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.Foxfire by Rowan Hill
Published by Bayou Wolf Press on October 10, 2023
Genres: Horror, Wilderness Horror
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
In a remote Finnish resort, a group of potential investors gather to enjoy the Arctic beauty and the mesmeric Northern lights. But many of the guests aren't who they appear to be, and everyone is hiding something-from the gaudy Americans to the adventurous German and Australian couple to the quiet Yakuza and his former Geisha wife.
Owner Mattais and his skeptical daughter, Aino, have ignored family legends, dismissing the warnings of honoring their ancient forest as silly, old-fashioned traditions. But when the guests start to be picked off one by one, their blood soaked in the snow, the old tales don't seem so far-fetched anymore. A spectre haunts the forest and the survivors must decipher who-or what-is taking revenge.
Foxfire is an excellently crafted experiment in terror. Rowan Hill has squeezed out an exuberant amount of readerly anxiety in this story of isolation and the darkest recesses of the wilderness.
Foxfire is a beautifully penned horror story about isolation and the entrapment of the harsh arctic wilderness. After reading Rowan Hill’s debut novel, In the Arctic Sun and now this beauty, I am heralding Hill with the name of Wilderness horror queen. I’m yet to read an author who does this vast sense of keening horror that accompanies the places that the suns light fails to reach often.
Rowan Hill’s Firefox is so confident so sure of its place in the world that I couldn’t help but become mesmerised at its lyrical prose, darkened soul, and deeply flawed characters.
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when I started reading Foxfire, I knew it would be great I just hadn’t anticipated what I was getting myself into. Hill is a virtuoso at leading her readers by the nose. It’s the kind of book that you instantly feel like you’re there – I could feel the snow crispen under my steps, my socks become wetter the deeper I tread and the distant howls from wolves penetrating the night sky. With a Rowan Hill book it is most definitely an experience and not merely ‘reading a book.’
A group of potential investors travel to the remote resort in the arctic circle from all around the world. They have differing personalities, cultures, and viewpoints. Is their reasons for investing and attending all philanthropic or are they’re ulterior motives behind their interest? Very quickly you realise that the darkness of the Arctic is hiding a killer as they quickly get taken out by someone or something.
I enjoy the narrative format that Hill employs, it gives depth and resonance to the characters and their POVs. The feeling of urgency never left me and as the book progressed, I found myself racing to the end of each chapter to see if my theories were proven correct or not. Alas, I was not. And I was delighted at that fact. If I’m a surprised reader, then I’m a very happy one indeed.
It’s strange but I likened the reading of Foxfire as a ball in a maze. It hits one wall only to hit the next and so it goes on and let me tell you, I had whiplash trying to keep up, but in the best way. Pain can be pleasurable especially when comes in the format of a horror story. Every story that Rowan Hill writes adds a new layer to the complexity of being an author. Foxfire highlights a lot of people’s fears about the dark – the night is dark and full of terrors (to quote another favourite book of mine.)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rowan Hill is a young(ish) woman with Southern roots, California born, and raised in Australia. She has lived nearly everywhere else since leaving Oz after college and has a bloody hard time when someone asks ‘Where are you from?’. Beginning her career teaching high school English and Drama in the Australian bush, Rowan eventually traveled the world and found her love of languages. After earning her Masters in Applied Linguistics, she did a lot more traveling and teaching until she finally just decided to throw in the towel and earn a Doctorate.
During a period between jobs and countries, she thought she might fulfill her lifelong dream of writing. No word yet on if it’s going to pan out. Check back soon?