Kyle Lybeck's Literary Lair
The Lurkers

In the small town of Doverton, Wisconsin, an evil stirs. They are called Haunchies and live in the corn fields and woods. The Haunchies are small, human-like creatures, that will stop at nothing to stop any threat to their home, their land. While they will kill at a moments notice to defend their lives, they will also keep some women aside to keep their kind going for future generations. What they do to the ones they kill is horrific, but what they do to the living is even more unspeakable.

A band of young men and women take a trip and find themselves near this small town, unknowingly close to the legend that are these creatures. What happens next will change their lives forever, and leave this town in shambles. Can these creatures be stopped? What happens to a small town that could be overcome by such creatures?

Unfortunately The Lurkers falls flat in some respects for me. The first half, literally to the page, is all about the character buildup. The relationships with the men and women, and really not much else. There are hints to the creatures, but nobody actually gets caught up with them until the second half of the novel. For me it was a tale of two stories. The first half was relationships and characters, the second half was a Laymon-like creature feature, in the realm of The Cellar. If the whole novel was like this, I would have enjoyed it much more, but unfortunately this was mediocre first-half story from an author I've grown fond of over the past year. I'd give this novel a C overall, and really only because of the first half being the way that it was. But wait, there's more!

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The Lurking Season

Years after the last novel left off, a group of young men and women buy up a small piece of land in Doverton, Wisconsin, so that they can build a treatment center to help others. Upon their journey to this house, they find that the land they bought may not be exactly what they think it is. The townsfolk are none too happy to have them poking around the land, and definitely not the house they bought. They warn them of what could befall them, but they push forth anyways, skeptics of what was told to them.

The Haunchies are back, and they're pissed as hell. Who dare come to their land and try to stake claim? They'll show these youngsters who's boss, one by one, until the threat is abated and the women are theirs. But what really happens is much, much worse for all parties intended. The showdown in Doverton has just begun, and all hell is about to break lose.

In the sequel to The Lurkers, Kristopher Rufty fixes exactly what I felt was the downfall in the first novel. The pacing is much better, controlled, and much more engaging. The characters are much more believable, their stories fit into what is going on much better, and they fight back to try and live against these evil creatures of the land. It's all about the creatures in this one, and nobody is safe. Overall this novel fixes its predecessors' problems, and garners a B+ rating from me.

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Review by Kyle Lybeck

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