Title: The Caverns
Author: Olen Crowe
Release date: June 23rd, 2022
Thanks to Olen for sending me a copy of this one. We connected a while back on Twitter and I always love checking out other’s work, so this was a cool novel to discover.
Look, anything involving crazy events/incidents in a cave – I’m pretty much game for. Whether it is supernatural, weird mutated creatures or simply bad guys holed up and trying to scare folks away, cave based horror will always get me amped up.
What I liked: The story takes place in the Linston Caverns, a tourist attraction off the beaten path. The book opens with a group of tourists out on a boat in a lake inside the caverns that gets tossed around and the people disappear.
Crowe ramps things up by having two investigative journalists partner up with three college kids who’re wanting to explore the caves to see if they can get to the bottom of everything happening. Insert a slightly crazy local who believes the caverns are haunted and a small town hellbent on doing whatever it can to keep the tourist dollars flowing and you have a rollicking, multi-layered novel.
The story has some unique bit-parts, characters that fit in to push the novel along and many of them will feel like characters you’ve known for years, which is always a blessing when an author can pull that off.
The ending comes like a crushing wave onto shore, wrapping things up as well as leaving some lingering questions for us readers to really ponder.
What I didn’t like: No matter how much I tried, I just didn’t like the Junior character. The way he is portrayed almost became like inserting Jim Carrey at his most ridiculous into a drama piece. Felt like oil and water. He has a purpose and aides with how the story moves, but I just couldn’t get a handle on him.
Why you should buy this: This was fun from start to finish. The caverns offer up an immediate place to create chills and make the readers squirm and Crowe uses all of that to his advantage.
Overall, a really solid, claustrophobic story that’ll have people developing anxiety as the novel progresses.