Firstly, I would like to issue an apology to my readers as well as my fellow bloggers here at Unleaded. Normally, I post my book reviews at the beginning of the month. However, July has been a busy month. Crazy, in fact. I went on vacation with my family. I’ve had to travel for work. And I’ve been trying to crank out chapters for my writing group. With all that being said, not excuses, just saying things have been busy.
All these activities have also eaten into some of my reading time. But, I did manage to finish a book for this month. “Undertaker’s Moon” by Ronald Kelly has been on my Kindle for several months. I hesitated to use it for a book review because of my recent rut of reading horror books. I buckled because I enjoyed Kelly’s story so much.
“Undertaker’s Moon” has an interesting beginning in Ireland. Here we are introduced to Patrick and Mary O’Shea and their children. Patrick is the undertaker in this tale who moves his family and sire across the ocean to a small town in Tennessee. When the story picks up in the States, Patrick’s two children are now teenagers attending the local high school. Two local teens the O’Shea children meet in school, Brian Reece and Jake Preston, are the main protagonists.
Squire Crom McManus, the O’Shea’s sire, is the main antagonist in the story. He is an old and vicious werewolf. Kelly has created an engrossing lycanthrope mythology along with some unique characters. Kelly’s storytelling is an easy read. He artfully pulls the reader into the Southern culture of his small town and twists the reader’s imagination bringing his monsters to life.
Kelly’s descriptions of people, places, and monsters are prime examples of the “show don’t tell” rule. It was very easy to see this story unfold in my imagination as I read. This is most likely the first time I’ve admitted to something like this, but, “Undertaker’s Moon” actually inspired a couple of nightmares for me. A book has not evoked that reaction in me since I was a child. The seven foot tall werewolves bristling with jet black fur invaded my subconscious enough to stick around until bed time. I suppose for a horror writer, that’s probably one of the highest compliments they can receive.
All in all, I really liked “Undertaker’s Moon.” I give it five flags for being able to give me nightmares.