Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Memory of Trees by F. G. Cottam

The Memory of Trees
Billionaire Saul Abercrombie owns a vast tract of land on the Pembrokeshire coast. His plan is to restore the ancient forest that covered the area before medieval times, and he employs young arboreal expert Tom Curtis to oversee this massively ambitious project.
Saul believes that restoring the land to its original state will rekindle those spirits that folklore insists once inhabited his domain. But the re-planting of the forest will revive an altogether darker and more dangerous entity – and Saul’s employee Tom will find himself engaging in an epic, ancient battle between good and evil. A battle in which there can be only one survivor.

What an interesting novel this was. With a wonderfully rich atmosphere that grows on the reader like the very trees in its pages, this story is a heady mix of horror and fantasy.

The novel depends wholly on the setting. All of it takes place on a vast tract of wild land on the British coastline, where the protagonists are gathered to fulfill a rich man’s dream: to build the land back to what it was. Like any good Gothic horror novel, the setting becomes a character, in this case a terrifying one that starts hunting down our heroes and heroines. The mood is very important in this genre, and the author truly does a great job in setting it for us to maximize our fright.

The characters, especially Saul and Tom, are nicely written, though not as fully-fledged as I would have liked. We do get some background into their lives, but not quite enough to be rooting for them as we probably should be. Amelia, our villain, is just the right amounts sinister and intriguing to keep us wanting to know more about her. Like I said before, though, the land itself is the strongest character, and the one that lingers in the reader’s mind.

If you are looking for a horror story that is truly unique, I highly recommend this moody novel.

1 comment:

Julie said...

So, I only got through the first paragraph of your review before opening a tab and placing this one on my Goodreads to-buy list! Atmospheric .. horror .. fantasy ... my kind of novel! Thanks for the review!