Hekla’s Children by James Brogden
Published by Titan Books
Expected publication 7 March 2017
I was given an ARC by the publisher and voluntarily reviewed it.
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
A decade ago, teacher Nathan Brookes saw four of his students walk up a hill and vanish. Only one returned – Olivia – starved, terrified, and with no memory of where she’d been. After a body is found in the same woodland where they disappeared, it is first believed to be one of the missing children, but is soon identified as a Bronze Age warrior, nothing more than an archaeological curiosity. Yet Nathan starts to have terrifying visions of the students. Then Olivia reappears, half-mad and willing to go to any lengths to return the corpse to the earth. For he is the only thing keeping a terrible evil at bay.
IT WAS A SOUND WITH WHICH THE VILLAGERS WERE ALL TOO familiar: the screaming of a mother for her stolen baby.
WHAT I THOUGHT
I absolutely loved Hekla’s Children. I’ve read the author before when I reviewed his collection, Evocations for the publisher Alchemy Press. This turned out to be a very different novel than I was expecting. I thought it would be a straight horror novel, some sort of creature feature. It is much better and more complicated than that. I loved that more than half of the novel is set in a sort of alternative reality, a place that exists in the shadows just behind out own reality. I was not expecting this and this is executed really well. I loved finding out the fates of the missing children and how this was the complete opposite of what I expected. I like it when author’s surprise me. Hekla’s Children is brilliant and not what I expected at all. I loved it. Highly recommended.