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Lemme tell you... I'm slowly making my way through Joe Hempel's library of narrated works because his voice is a joy to listen to. He's great at urban fantasy but so far where he really shines is horror for me. He's got this quality to his voice, which is so unique. It's like he's sitting at a campfire, gesturing for all of us to 'Come round, come round, I've got a story to tell you', and then proceeds to act out the story in a way that's terrifying: hushed, urgent, spooky, and wonderful. Listening to Mr. Hempel narrate horror is like revisiting those old childhood campfire ghost stories. I cannot recommend him enough.
His voice was a perfect fit for this tale. The basic summation of the story is this: a father sees an ad for "Dream Woods", a themepark he'd attended when he was a child. In an attempt to make his family happy (and hopefully saving his marriage, as his wife is teetering on the edge of leaving him), he books a family vacation to a place he loved so much as a child! Except... well, time colors all memories, and while he thinks he remembers some maybe spooky things happening there, in reality, a LOT of people went missing from this park. One survivor of the horrors encountered there also sees an ad for Dream Woods, and is determined to go there to stop the dark forces behind the dire theme park once and for all.
Interesting premise, and the first half... I was glued. I seriously was glued to it. The tension and suspense was so thick you could cut it with a knife and it had the hair on the back of my neck standing on edge. Why? Because it took simple things and twisted them *just* enough to make them terrifying. Why I can't give the story 5 stars is that once the splatter started, it lost that tense quality for me and became more... banal. So, maybe I'm jaded when it comes to horror. Maybe I need more blood, guts, gore, or what-have-you to really get spooked when it comes to splatter... but the first half of this audio book where it WASN'T gory was the scariest part!
Still would heartily recommend this for a listen. You won't be disappointed!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Where does Dream Woods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It was enjoyable and different from the standard horror stories. I would say it was up towards the top.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Vince. I liked how he was trying to fix his family and reconnect with his past. I enjoyed how he was a punk rocker who finally decided to settle down and become a part of the machine that he previously spoke out against.
What about Joe Hempel’s performance did you like?
As always Joe does a fantastic job. At this point if his name is attached to a book I want to listen to it.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
The story line of Vince working to fix his marriage. Given his past I felt that it was a very realistic issue and I sympathized with him.
Any additional comments?
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful