I enjoy spending some nights listening to either a horror soundtrack or horror rock music and turning the actual pages of a book, yes, I am opposed to the eBooks. There’s just something about an actual book, the scent of an old one or the freshness of new book, feeling the emboss artwork and logo on the cover to this reviewer, tops a nook device. I do understand the convenience and luxury of carry the world of horror novels, all at the reduce price, needless, a major thanks to the author Hunter Shea for mailing me a copy of his book The Jersey Devil and being from the same state where every resident is thoroughly aware of the urban legend.

After a bit of research and discovery one learns about Shea’s past experiences of amateur cryptozoologist, how his knowledge spread over twelve novels covering monsters, paranormal and violent horror, intriguing any fan of the macabre to investigate his writings. As stated, this latest novel concerns itself with the Jersey Devil plays vastly different from many of the other books on the subject and even separates itself from movies, while still keeping true to some of the legend. Namely, the winged beast lives in the southern NJ area called The Pine Barrens, a densely wooded region location which harbors its own nightmarish design. The beast born to Mother Leeds (some state her first name as Deborah), in 1735, her 13th child, whether she cursed it to the devil or that she, as a witch consummated with the Devil himself, it arose to kill a midwife and escape up the chimney into night-sky to terrorize all who enter the woods. For years, the stories grew from Christian occultism and astrology but became a more solid of tale in 1909 where the alleged incidents cover a wide sprawling area, becoming the culprit for missing animals and children. All of it sounds ripe and rich territory to conjure tales of woe and horrific scenes Shea pounces onto it all and gives a gory good time for the readers.

Many years ago, Willet came face to face with the Devil lived to tell the tale of the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse, a rampaging reemergence. This novel presents the elements found in the classic horror stories in the 70s and 80s, but not purely a story for the splatterpunks. The story surrounds itself with few generations of the Willet family bear the curse encounters with The Beast with sightings turning violent and they use cryptozoologist Norm to assist in the plan to banish the winged creature for the last time. However, the story brings forth great tight sequences of violence and body count, each time going for the jugular.

The Jersey Devil legend never goes too far off the beaten path, rather staying with a steady tempo and a good spine-chilling tale with believable characters and language, never feeling rushed or too stiff. A sheer authenticity reaches outward and grabs the reader, hurling them into the madness and atmospheric chaos. Shea never squanders the momentum with unnecessary words or description, rather keeping with the pattern of a flight of a hunter in search of prey. Aside from the gore factors, tension and suspense lie as spring traps capture the readers for new joyous torments.

This book is needed for all horror fans to acquire it for their collections, especially for the those which enjoy creature features tales, based on folklore and want something filled sensational creepy chilling delicious scenes, all in a quicken paced.

Title: The Jersey Devil

Author: Hunter Shea

Publisher: Pinnacle Books

Release Date: August 2016

Reviewed Format: Paperback


You can find the book through third party vendors or via eBook on Amazon: