there. The horror goes into overdrive when a string of grisly murders paralyzes the campus. As the body count mounts, Jason begins to suspect that his brother has inherited the curse of lycanthropy. He races to find a cure, enlisting the help of the wise, adventurous and beautiful Professor Cairo Oldewood. Also along for the ride are Cameron, a gorgeous blonde coed, and Jason's roommate Dylan, a fearless extreme-sports junkie who will do anything for a thrill, even face the full fury of a rampaging monster. Together, to save Joshua's soul, they must solve a centuries-old mystery before the full moon rises again, and before the hour of the beast is upon them!
"Hour of the Beast is written in fire and blood. This gripping, fast-paced mystery/thriller features an Indiana Jones-type heroine, Cairo Oldewood. It will keep you turning the page to the very last horror." -- J.e. Franklin, winner of New York Drama Desk Award.
Fast-paced and tightly written, Hour of the Beast is a terrifying roller-coaster ride through Hell and back. From the opening scene of indescribable horror to its nail-biting climax on a snow-enshrouded mountain, the tale grabs you by the throat and never lets go.
The book introduces a unique horror heroine: Professor Cairo Oldewood, a globe-trotting female Indiana Jones. This charismatic character is intriguing enough to spawn a book series of her own- provided she survives, of course.
The author is a former writer for the infamous tabloid Weekly World News, best known for its wacky headlines like "Bat Boy Escapes" and "Alien Backs Clinton." So, as one might expect, the novel is laced with black, subversive humor. Some of the college students' wisecracks and use of slang (banishing your roommate so you can have sex in privacy is known as "sexiling") will make the reader laugh out loud. Yet the book is meticulously researched and delves seriously into werewolf lore. In its pages one finds everything from the origins of lycanthropy in Greco-Roman cults to its bizarre link to LSD produced in bread mold.
And, though it delivers the requisite blood, gore and chills in spades, Hour of the Beast is more than just a horror novel. The author is a Yale graduate with a degree in English Literature and it shows. The work is full of sly historical and literary allusions (Hallerton College is a nod to Harry Haller, the protagonist of Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf). In many ways, the book is a thought-provoking exploration of the nature of good and evil in a man. The novel has its share of steamy moments. Some scenes between Cameron and one of the brothers will certainly get readers' pulses pounding. But, despite an opening rape scene--which is tastefully executed, there is nothing in this book to offend the typical adult or young adult reader.
Reminiscent of the early novels of Stephen King, such as Salem's Lot, Hour of the Beast is a masterpiece of modern horror. Beyond the fright factor, the book's characters are three-dimensional and fascinating--you actually care about them.
This book will appeal to hardcore horror fans and to people who prefer their chillers with a dose of intellect. The folks who like the works of Charlaine Harris (author of the Sookie Stackhouse books that are the basis of the HBO series "True Blood") will love this scary, smart, sexy novel.
|Publisher:||Outskirts Press, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the best werewolf book I've read since The Howling. The opening chapter was pure, unrelenting terror -- it grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Once you're involved, you just can't stop turning the pages. Throughout, the suspense steadily builds, the mystery deepens and the feeling of dread becomes almost suffocating. The climax, on a snow-enshrouded mountain, is unforgetable.
This book started off good with an action-filled first chapter where we are introduced to Elaine on her wedding day. After that first chapter we do not see much more of Elaine until the very end of the book. The book centers around her two sons, Jason and Joshua, who are a result of her interactions with a werewolf on her wedding night. Jason and Joshua are twins who are as different as night and day. Joshua is muscular, athletic, and has a bad temper. Jason is mild, weak, and always getting Joshua out of trouble. Although I did like the story, I pretty much had everything figured out by about chapter 4. After getting off to a good start, the book slowed down quite a bit until the last few chapters. Overall, it was a good read. I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.