“I know that they are strong and fast. They don’t feel fear, don’t even know what it means. You can’t ward them off with charms and urban legends. They can climb and run and they never tire. Only the light can distract them, and once that has gone, you have nothing. They will see you, and once they have, they will never stop until they have you. If they knew we were here, we’d already be dead.”
-Penny, protagonist of The Log House
Imagine a forest that loses its serenity the longer you inspect every individual piece of its whole, evolving into a looming fear that can only be alleviated one of two ways.
Pull your focus back to ignorance and rejoin the lie of serenity, or keep looking closer to learn the truth, no matter how ugly it may be.
That’s where Baylea puts you, not only within the story, but with the characters as well.
Thanks to an event through Pigeonhole, I was fortunate enough to read Baylea Hart’s debut novel in advance.
And what a hell of a debut novel it is.
Though her first novel, Baylea is no newcomer to the horror scene. From writing and directing short films to having her work published in horror-writers.com’s very own anthology “Dreams of Desolation”, she’s had her toe dipped in the bloody waters for some time now.
The Last of Us meets The Village meets Children of Men, The Log House is a survival horror on a quaint scale. A whatnot of suspenseful dread lurking in tranquility that haunts you with lingering imagery.
After an unexpected attack, Penny finds herself on her own, separated from the safety of her village, unable to be rescued. Now she must journey through the cold wilderness alone and find a way back home to her son before her passage is closed off for the winter, sealing her fate as well. But is she truly alone?
Penny’s mission is one filled with questions, doubt, and unquestionable fear. And as each footstep she takes reveals more truths about her past and present, the more uncertain the future becomes.
Penny herself is flawed, but to what extent is the driving force. Her heart is cold and buried, but does it still beat? And what buried it so deeply?
Ultimately, it’s not about Penny’s goal to survive the living rot from a dying world and rescue her son, but rather or not if she deserves to be reunited with him. What does the darkness and the silence hold for Penny in addition to “them”?
To say more would rob the reader of the experience of learning the ugly truths, for it’s not what we see that frightens us, but what we don’t see. The unraveling of the unknown is the driving force. But all questions, all paths, all conflicts and resolutions, all begin and end at one place.
The Log House
You can find her book at:
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