Book Review: “The Loon”

The Loon. A speculative horror novel by Michaelbrent Collings.

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Listened to the Audible version, narrated by John Bell. Michaelbrent’s own description of the story works best: “A doctor who has lost his child. A woman in an abusive relationship. A man who thinks he is god. A madman who lives only to kill. These are the people who will come together and find that they are not alone. Cut off by a freak storm, they will discover the meaning of terror…in The Loon.

The performance was enjoyable, and the story had me on the edge of my seat as the chaos inside the prison setting progressed. It was a little slow and melodramatic to get into at the beginning, but a very tight and intense story by the end. Lots of characters, both likable and unlikable, are killed off in brutal ways, and there’s quite a bit of implicit horror as well. I found this book very intense and enjoyed it much better when I digested it in small doses, listening a few hours at a time. Yet, the story was extremely engrossing. Be warned that this is not emotionally light reading.

The ending was satisfying and…dare I say “happy,” in a way? The characters who survive at the end are the ones that matter most…and I’ll leave it at that.

I’ve read Collings’ “Darkbound” and first three installments of “The Colony” series. While there was still a speculative element in “The Loon,” the horror in this particular story was more real-world than fantastic.

Intense.

Unique to the audio experience, I’d have to say The Monster passages had cool effects and were my favorite to listen to. Paul, Rachel, and Becky were the characters whose points of view I craved most to return to. Steiger was also extremely creepy and well done in the voice of John Bell. There were a variety of accents that came through in various minor characters that I thought were well done. The narrator did a good job making the unlikable characters unlikable, and the likable characters sympathetic with tone of voice, accents, and other effects.

You can find the ebook or paperback editions of The Loon here.
Or the Audible edition, narrated by John Bell, here.

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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in geology and loves exploring the science of human origins.

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