Book Review: The Pines – Author Robert Dunbar

THE PINES
Author Robert Dunbar
Published by Leisure Books
Publication Date: 2008
Format: Black /White – 333 pages
Price: $7.99

STAY OUT OF THE PINES!

There are many legends that are told around certain parts of the world, some of these legends are unbelievable. When we hear about the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, a thought comes to our mind. Well a couple of thoughts, the first thought is, that it’s out in the middle of nowhere. A person could easily get lost out there if they have no idea where they’re going and last but not least, the infamous Jersey Devil. I’ve heard about the Jersey Devil before but not in full detail.

That’s what Robert Dunbar’s book is centered on, the whole mythology of this diabolical and horrific creature that is known for dozens of strange disappearances and horrifying macabre murders that take place out in the middle of the Pine Barrens. For those of you who are looking for a thrill and some reading material when you go camping in the middle of the Pine Barrens, the novel, The Pines is not the book to take with you. It is in all senses creepy and atmospheric. Robert Dunbar takes the whole mythology of the Jersey Devil to a whole new other level. I’m an avid reader of many things horror and I’ve been looking for a good monster novel, when I read horror novels I go to the fine people over at Dorchester Publishing, also known as Leisure Books, their horror line is fantastic. In truth, there are some novels that are not as good as the other titles that are currently being published by Leisure Books. The Pines is an exception, like I stated before, don’t take this novel with you when you go camping out in the middle of the forest, especially the Pine Barrens, you may never know what’s out there.

The plot is good, it is centered on this mentally ill child whose mother works as apart of a paramedic’s team. The child has visions and has the ability to communicate with something that is on the loose out in the Pine Barrens and that is killing anyone who enters its territory. There are other characters in this story that could use a little character development. We can show sympathy towards the child, but the mother needs a little more background, her whole interaction with her own child is questionable. The one thing she is lacking is sympathy towards her own flesh and blood.

Another supporting character is the mother’s, sister in law. She shows a great deal of compassion towards the child Mathew also given the short name of Matty by his aunt, Pam. There are several other characters in this story that you try to show compassion to, there are people living in the Pine Barrens known as the Pineys some are inbred and others are lacking the proper communication skills. They try to stay out of the forest by being behind locked doors they know what’s out there. They’ve heard the stories. There are a few occurrences that happen in the book, we notice that the killings and strangeness start happening towards the end of the novel. We get a special treat with a group of campers which I thought was a very good scene, in order to have a successful horror novel you need some lambs for the slaughter.

Soon the people that are close to Athena start to die and killings and strange occurrences start drawing nearer towards her house. It is up to her and her lover’s partner to try and stop the ultimate evil from making Athena, Matty and Barry its next meal. All in all, The Pines is one of those novels that you may have to read a couple of times in order to get a clear understanding of what’s going on. The concept is good and it has all the ingredients that make a good horror novel.

Available from Leisure Books
Also available from www.amazon.com

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