BOOK REVIEW: The Haunted Forest Tour by Jeff Strand and James A. Moore

Jurassic Park with mythological monsters and demons rather than dinosaurs, astoundingly fun!

I’ve read several books by Jeff Strand, but nothing as yet from James A. Moore. I’m going to rectify that soon, as I just had one of the most bang-up fun times a person has any business having with THE HAUNTED FOREST TOUR. Basically, we have a forest spring up in the middle of the desert out of nowhere. It’s infested with monsters of ALL stripes–you name the beast, it lives here–and naturally, a few years later a corporation sets up trams to take people on tours around the forest. Now, for the first time on Halloween, a tour is set to go INSIDE the forest. What could go wrong?

All of it. It ALL goes wrong. But not for the reader, fortunately, as we get to enjoy the carnage of the poor passengers and tour guides and one tough-as-nails tram-driver. Jeff Strand’s humor bleeds through, mostly in the dialogue, with some fantastic laugh out loud lines throughout, and the action never wanes for a second. The authors know how to build suspense and keep the action coming with frenetic energy, and we get to hang on for a wild, awesome ride. The only thing missing was having Arnold Schwarzenegger stroll in wearing camo with cut off sleeves, sporting an obscenely large machine gun, and saying, “Get down!” before lobbing a couple thousand rounds from a magic “everlast” magazine and ‘thwunking’ a few explosives into the foliage through the attached grenade launcher. But, we get pretty damned close.

This is a popcorn book, and it was never meant to take itself too seriously, and because of that this story is total over-the-top fun from beginning to end. A book doesn’t need to make you think philosophically or fundamentally challenge your worldview to good; first and foremost it should entertain, and Jeff Strand and James A. Moore deliver the fun with buckets of blood and a barage of gunfire and myriad monsters, which will leave any fan of action movies and suspense/horror stories cheering for more.

Gobs of fun (and all other kinds of fun) to be had here, don’t miss this! Great summer read.

5/5 stars. Find it in print, digital, and audio here.

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