by D. Melhoff
on Tour April 1 - May 31, 2017
A remote summer camp becomes a lurid crime scene when the bodies of two teenagers are found in a bloody, real-life rendering of a classic Grimm’s fairy tale. Trapped in the wilderness, the remaining counsellors must follow a trail of dark children’s fables in order to outwit a psychopath and save the dwindling survivors before falling prey to their own gruesome endings.
Drawing on the grisly, uncensored details of history’s most famous fairy tales, Grimm Woods is a heart-pounding thriller about a deranged killer who uses traditional children’s stories as tropes in elaborate murders. Set against the backdrop of modern-day Michigan, it’s a journey through the mind of a dangerous zealot and a shocking glimpse into the bedtime stories you thought you knew.
This is the summer camp of horrors story. Instead of having a great and fun summer, it turned out to be a nightmare. Definitely an unforgettable summer.
What made me sign up for this tour and review this book are the words Grimm and fairy tales. I love fairy tales and I wanted to know what kind of Grimm fairy tale stories are in this book. It turned out it was not what I expected. Really far off the mark. I did agree that most of us have been Disney-fied. I love all things Disney and like what the author said in this book, it allows us to reconnect with our inner kid. I did suspect that a lot of the original versions of the Grimm fairy tales were really grim. That not all of them had happy endings. Because of this book, I now want to read the original versions of the Grimm Brothers' fables. I was also curious about the other tales mentioned in the story that I am not familiar with. I want to read them all.
True to its form, this story is indeed horrifying. Not the fairy tales we would want to read about. The author definitely did a good job on that front. I think it started very slow like bracing for the inevitable. The author deemed it right to lay out all the characters. Like an introduction-a who's who. I did not know where the story was going. I was starting to wonder how the fairy tales fit in. It felt like the author did not know how to proceed with the next parts. She was like hesitating and then decided to just give it all full blast which was when everything got so interesting. It was like, here goes nothing and fired the machine gun. Yes, the deaths had my eyes bulging and glued to the book. And how the rest of the story unfolded was even more shocking. The next scenes were so graphic that if this were a movie, I would have had my hands in front of my face and just peek through every once in a while. Good thing, this was not a movie because I think I would definitely have the scenes etched forever in my mind. This is not the way fairy tales should go. But then, the author never intended this to be a happy-ever-after-story. So, I say, read at your own risk.
The dark past comes back to hunt you. This story is a great example of that. The past is back to collect payments for your transgressions. It's payback time. The story spoke of justice, of revenge, of making amends but in a form of an eye for an eye. Whatever you sow, you shall reap. Whatever form of hurt you cause, you will experience the same torment. This to me felt like a twisted form of justice. Though, I admit, there were times that I would have exactly felt doling out the same hurt that I got to the same people who caused them. But then again, we really don't know what goes on in each person's head. What made them act like that? What were their motivations? Their demons? Like some of the teens here, they have in some way paid for their sins and atoned for them. So, instead of justice served, it turned out to be vengeance even though the intention was to hand out justice.
I give this book 3/5 arrows. This is one twisted fairy tale and a very good horror story. This would really make a good movie but I won't watch it because I for sure would have nightmares. I'd prefer to read horror stories than watch them in the big screen. In a way, this story shows the hard truths about life and the society. And the reality is some of us are victims of our circumstances. Some, now matter how hard they tried, never seemed to have a way of getting out. They had to live through the torment and pray for some form of aid or miracle to save them. Some are fortunate and strong enough to get out, survive and make a great life to make up for it. Others, sadly don't. Sometimes, there are just experiences that are too hard to escape from. Some never get out of them alive, others escape with very little of themselves left and are never the same again, in turn view they world in a different way. Exactly what the story is telling us.
Maybe it's not that I never knew my inner kid. Maybe I just don't miss him.
...sometimes we need the bad guy to make us better. Because without a villain, justice lacks its catalyst, and without justice, all you're left with is a world full of outlaws where the wolves eat you alive.
- D. Melhoff, Grimm Woods -
D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town that few people have heard of and even fewer have visited. While most of his stories are for adults, he also enjoys terrifying younger audiences from time to time, as seen in his series of twisted picture books for children. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Stoker, and his second-grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.
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