I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Raven by Jonathan Janz
Published by Flame Tree Press on September 8, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural
Format: Paperback, ARC
Buy on Amazon
“If you’re searching the horror horizon for a dark star, your next must-read, the silhouette you see coming your way is Jonathan Janz." - Josh Malerman, New York Times best selling author of Bird Box and Malorie
Fearing that mankind is heading toward nuclear extinction, a group of geneticists unleash a plot to save the world. They’ve discovered that mythological creatures such as werewolves, vampires, witches, and satyrs were once real, and that these monstrous genetic strands are still present in human DNA. These radical scientists unleash the bestial side of human beings that had been dormant for eons, and within months, most people are dead, and bloodthirsty creatures rule the earth. Despite the fact that Dez McClane has no special powers, he is determined to atone for the lives he couldn’t save and to save the woman he loves. But how long can a man survive in a world full of monsters?
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
What do you associate with an awesome reading experience? The final page has been digested, the last word consumed, and time feels like it has literally stood still. The Raven made me feel like I was in a different place…in a different time. The book felt like it was magnetised to my fingers. If I had to put it down to do you know, adulty things, I ended up looking for any excuse to get straight back to it.
I’m ashamed to say that this was my first Jonathan Janz book, but it will a gazillion per cent not be the last. The Raven was fully inhaled in one sitting and I was all in and invested in the story. I was carried away by the cognitively pleasing atmosphere and a narrative style that just etched a lasting impression upon my soul. This being my first book by Janz, I wasn’t sure just what I was letting myself in for. It was a closed door, I needed the key that would open up a whole new world that I just needed to explore. The narrative is so pleasingly savage and brutal with monsters, potential human extinction and scary as shit DNA lying dormant.
My true love is horror and one that is written so perfectly such as this gives me the book hangover to end all hangovers. The Raven is just so compulsive and dark that it reminds me of the crack in the earth’s crust after a monumental earthquake. Dez McClane is a survivor in the days after an apocalyptic event known as The Shift. He is trying to find his way/path in unknown territory. He is now faced with trying to survive in a world where the monsters of our nightmares are very very real. He’s unremarkable at first, but isn’t that how all of the worlds hero’s start off?
Jonathan Janz’ characterisation is a strong, swift kick to the genitals. He highlights humanity’s strengths and weaknesses, actions and consequences and death and loss being the prominent themes being portrayed through-out. This bleak world will come to life before your eyes and the characters will call out to you just like a lamenting swan song…its beautiful but devastatingly haunting. I don’t really want to reveal anything further about the plot, you need to experience the emotions that this book will wreck upon you.
The Raven had me always pulling towards the lone wolf element of the story. He’s been through a lot and continues to do so. It’s not a fairy-tale but real life and the damage that can be wrought upon the world. We can end up alone and fighting not only the beasts within our head but apparently “fictional” ones too. I’m glad I took the leap and I’ll be back for more.
The Raven is a humdinger of a Apocalyptic horror. Janz creates characters that you can relate to, who have your instant respect and then thrusts them into situations that are our deep-seated fears. Hypnotically readable.
Thanks to Anne Cater @ Random Things Tours and Flame Tree Press for a copy of the book and my spot on the blog tour, always a pleasure.
ABOUT JONATHAN JANZ
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children. You can sign up for his newsletter (http://jonathanjanz.us12.list-manage….), and you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.