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Customer Reviews

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on October 22, 2012
Review of Hello Darkness by Sam Best

Horror as it should be: implacable, juggernaut, inescapable. Horror that is and was and will be, world without end-or rather world-ending-is the category in this engrossing novel.
Who wouldn't want to live in Falling Rock, Colorado: one hundred population year-round, a number which swells greatly during the annual festival-quiet, friendly, surrounded by nature-hike in the woods, climb Mt. Hodge, attend church in the valley. Or come face to face with an unstoppable, shape-changing horror never before seen or imagined?

Ben Howard lost his wife Marissa a year ago to an unavoidable vehicular accident. His grief at her death is entwined with his guilt as the driver, and at not being able to rescue her in time from the icy lake. But Ben has a daughter, Annabelle, who's only four, so he must get a grip on life and raise her the very best he can. He and the precocious child return to his home town of Falling Rock, to the home his father built in the forest. Little could Ben realize that remaining in Baltimore and wallowing in grief would have been preferable to what waits for him in Falling Rock.

I read this very smoothly written and fascinating novel in one setting, and am eager to read more by author Sam Best. Excellent!

The author provided me with an e-book version in return for my provision of a fair and impartial review.
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on November 10, 2012
I got this book as a free download and I loved it. Horror as it should be. This is a well written book with characters you care about in a struggle over Good versus Evil. Its definitely not a place I want to move too. It had me scared in all the right places and I was unable to put it down. A must read for anybody who loves a good scary book. I can't wait to see what Sam Best will come up with next.
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on February 18, 2013
I love a good, scary horror story, and this one certainly fits the bill. The book has it all - good character development, building of suspense in the story, truly scary scenes and situations. The author warns you in his notes that the book may at times be disturbing to be forewarned that this is true. Take a chance on the book, but be prepared to stay up reading until late, and to sleep with the lights on afterwards!

I received a free copy of the book in order to review it.
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on July 19, 2013
(If there were half-stars I would give it a 3.5)

This is an exceptionally strong story. The pacing was fair, the writing well above average, and it was chilling in all the right places. Some gore, but nothing that was gratuitous - just the right amount to convey the horror the characters encountered. Each character was delightfully unique, and brought their own flavor of humanity to the tale in ways that were both deep and appropriately shallow, with a wonderful level of consistency that marks the author's talent and insight.

My one character reservation was with the daughter. I haven't read many stories that attempt to tell sequences through the eyes of a four-year old, but this one strained credibility at times. However, even when it strayed close to the line, it never fully crossed into something I couldn't believe of a precocious four-year-old.

As the story unfolds, each piece of the mystery that gets filled in adds to the anticipation of getting to the end and keeps you turning pages to see what happens next. It leaves you wondering for just long enough to keep it suspenseful, but never so long that you get frustrated.

The end of the story fell somewhat flat for me, though, which could possibly be my general inexperience with the horror genre. All the build-up and anticipation led to a resoundingly fast-paced finale, one in which you could feel everyone's desperation for survival. Each character struggles, and you /want/ to see them succeed regardless of the odds - or at least I did, which caused me to feel let-down at times. To put other words to it, there was almost too much hope and not enough despair, which left me at a loss rather than satisfied when I got to the last page.

That said, the book was an excellent read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a well-constructed plot from a very gifted writer. The short-comings are merely my sense of the book, and its strengths in suspense, characterization, plot, and vividness are more than enough reason for any reader to give it a chance.
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This story by Author Sam Best starts slowly introducing characters and their backgrounds. It then rapidly turns into a dark suspense that keeps you riveted. Falling Creek, Colorado, a small town, is barely hanging on. Most of the residents are born and raised in this quiet town, which hardly needs a police force. Ben Howard and his four-year old daughter, Annabelle, are moving back to this town where he was raised after his wife was tragically killed in an automobile accident. He's always wanted to return to this town of peacefulness and restore his parents home. Karen Rainer is a deputy sheriff only out of the academy for ten months. It was two months before she got to make her first arrest. Moses St. Croix is pastor of The Last Valley Church whom many of the townspeople believe to be eccentric. For example, he walks into town, stops at the one and only tavern and approaches Karen and her fellow law enforcers sitting at a table. He issues them a warning that the town needs to be evacuated. They just smile and are further convinced of the pastor's insanity. Not so! This is an apocalyptic story of evil. It is well written, has compelling characters who are well defined, and the story is well written. It is very haunting and very scary. But...I will continue reading his stories which are cleverly honed. I highly recommend this story for horror loving fans.
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on November 12, 2014
Don't wait till you're alone in the house at night to read this. I did, and began to feel a sense of dread that increased with each chapter. And now it's 2 am and I can't sleep, and I keep hearing things outside.

Results: a dark and scary horror story.
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on May 3, 2014
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In the horror genre, many authors try for something new and different, something with a twist to surprise their readers. But when it comes right down to it, tales of good vs. evil have scared us for hundreds of years. Why mess with a good thing? Sam Best offers up a tale of ancient evil that delivers a reminder of why we should fear the monsters under the bed.

The setting is the idyllic Colorado town of Falling Rock. The tourists are leaving and the locals are getting ready for the long. cold winter. Ben Howard returns to his family home with his daughter, Annabelle to start a new life after his wife’s death. We meet the rest of the town’s residents and see that not everything is as it seems. The foundations are laid for the escalating horrors that await us. The characters are engaging and well-rounded, with plenty of back story to gain insight into their motivations.

Tommy Bridges knows there’s a monster under his bed. Four-year-old Annabelle Howard is making friends with wolves in the back yard. There’s a fire burning in a black pit near The Last Valley Church and it’s growing every day. The police are ignoring warnings from the church’s pastor, who urges them to evacuate the town. The population is thinning and it’s not because the tourists are heading home for the season. Something’s in the woods, and only one man is truly prepared for what is coming.

When a school girl is abducted from the woods outside the playground, be prepared for evil unleashed. Ben, his family, and the local police chase false leads, dead ends, and creatures that evoke images straight out of a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare. The action is tense and well-paced, with scenes that play out almost cinematically. The author gives you just enough time to catch your breath and let it all soak in before diving into the next blood-soaked tableau.

I recommend this book for readers who like classic supernatural horror stories, complete with unlikely heroes, self-serving villains, blood, gore, and depraved hellspawn. My complaints are few. Some of the character backgrounds are a bit too wordy, and I found myself skipping some paragraphs that didn't seem relevant. Without giving spoilers, there’s a character who is repeatedly taken in by the same trick, despite knowing full well it’s a ploy. I found that implausible. I also felt the epilogue was weak. However, none of these things kept me from enjoying the novel. It’s a solid page-turner that will keep you guessing at who--or what--will survive until the end.

bookie-monster.com
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on November 19, 2012
When Ben returns to his childhood home of Falling Rocks, he was looking forward to settling into small town living with his young daughter. But Hell has other plans. If you like Stephen King or Dean Koontz, you'll love Sam Best's Hello Darkness. Tensely written, this story kept me breathless in some scenes. I WAS on the edge pretty much throughout and had to stop reading it close to bed time, or else... Highly recommended.
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on April 21, 2015
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Steven King or Dean Koontz novels. The horror of the demon and how it killed people was horrifying. Ben Howard's sacrifice of making sure his daughter would survive while making sure the rest of humanity was heartbreaking.
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on September 11, 2015
I picked this for a camping trip, and lucky for me it rained one day. Once I started reading Hello Horror I had a tough time putting it down. I liked the protagonist, he seemed well thought out. The end was a bit strange, but better than some ebooks I hsve acquired. Keep the light on.
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