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Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 3.5/5

Normally I don’t go for slow burn unless it’s an author I already love, but because of all the things I heard about this story I really wanted to push through. I went into this book knowing that it was going to have a slower start but I absolutely loved the premise and that’s what matters most. It turned out, yes, the things I had heard about the slow pacing were true. However, I pushed through and at about 30% or so the author started dropping some really cool hints, which really started to draw me in. Once the real action kicked in I was not disappointed!

I found the story unique and engaging, a mix between a little dark fantasy, a little horror, and a little thriller. I love how the author twisted the story so that the reader empathizes with all the characters and even though there were “bad guys” there really weren’t, in a way. Admittedly, the only things keeping it from being four or five stars was mostly the pacing because even though it had some great action, it kept dropping off into really slow parts, and also I found some of the action scenes to be a bit repetitive. Also, part of the ending action scene I found completely far fetched--yes, even with this premise.

Here's the blurb:

Everyone has wanted their favorite book to be real, if only for a moment. Everyone has wished to meet their favorite characters, if only for a day. But be careful in that wish, for even a history laid in ink can be repaid in flesh and blood, and reality is far deadlier than fiction . . . especially on Addington Isle.Winterset Hollow follows a group of friends to the place that inspired their favorite book-a timeless tale about a tribe of animals preparing for their yearly end-of-summer festival. But after a series of shocking discoveries, they find that much of what the world believes to be fiction is actually fact, and that the truth behind their beloved story is darker and more dangerous than they ever imagined. It's Barley Day . . . and you're invited to the hunt.

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