Book Review: Point Hollow by Rio Youers

About the Book: Point Hollow, NY. A town with unspeakable secrets. To the tourists that visit each summer, it is quintessential America. They stroll through its picturesque streets and hike its stunning trails. No one sees the cracks in the town’s veneer. No one knows its terrible history: a secret that has been buried-forgotten. But Abraham’s Faith, the mountain that overshadows Point Hollow, doesn’t forget so easily. It booms, wicked and controlling. It is filled with the bones of children. Oliver Wray is Point Hollow’s favourite son, its most generous benefactor, admired by all. But Oliver, like the town, has a secret: Abraham’s Faith speaks to him, and he has spent a lifetime serving its cruel needs. He believes his secret is safe, but one person has glimpsed the darkness in his heart . . . Matthew Bridge hasn’t set foot in Point Hollow for twenty-six years. Something horrifying happened to him there. Memories of an ordeal that flicker and taunt, but cannot be recalled. Now, trying to find the answers to his failed marriage and failing life, Matthew is coming home. Back to Point Hollow. Back to Abraham’s Faith.

My Review: Can you feel that sound? A vibration in your bones; a dull thrum growing louder in your head until it becomes a thunderous roar; then words. If you can hear words then the mountain, dubbed as Abraham’s Faith, speaks to you and it needs you to carry out horrible deeds. In the town of Point Hollow, in the Catskill Mountains, no one knows that sound better than Oliver Wray. colemountainOliver is Point Hollow’s favourite son and he knows the mountain’s voice well. When Abraham’s Faith taunts, it creates a visceral torrent of psychological degradation in Oliver, lending strife to his character and bringing to the story a tragic and disturbed persona that eventually collides with the protagonist, Matthew Bridge.

The novel sets pace after Oliver meets Matthew, and the mountain booms in Oliver’s ears to bring it a child. Oliver obeys. He lures 10 year old Matthew away from his home and together they venture onto the slopes of Abraham’s Faith. Tension builds, facades crumble and the terrifying truth about Oliver sends Matthew running for his life from the mountain.

screenshot_2015-04-22-00-58-49-1Twenty-six years later Matthew still carries with him nightmares of his childhood abduction. The problem is he can’t seem to remember the details. With his marriage eroding from these constant nightmares Matthew sets out to find answers. He leaves New York city and returns to his hometown of Point Hollow. His quest: to uncover the memories of what happened to him on the mountain, but what he finds are deadly secrets. The mountain has called Matthew home, and this time there’s no escape.

From the moment I laid eyes on this novel I could hear the mountain (as you can see in my photo of life imitating cover-art, it had possessed me). I enjoyed reading Point Hollow for two reasons: it played like a movie in my head, and Rio Youers has a flare for writing unbridled horror that strikes you in the gut and surprises. I’m excited for what this author will come out with next. Bravo Rio.

Point Hollow by Rio Youers is published by ChiZine Publications. ChiZine was awarded the HWA 2014 Specialty Press Award at the 2015 World Horror Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out other great books and Rio Youers’ previous publication Westlake Soul by visiting ChiZine Publications online.

Rio YouersAbout the Author: Rio Youers is the British Fantasy Award–nominated author of End Times and Old Man Scratch. His short fiction has been published by, among others, St. Martin’s Griffin, Harper Collins, and IDW Publishing. His previous novel, Westlake Soul, was nominated for Canada’s prestigious Sunburst Award and has been optioned for film by Hollywood producer Stephen Susco. He lives in southwestern Ontario with his wife, Emily, and their children, Lily and Charlie.


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