Short Story Review: The Darkness in the Pines
Happy Sunday Campers!
It’s time for another short story review!
This time I read The Darkness in the Pines by Harlan Graves.
I even got to have a digital chat with Harlan Graves about his writing (you can check that out here)! So when this short story came out at the end of last month I just had to have a read!
What did I think about this short story? Keep on reading, peeps!
After the tragic death of his wife, Howard Ward returned to Fallow Pines to live a life of quiet seclusion. When Howard comes across the mangled remains of a bear in the woods, he discovers that something he thought only existed in campfire legends is stalking the darkness of the pines.
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The cryptid craziness continues!
I’ve been a fan of Harlan Graves since reading The Beast of Fallow Pines, and this story didn’t disappoint.
Set before the events of The Beast of Fallow Pines, this short story follows Howard (David’s dad) as he lives his days out in Fallow Pines. His simple off the grid life is shattered when a strange being in the pines wreaks havoc on the land. Can Howard figure out what the creature is and hunt it down, or will he end up like that mangled bear carcass he found in the forest?
I really loved this story. We’ve seen two terrifying tales of these cryptids, and this one took a somewhat new spin on it especially with the character choice.
Howard was a great MC. He was smart, self-sufficient, and quick on his feet. I also love how much depth we got in such a short time. He suffers from PTSD from being in the Vietnam War, and I enjoyed exploring what triggered his PTSD and made him who he is without any crazy info dumps.
The plot was similar in nature to The Beast of Fallow Pines but with enough distinct differences to make most of it seem new. I will admit that the beginning felt a bit repetitive to the other stories and their beginnings, but that quickly changed when things started hitting the fan. There were also some exciting and troubling revelations in this story that really made things riveting and kept me blazing through the pages.
This was a great continuation of the Fallow Pines saga, and I can’t wait to see what harrowing stories Graves has in store for us!
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this short story review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this story? Are there other short stories you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!