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 Barrens by Joe Goodglass
on July 9 2021
Genres: Horror, Paranormal
Buy on Amazon
A young couple's weekend foray into the woods turns into a night of unimaginable terror…
When Jacob, a Princeton PhD student with an insatiable hunger for fame and fortune, convinces his best friend, Caleb, to shoot a documentary on the Jersey Devil for their DeBunkers YouTube Channel, the boys persuade their girlfriends, Hannah and Blake, to join them on a weekend getaway. The following morning, the group sets out for the Pine Barrens in search of the folk legend, bringing with them camping gear and recording equipment.
Upon their arrival, Jacob receives a text message from GenX-82, an anonymous member of a local film crew who had shot footage of the Jersey Devil six months prior. In exchange for an interview, GenX agrees to take them to the Blue Hole, the site where the entity was last seen. However, halfway through their hike, Caleb is seriously injured, and the group loses contact with the outside world.
With tension mounting as the night sets in, Jacob's trek through the Barrens soon becomes a descent into madness…
Let me tell you something about The Barrens.
It’s cleverly plotted.
The author has an end goal in mind but twists the reader’s minds in knots with every curve in the road.
This is a book that you need to read.
Horror can be an incredibly overpopulated genre with immensely big boots to fill, but Joe Goodglass has torn through every expectation, every roadblock, and any limitations standing in his way. The spotlight is shining in his eyes but he in no way lets that stand in his way. The Barrens, to me, felt like a mash-up of The Blair Witch Project and Happy Death Day.
I don’t know why I haven’t seen more of a buzz surrounding this book because in a nutshell – it is terrifying. It feels like a dissection, every layer gets more bloody and complicated than the last. The Barrens is a tale about friendship, trust, good vs evil, and courage. The outcome is a narrative that is delivered with finality and a brutal kick to the gut.
We are introduced to Jacob, a Ph.D. student that is determined to get to the bottom of the Jersey Devil, for the website, DeBunkers. Both Jacob and Caleb manage to persuade their girlfriends, Hannah and Blake to join them under the guise of a weekend getaway. Straight away you can feel the tension between the fab four, something sizzling under the surface just waiting for the right moment to implode. Upon arrival at the Pine Barrens Jacob receives a text from a blog follower that had shot footage of the Jersey Devil six months ago, she agrees to take them to the last known location. The relationship dynamics between the friends were way off – selfishness and jealousy creating a massive crater between them. During stressful times friends should stick together, be one entity but soon things get out of control.
The author has created something damn awesome.
Insanely good. Imagine a carousel, you are constantly spun round and round. You finally get used to the pace to then be knocked off-kilter by the animal that is supposed to be keeping you safe. Safety is an illusion, it’s a delusion that makes the human psyche believe nothing can harm you. Let me tell you – everything is out to get you, don’t let yourself believe otherwise. The Barrens is the perfect example of that thought.
The Barrens is the perfect example of things that go bump in the night. A deeply atmospheric woodland setting that sets your nerves on edge. Incredibly human and spine-tingling.