From Cherie Priest, the author of The Family Plot and Maplecroft, comes The Toll, a tense, dark, and scary treat for modern fans of the traditionally strange and macabre.
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Take a road trip into a Southern gothic horror novel.
Titus and Melanie Bell are on their honeymoon and have reservations in the Okefenokee Swamp cabins for a canoeing trip. But shortly before they reach their destination, the road narrows into a rickety bridge with old stone pilings, with room for only one car.
Much later, Titus wakes up lying in the middle of the road, no bridge in sight. Melanie is missing. When he calls the police, they tell him there is no such bridge on Route 177 . . .
|Publisher:||Tom Doherty Associates|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
CHERIE PRIEST is the author of Boneshaker, the first book in the Clockwork Century series; I Am Princess X, her YA debut; and several other novels. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I knew the minute I saw that Cherie Priest was having another southern gothic horror novel come out, that I had to read it. And just like with Four and Twenty Blackbirds (the start of her Eden Moore series), I absolutely loved The Toll. I love the way Priest is able to convey such a creeping sinister vibe in her horror novels, it’s exactly the kind of aesthetic that I can’t get enough of! That might not be for everyone, but it most certainly is the kind of disturbing that keeps me reading! The Toll takes place in and around the small, dying town of Staywater right outside the Okefenokee Swamp. Staywater doesn’t have many long term residents, or accommodations; it’s a one bar, one bed and breakfast type of town. When a young couple, Titus and Melanie Bell, are driving through on State Road 177 to get to the Okefenokee Swamp and get stopped at an old and decrepit one-way bridge, something strange happens. And when the husband wakes up, his wife is nowhere to be found and the bridge has disappeared. What follows is equal parts mystery, horror and downright strange as Titus begins to realize that there’s something a lot more sinister going on in Staywater and on State Road 177. There are many different characters that feature in this story, most are residents of Staywater, but there is also Titus and his wife, and the very town of Staywater itself becomes a sort of character throughout the story. I love the way Cherie Priest uses the setting of her horror stories to really influence the creepy vibe and let the location speak for itself. Growing up in the south, I’ve seen firsthand how sometimes certain places here can carry their own distinct “feel,” and sometimes, more often than not, that influences the spookiness that many places in the south are famous for. I really enjoyed the characters in this story, and the secrets about them that we find out as the story goes on, but most of all I just really enjoy the way Priest tells her horror stories. If you are into creepy, slow burn southern gothic stories, definitely check The Toll out! And also go look for her Eden Moore series, because that’s just as good! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Fantastic cover, but the story is not built enough and the characters are thin. I did like atmospheric setting of an empty town by the swamps. It's a Southern gothic horror that works largely because of the descriptions of the place and the history of the town.
Thank you to NetGalley, Macmillan TOR/Forge and Ms Cherie Priest for the opportunity to read this Advanced Readers Copy of "Toll" It's a Southern classic monster story where things go bump in the night. Include with this eccentric characters, and a town with haunted empty stores and you have yourself a scary read for nighttime Willies. Melanie and Titus are on their honeymoon and they have decided to head out to a cabin in the Okefenokee swamps. On the way to their honeymoon cabin retreat they pass over seven bridges... but there really should only be six... Let the story begin to haunt you with creepy descriptions of a time of forgotten swampland, where monsters live under bridges and the fight for good vs evil just got started... again, 13 years later. 3 stars. #NetGalley #Macmillan #Cheriepriest #southerngothic #Scary