Cades Cove: The Curse of Allie Mae: Cades Cove Series: Book One Paperback – August 3, 2010
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The writing is well done. There is one gruesome scene where I could barely read because it was so descriptive which leads me to say, this isn't for the faint of heart. This is definitely worth a read if you like horror fiction and ghost stories. It is even more worth the read if you already know of Cades Cove and the surrounding area.
I am a Southern lady, and I have vacationed in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN many many times. I have visited Cades Cove since I was a small child. The author clearly writes what he knows. My only "unfair" criticism is that the main character grew up in the South but mysteriously refers to sweet tea as iced tea.
[Minor spoiler for those already reading and are fearful for animal safety: no dogs are killed in the book. I do not know about sequels though. I wish I had known that so I would have had less anxiety throughout the book.]
After making love and falling asleep the couple discovers a pouch with the words “Allie Mae’s Treasures.” David tells Miriam that he will return it to the ranger station, but instead, he takes the pouch home. Their home becomes haunted by the malevolent poltergeist of Allie Mae.
The book is a pretty standard ghost story which continues in another book, but after reading this, I feel no need to continue the story. I was particularly annoyed that the characters seemed so one-dimensional; Miriam spends an inordinate amount of time crying, Norm is a caricature of a sex addict, the Native Americans are caricatures of wise old Indians, David is just plain foolish, and so on.
This kind of story has been told countless times. In lesser hands, it might have been trite. But the author has taken great pains to create a rich world of Appalachian and Native American folklore that lends an incredible depth to the haunting tale of a young Tennessee girl wronged in another century. I particularly enjoyed James’s meticulous description of a Sioux ritual meant to protect the protagonist, David Hobbs, and his family.
If you enjoy novels that harken back to an earlier, less civilized time in America and feature nail-biting scenes of supernatural horror, then I suggest you read Cades Cove: The Curse of Allie Mae. It will be well worth the nightmares.
Synopsis: David Hobbs, vacationing with his wife Miriam, inadvertently stumbles upon a small cloth ‘keepsake’ bag and a broken tooth. A human tooth. Miriam begs David to hand the bag and tooth over to park officials, but he ignores his wife’s pleas and secretly keeps the ‘harmless’ items. The action opens a doorway that had been closed for nearly a hundred years and unleashes hell on earth, or at least hell in the lives of David and Miriam.
Following the brutal murder of his best friend in Denver, and unprovoked attack on his oldest son, David desperately seeks to understand why a mysterious teenage girl has chosen to terrorize him and the males closest to him. To prevent further devastation to his family and end the wanton bloodshed, he returns to the enchanted hills of eastern Tennessee, where a terrible truth awaits discovery... one that forces him to face the consequences for the unpaid sins of his ancestors
When David and Miriam go on vacation to Tennessee for their anniversary, David discovers a bag of trinkets in the grass at Cades Cove. David brings the bag home when their vacation ends, but trinkets weren't the only thing he brought back. The evil attached to the bag may cost David his life, as well as the lives of his family.
The basic haunted house story is turned on its head when James mixes in some Native American shamanism, and the blend will have the reader on the edge of their seat. James has written a fantastic horror story/psychological thriller. The characters are well-scripted, and there are very few moments that drag on during the book. If the rest of the series is as suspenseful as The Curse of Allie Mae, I will be very interested in continuing the series.
My Rating: 4.25/5 stars
Top international reviews
Stylishly written, it has the same effect as a really good horror film. As well as battling with their own demons, they end up battling against something straight from hell. I have already bought the next book in the series, so I am going to turn down the lights, lock the doors and settle down for the next heart-pumping instalment.
The book set a strong pace throughout, but certain things never seemed to be explained although this may happen later in the series.
Overall an enjoyable read
I loved every minute of it, especially the ending!
Really well written and immensely enjoyable.
The story started slowly, setting the scene, but the pace soon picked up and lead you onto a frightening cliff hanger finish. Brilliant.