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Side by Side Reviews: CURSE OF THE PIGMAN by Asher Ellis

Publisher: Silver Shamrock
Matt's Review:
Jason Dillion has just moved to East Valley, Vermont when a tropical storm makes landfall and knocks a tree onto his new house. While looking for help from his neighbors, he comes across a little girl bound and gagged in the woods. Clearly, she has been kidnapped. Jason cuts her free and attempts to bring her to safety, only to be chased by the cult that was going to sacrifice her. When the sacrifice doesn't take place, the town falls victim to a curse leaving everyone in town ravenously hungry.

Things I loved: This book opens with a bang. The first 50-75 pages are unrelenting, interesting, and fun. I absolutely loved the action and pace that the initial scenes provided. Once things started to settle down, we are treated to some highly entertaining scenes, in particular, the scenes in the local diner and scene with a man and the neighbors' cat. We also meet some other well fleshed out characters, including some delightful teenage stoners. The characterization in this book is quite good as all characters felt that they had individual voices and logical motivations. I always appreciate it when I can see where the 'bad guys' are coming from.

Things I didn't love: the inconsistencies. There are several moments during this book that I found myself saying "wait but I thought..." and while that's not a deal-breaker, it is something that I noticed. The dialogue is also somewhat unrealistic or juvenile at times, it's rare but when it happens the word choice is jarring and took me out of the moment. Finally, I found the middle of the book to be a bit of a slog. While there is a ton of action that is supposed to be happening, there are long swaths of pages where nothing really happens. There's lots of walking and talking and I found those sections to be boring. I also wanted more from the actual Pigman but what we got was great.

That said, I quite enjoyed this book and the time I spent in East Valley. I really REALLY loved the idea of a town going banana pants crazy because of a failed cult ritual. I thought the beginning of Curse of the Pigman to be exceptional and the conclusion to be wildly entertaining even if it was a skosh too quickly resolved.

I recommend this to fans of folk horror. 3 stars

Matt is a middle school math teacher. He's originally from Kentucky but currently lives in Arkansas with his beautiful wife and 2-year-old son. In addition to reading dark fiction, he also enjoys board games and Disney World.

Instagram: @teamredmon
Twitter: @teamredmonreads


Marcy's Review:


“Every way felt like the wrong way. Every road led to Hell, every route to doom.”


This book was not what I expected. Honestly, I really don’t know what I expected but a town full of cannibals was definitely not it. This is the point where I have to state that I go into my books blind.  I really like to be surprised when reading a story, and that’s exactly what I experienced here. But know that if you read the synopsis it states that there are cannibals, but what can I say, I like to live life on the edge lol. With that being said, cannibals equal gore, so be warned. It’s not the goriest book you will ever read but there are some delicious bloody scenes.

This book all stems from greed in humans. In search of silver, a group of men unleashes an evil that will ravish a town for many years to come, unless they make good on a deal to sacrifice one victim every 10 years.  As you have guessed by now, there comes a point where the deal is not met and chaos ensues. Desperately trying to make good on this deal, these cultists go on a hunt for our main character, Jason Dillon, because he has their latest sacrifice in his possession. 

I absolutely adored every character in this book, well all the good characters, that is. Jason definitely goes above and beyond to bring poor Sophia to safety and along the way he stumbles across a few more characters that are willing to lend a helping hand to what seems like an unattainable task. I mean going after a demon is no easy task, especially with cannibals running amok. Seeing the deterioration of these townsfolk is heartbreaking as they succumb to the curse. Can you imagine living with an insatiable hunger? Being hangry is no joke folks and the inhabitants of East Valley can agree to this.

THE CURSE OF THE PIGMAN  is the perfect fall book.  We kick off the novel a day before Halloween. The atmosphere is full of pumpkins, forests, pig squeals, and fall weather. So if you’re in need of that perfect atmospheric creepy book, look no further, the Pigman can definitely satisfy this need, or can he?

You can usually find Marcy surrounded by her husband, her daughter, and her 3 fur babies, and usually eating chips and queso.
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