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Mountain Home Paperback – June 29, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"I have been a fan of Bracken MacLeod's writing for some time now, but with MOUNTAIN HOME, I feel he has finally kicked the door right off the hinges. Thrilling, shocking, well-written, and with heart to spare (dark as it may be), this is nothing less than the announcement of a bold new talent, and an exciting one. Comparisons to early Lansdale might be apt, but MacLeod has a voice all his own.... Watch this guy, folks. It's only a matter of time before you see his name in lights." ~ Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY, and KIN.
"Bracken MacLeod's MOUNTAIN HOME hits like a Claymore mine and cuts with the emotional precision of a scalpel. Ferocious and tender, painful and real, it shows that the worst horrors are those we create ourselves, and that this world offers no shelter from evil, not even for the innocent. A powerful and thoughtful first novel." ~ Chet Williamson, International Horror Guild Award winning author of SOULSTORM and DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH
"Bracken MacLeod brings heart and muscle to this taut siege thriller." ~ Nicholas Kaufmann, Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of CHASING THE DRAGON and DYING IS MY BUSINESS
"MOUNTAIN HOME is double barrel shotgun blast of violence and pathos. Clean, deft writing and more than enough narrative drive to keep you buzzing along, this debut marks the beginning of a very promising career for Bracken MacLeod." ~ John Mantooth, author of SHOEBOX TRAIN WRECK and THE YEAR OF THE STORM
About the Author
Bracken MacLeod has worked as a martial arts teacher, a college philosophy instructor, at a children's non-profit, and as a criminal and civil trial attorney. While he does his best to avoid using the law education, he occasionally finds uses for martial arts and philosophy. His work has appeared in Shotgun Honey, Sex and Murder Magazine, and twice in Every Day Fiction. He also has stories in the anthologies, The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes, Anthology: Year One, and most recently in Femme Fatale: Erotic Stories of Dangerous Women from Go Deeper Press. More of his work is slated to appear this year in Grey Matter Press' Ominous Realities, Volume Two of Once Upon an Apocalypse from Chaosium, and Shotgun Honey's Both Barrels: Reloaded.
Top customer reviews
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I anxiously await more books by this author. And I thank my nephew for recommending this book to me. Definitely a book I will recommend to my frieds.
Read this book - but not if you have somewhere to be!
I've read several shorts from this author and they consistently pack a punch, Mountain Home is no exception. MacLeod wastes no time in plunging you into this story from the start. I won't go into a synopsis or post any spoilers what I will say is that this story was well paced and delivered maximum entertainment.
The descriptives of the location/ back drop were well thought out and vividly detailed without being overdone. Character development was strong and made the characters easy to identify with. The pressure and intensity steadily build and the plots twists are not as predictable as you would think.
Mountain Home takes you to a quiet out of the way place, a place where the veil is a bit threadbare and the sinister is combined with a plausible scenario to deliver a gripping tale. Time well spent,
In Bracken Macleod's debut novel, he didn't look away, and he didn't waste my time.
It's pretty standard fare: a group of people trying to make it through another day of life--where they're plagued with uncertainties like relationships, employment outlooks, and boredom--are faced with a crippling horror that forces them to think about others and reaffirm who they are (or who they aren't).
Bracken Macleod takes this idea, that's been done many times before, and gives it an expert pace and impressive examination.
I used the Amazon sample function, bought the book after just a few pages of initial reading, and finished the next day. It hooks you and doesn't let go.
As the innocents are picked off, under siege by a sniper in a diner in the middle of nowhere, we discover through about 150 pages who rises up and who isn't so "innocent." By the end, "innocent" has become an inert word with no relevance.
This book has been critiqued as too violent. For those still considering the purchase, take a look at the cover. And here's the back cover blurb, in case you missed it:
"Lyn works at an isolated roadside diner. When a retired combat veteran stages an assault there her world is turned upside down. Surviving the sniper's bullets is only the beginning of Lyn's nightmare. Navigating hostilities, she establishes herself as the disputed leader of a diverse group of people that are at odds with the situation and each other. Will she - or anyone else - survive the attack?"
This is where "don't look away" comes in. It's ugly. It's messy. It happens all too often in our own "real world." Now is the chance, if you pick this book up, to ask yourself "what would I do?"--which is the hallmark of a good author, to implant that question into your psyche after you've put the book away. It's what I asked myself as the survivors huddled under the booths of the restaurant. It's what I wondered while the so-called "innocents" began to make decisions and act out of self-preservation. What would I do? If that's a question you'd rather not be forced to confront, don't pick up this book. Go back to your five hundred channels of cable and watch something else unimaginative that doesn't force you to think.
I would probably give this book 4.5 out of 5, if available, just because of the standard mistakes and oversights a first time novelist is going to make--small inconsistencies, unclear passages I had to go back and re-read to make sense of the relatively fast pace of action and physical movement. But this is par for the course. It happens. I am an aspiring novelist, plodding my way through my first manuscript, and if my debut comes anything near this, I'll consider myself a happy man.
My biggest misgiving while reading was the portrayal of the antagonist--the war veteran sniper. I just completed 20 years of service in the Marines, and going in to this, my first thoughts were "Oh boy, the nutjob vet/bad guy," just hoping this wasn't going to be a heavy-handed foreign policy diatribe.
But, Bracken skillfully wove layers over the sniper, making me believe the character he'd put onto the page. Not in an effort to understand, mind you--but in keeping with his authorial duties in giving us a complex character examination. By the end of this book, I was sincerely sad to see what this character had gone through and what she'd resorted to in reaction.
It made me think of Nidal Hasan and William Kretuzer and the killing sprees they embarked on aboard their respective military bases. They had, in their own minds, their reasons for doing what they did. We'll never truly understand their reasons--and perhaps that's a good thing. But the fact remains, the horror was perpetrated and bystanders stepped up (or didn't), as a result.
It's scary, but don't look away.
The opening of the book caught me, and kept me reading, even when it got a little gory. Its not what I usually read, so I was surprised it captured my attention so much. It wasn't the easiest book to read, but captures and almost demands your attention and makes you read to the end to see what happens.
The changes in the people through the course of the day was interesting. I started to hate some characters - Luis and Beau - and felt compassion for others - Carol, Lynn, Neil, Hunter, Leonard. I just wish there had been a little more at the end. A recap of where all the characters were. The only people mentioned are Cherie and her children. What happened to Lynn? And Hunter? Did Beau survive? How is Carol? The book ended a little sour for me, because she didn't include an epilogue with the status of the people in the book. Not even a final wrap-up of who was dead and who lived at the end.