I only got into Kelly's work this year but he has rapidly become one of my favorite horror writers alive. I don't like doing things in halves, so I decided to review three of his novels that I read recently. In general, Kelly has a way with establishing atmosphere and characterization without taking too much of the reader's time. This ability helps to make his work engaging and the generous sprinkling of specific detail in landscapes and southern culture enrich his stories and adds to their believability. It also helps that he can spin a great yarn.

Undertaker's Moon: one of the best werewolf novels I've ever read and I'm picky when it comes to werewolf novels. In this novel, a family of Irish lycanthropes, led by their master, migrate to a small southern town. One of them has an insidious agenda of his own that is nothing short of disastrous. The folklore of this story is fascinating. Considering the history of the villain takes place in Medieval Ireland is unusual to werewolf stories and that makes it compelling. The villains stand out and the protagonists are well-drawn and sympathetic. As a whole, the plot and terror of this story are sustained. All in all, a great book. A+

Fear: in this one, a strange, unkillable creature makes its home in a small rural town during the 40s, bringing death and terror. The town's only line of defense is a good-hearted young boy, his shell-shocked dad, and a wandering blues singer. To combat the creature, they must travel to the place of its origin, which is basically the south's equivalent of Mordor. The atmosphere in this book is palpable. The characters are compelling to the point that you cheer for them every step of the way. Once again, Kelly's sense of detail shines through. The creature is absolutely hair-raising. A+

Hell Hollow: a troublesome latchkey kid is shipped off to his grandpa's farm to spend the remainder of his summer. Just when his trip is on it's way to being enjoyable, he and his new friends meet a resurrected medicine man who seeks revenge on the town that lynched him. Like the other books, this one comes to life through its characters and a stellar plot. The dream sequences are especially good. Overall, I felt like a part of the story. This moves more slowly than the others and the main character can be a real pain in the ass but as it turns out, he's a good kid deep down inside. This is also a great book. A

Written by Nicholas Montelongo

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