Saturday, September 5, 2020

Book Review: "The Mouth of the Mine" by Caleb Posten

The Mouth of the Mine was a little CREEPY...and it got my heart pumping pretty quickly!

Even though it's a pretty big change, Wayne and Anita Evans are pleased to have left the chaos and pressure of New York City for a quieter life in Jackson, Wyoming, with their 10-year-old son, Al. They were able to get a great deal on a beautiful, big house with a wide expanse of property (it helps when a man disappears for no reason and his widow is eager to sell) and they are immediately taken with the peace and quiet, as well as the beautiful flora, fauna, and wildlife that surrounds them.

As they try to get acclimated to their new life, and learn what they need to about survival in the wilderness, fishing, guns, etc., Al is ready to embrace the full cowboy experience. One day, curious about what exists beyond their property line, Al goes exploring. He wanders a bit too far and gets lost, but he stumbles on a remarkable discovery that both excites and spooks him.

The more Al thinks about what he has found, the more he wants to keep going back to the place beyond their property, but getting free reign to wander without his parents noticing or worrying is difficult. He gets drawn in even further, and he keeps trying to figure out ways to outsmart them, because his greed gets the best of him. But as he ratchets up his actions to cover his tracks, is he putting himself—and perhaps his family—in danger? Is there some connection with all of the people who have disappeared?

I'm going to end my plot summary there because it's best to read this book not knowing too much and instead letting the plot unfold. This isn't too scary of a book (I wouldn't have read it otherwise because I'm a complete coward) but there is a pervasive sense of creepiness that I felt while reading. It's almost like I was reading with one hand over my eyes because I knew something bad was going to have to happen.

I enjoyed this book and thought Caleb Posten did a great job reeling me in and keeping me hooked from start to finish. While obviously there are some horror elements which require suspension of disbelief (like most horror books and movies), you could totally believe Al would act the way he did. Few 10-year-olds wouldn't want the chance to explore the wilderness and the wildness around them.

There are two animal deaths in here which might serve as a trigger for some. I'll admit I was unhappy with one of them but I understood the purpose it served. They're not gratuitously violent so don't let that dissuade you.

This is Posten's debut novel and it definitely shows he has real promise as a writer. Even though this isn't one of my preferred genres, I'll definitely be keeping my eye out to see what comes next for him!

The author and Black Rose Writing provided me with a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

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