The Totem review


Goodreads: Slowly, bizarre events grip the tiny mountain community of Potter’s Field, Wyoming. Cattle are mutilated. Animals become savage. Children go insane. Townspeople are found without faces. And one man must confront the evil behind the hideous events, an evil that is all too human and deadly.

Well, well, well.  I finished the book this evening – I couldn’t put it down.  The story reminds me of Dean Koontz’s Midnight thought this story originally came out 10 years earlier.

I have to say I liked Slaughter, the main character and his various band of cohorts.  The story starts out so well – lots of suspense that kept you at the edge of your seat.  I can’t say it was so thick that I was talking to the book – which does happen sometimes in the middle of the night when a character is about to do something irretrievably stupid.

Still, several times I did shake my head at Slaughter’s tendency to just jump in where angels (and animals) feared to tread.  I am a big fan of fear – not the subtle things people are afraid of like vampires and werewolves – but that gut wrenching fear a person gets when they are out walking at night and one of the dogs suddenly growls, arches it’s back and the fur stands up when looking into the darkness ahead.  I respect that reaction and turn around – maybe it is just a deer or raccoon but if the dogs are growling, I’m turning back.  That is healthy fear.  When I start feeling the hair on the back of my neck prickle – yes, I have felt that before – I know that my instincts are screaming to be heard so I pay attention.  I don’t dismiss those feelings as “just being a scaredy cat”.  We have those instincts for a reason.

So when I read about characters who dismiss their feelings or their dogs reaction, I shake my head and know that they are bound for disaster.  Slaughter barely escapes several of these incidents – you’d think he’d have learned after the first one.

The book was captivating – I hated to put it down.  However, having said that, the last several chapters were bogus and I hated how suddenly everything is wrapped up in a neat little package.  Survivors go home happy and life returns to a peaceful hum.  It is like the author got tired of writing so wrapped it all up quickly.  Stephen King did that with “the Cell” and I was so pissed.  Well, I am just as pissed this time.  I invested HOURS into this book plus money – how can they just wrap it up in a summary kind of way.  “oh we did this and that and everything was OK: – um, excuse me? You can’t have hundreds of these creatures roaming around in one chapter and have life be back to normal in the next – not without a lot more explanation than what is given.

So, in view of the ending, I give the book a B.  It was headed towards an A but the ending ruined it.  Still, if you like such horror stories, it is a fun read for the most part.  🙂


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