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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Inferno Park by J.L. Bryan

Inferno Park
by J.L. Bryan
August 15, 2014

Carter was only twelve when he witnessed the disaster that killed more than a hundred people at Starland Amusement Park. Five years later, Carter’s hometown is no longer a busy Florida panhandle resort, but a slowly dying town full of empty motels and attractions rusting behind chains and padlocks.

Now something evil stirs in the ruins of the old amusement park...something with an alluring siren song drawing visitors into the dark mysteries of the forbidden world behind the gate. Something with an appetite for restless, yearning souls. 

Carter reluctantly returns to the old park in the company of a new girl in town, who is obsessed with urban decay and pop-culture ruins, and discovers the evil at work. To stop it, and protect the children of the town, Carter will have to face his oldest and deepest fears.

J.L. Bryan can write the hell out of a book and, with Inferno Park, he has once again created a highly entertaining, smartly crafted, utterly addicting read! My first thought when finishing this book: “That was some awesome fucked up shit!”

The Starland Amusement Park, in the panhandle of Florida, was home to a horrific catastrophe. Hundreds of people, many of them children, were tragically killed and twelve year old Carter witnessed it all. Five years later, the small seaside town has not recovered. What was once a bustling tourist destination, full of Mom & Pop businesses, is now a fastly dying town. Seventeen year old Carter just wants to finish high school and get the hell out of there...but something sinister in the ruins of the park has other plans for Carter and the teens in this dwindling town. Something evil lurks in the park and it’s up to Carter and new girl Victoria to save the day...if they can stay alive long enough, that is!

What a spooktastic, fun, twisty read! Bryan holds nothing back in Inferno Park; it is filled to the brim with chills, thrills, and bloody good times! And the book starts with a wicked bang right in the first chapter. Seriously, this first chapter has one of the highest body counts, like, EVER! My face reading this chapter was pretty much all this:

And the shocks and twists never stop coming! I was all “There’s no way he’s gonna do that...eeep, he totally just did!” and by the time I’d think there’s no way Bryan would “go there”, we’d be driving past “there”, manically waving goodbye.

Genuinely creepy and eerie, with real frights, Bryan creates a captivating and spine-tingly atmosphere. Inferno Park is quite the cinematic reading experience, and is reminiscent of fun, watch-through-your-fingers horror movies. The quickly dying seaside town makes for an effective, isolated setting, while the haunting ruins of Starland Park, aka Inferno Park, is deliciously scary. Bryan has intricately built this amusement park of horrors, adding so much awesome detail; from the various rides to the game booths and food stands, Bryan fully immerses his readers in this world.

Carter and Victoria are both likable, realistic teenage characters that Bryan puts through absolute, compete hell! Carter, Victoria, and a myriad of other characters are victims of a truly evil baddie. This startling and unexpected antagonist hacks, stabs, chops, burns, decapitates, and every other crazy painful word you can think of, through his victims in a gorefest of awesomeness!

Twisted and twisty, Inferno Park throws some wicked curve balls and shocking revelations your be prepared for anything and everything!

My Final Thoughts: Inferno Park is a thrilling read full of fun scares, excellent world-building, engaging characters, and one helluva baddie! Fans of horror movies aimed at teens and over-the-top slasher flicks will enjoy this book immensely. Oh, and I may NEVER go on an amusement park ride EVER again 0_0


J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in the metro Atlanta sprawl with his wife Christina, where he spends most of his day serving the toddler and animal community inside his house. He is the author of the Paranormals series and the Songs of Magic series.

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