Mind blowingly EXCELLENT!!
Holy WOW, what a story…what an author!
Only his 3rd solo release and I am flat-out-right impressed. His writing is so smooth, just effervescently full of life.
I say quit your day job Mr. Motz and write full-time, you’re a natural-born storyteller.
Which is actually not very common.
I was gorilla glued to these pages. A lot of well thought out thinking went into this surreal and startling tale.
It read more as a mainstream kind of book to me, something easily worthy enough to chart a bestselling list somewhere. It certainly rises above and soars beyond the often mediocre mash-up/ pile-up that currently litters Amazon these days.
Oh there are still plenty of solid gold needles to be found in that hay (…hack) stack, you just have to sift through and dig around a little, and THIS is one such golden needle gem.
Would make for an AMAZING movie or better yet; a mini series! YES!
It begins with Ted and Susan, a delightful married couple, on their way to a charming little resort called Pine Lakes. Every year they take a week-long relaxing getaway there, it’s a long-standing tradition from Ted’s side of the family and they have made it their own yearly retreat. They were highschool sweethearts and after 20 years they are still going strong. Madly deeply in love with each other and I fell head over heels in love with them too.
Only 20 miles from their rest and relaxation destination but heavy rains cause Ted to lose control of the car which swerves and crashes down a steep steeeeeep embankment.
Initially trapped in the car and attempting to just compose themselves, take stock of the situation…but their cell phones are acting all wonky, the radio is playing some eerie tunes and seemingly personalized broadcast jabs, plus they get the spine-tingling feeling they are being watched…stalked, which propels them into panic fueled flee mode.
After finally managing to break out of that confined fryer, apparently only to be flung into an even deeper, blistering, and boundless fryer.
They are but 40 feet from the main road but the quick and easy way up and out, is not an option for them.
They must blindingly forge ahead, deeper and deeper into the threat filled woods.
And that’s when things take a sharp turn for the extreme worse…and just plain weird.
What the hell is this place , they constantly ask themselves…
It’s as if their car crash ripped a tear straight into another realm, an alternate and hellish dimension.
When it’s supposed to be light, it’s dark and when it’s supposed to be dark…it’s darker.
They now find themselves courageously ~and unavoidably~ trekking through those increasingly darkening woods, strange sounds and even stranger lights, beastly creatures on the prowl, an old cabin, an even older cryptic lady, a busload of feralish kids, an unforgettable town that time forgot with a population best left uncensored, an underground web of caves and sewers that further defy any sort of logic….
For a jump-start.
Exhausted, hungry, confused, and scared half to death, an indeterminable amount of time passes but they are almost there…almost. there.
So Damn Close to getting to their destination but it really may as well be in a different world BUUUT if there was a way in, there must be a way out!
Finding solace in reassuring and consoling each other that; Come rain or shine, hell or high water, grim or gridlocked, they are bound and determined to start their vacation, dammit they deserve it!
Peppered with perfectly placed (and paced) flashback scenes exploring the cutsey couple in all their lovey doveyness and highlighting their darker days and near breaking points. It hasn’t been all cupcakes and rainbows for them but they have always persevered, sometimes through knock down drag outs, all due to their undying love for one another.
Gut wrenchingly emotional, all of these nostalgic parts, you feel very attached and protective of this very real, very human couple. Susan is so compassionate, empathetic, and big-hearted. Ted is such a good strong man, chivalrous, funny, and supportive. The quintessential soulmates.
I LOVE how this story went in so many different and diresome directions, literally and figuratively. Physically and metaphysically. Yet never lost its way.
Some writers can bite off more than they can chew, attempting to razzle and dazzle us with an abundance of style that lacks substance, and often we end up with the aftertaste of a stale anti-climactic effort.
All show-no tell, then slapdash wrapped up in a paper cinched with a bow.
Well, NOT THIS, it stayed true the entire way through.
You’re on the edge of your seat, pins and needles, heart pounding, hoping this charming couple can find their way out of the perpetually perilous darkness.
“Time, time is weird here.”
And that’s it, I can’t (won’t) go any deeper into the plot. I’m trying to be protective.
But OH MAN, there is so much more I wanna say about this book, I have 2 (THREE!!) pages of notes….but…I can’t, it would be unfair to the writer and new readers. Boo…
It’s a pretty long read too, at well over 300 pages (333 to be exact which is a proper and impressive undertaking) and never ever a dull or lagging moment.
I could have easily read double that.
There were 3 times in this awe-tastic book that I balled….flat-out ugly cried with strange sounds and lights coming out of me! I teared up a couple other times and laughed quite a bit too.
Yea, a lot of witty banter, sarcasm, and pop culture references in this that further upped the enjoyment factor for me.
His writing is exceptional, you get lost in his words, his worlds, and really care about what the characters are going through.
A full spectrum of emotions running rapid in this story.
I really can’t recommend this enough ~~~ READ THIS BOOK!! ~~~~
And follow this author because he’s going places if he continues to write in this realm of excellence.
So far Pine Lakes is sitting prominently on my favorites of the year list.
And I’m pretty damn sure it’ll remain there, would be extremely hard to knock it off its rightful pedestal.
Think I might check out his very first release The Darkeningnext, a scary tale set in the summer of ’86 about a group of teen friends coming of age.
Sounds great, the 80’s were the best time to come of age and if The Darkening is even half as well-written and all-consuming as Pine Lakes, it’s bound to be another winner! ACES!
You can buy the book here: