A decade ago, teacher Nathan Brookes saw four of his students walk up a hill and vanish. Only one returned: Olivia, starved, terrified, and with no memory of where she’d been. Questioned by the police but released for lack of evidence, Nathan spent the years trying to forget. When a body is found in the same ancient woodland where they disappeared, it is first believed to be one of the missing children, but is soon identified as a Bronze Age warrior, nothing more than an archaeological curiosity. Yet Nathan starts to have horrific visions of the students, alive but trapped. Then Olivia reappears, desperate that the warrior’s body be returned to the earth. For he is the only thing keeping a terrible evil at bay.
I really enjoyed reading Hekla’s Children, it was dark, it was scary and it had me on the edge of my seat throughout. After reading the first couple of pages I knew I was going to like this book because it felt new and different from other books that I’ve read before. The mix of horror, mythical and historical points made this a very refreshing read, even if its a little horrific at times.
All the characters are written well, especially Nathan Brookes. You feel for him at the beginning of the book when he realises he has lost the children and the guilt he feels, then when he starts having visions you can see the pressure he is under. Nathan is the sort of character who is easy to back and get behind when reading a story like this because you want him to be okay at the end of the book.
I knew this book was going to contain horror, even just by looking at the cover, you know its going to be a scary read. I just didn’t expect it to be as scared as I was by the end of the book. Both the writing and the plot makes you want to carry on reading, but the nature of the story makes you want to read it in the daytime just so you don’t have to go straight to sleep after. I did read a big chunk of this book one night and it took me a while to get to sleep after.
James Brogden’s writing is outstanding, the way he manages to bring things to life in his writing makes this book both exciting and scary to read. I didn’t expect to read this book in a couple of sittings, but I found it difficult to put down when I picked it up. I do have to admit that I did find the middle bit of the book to lack a bit with the pacing, but I think that’s because the beginning was so thrilling and interesting. The pacing and the story definitely picked up at the end. It is easy to picture everything in your mind while reading the book because the writing is descriptive, but without being bogged down with information. You can tell that he has done his research for the book but he is able to tell the story without dumping information for reader to get confused. I will definitely be checking out and reading other books by James Brogden in the future.
I would recommend Hekla’s Children to readers who are looking for and intriguing story that will leave you unable to out the book down. It has a mix of horror, historical and mythical elements that will appeal to a wide variety of readers and even to some who would not normally read these sorts of books. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and can see myself reading it again towards Halloween.
I rate this book 4/5 stars
***I was sent a copy of this book by the author to review. Everything in this review is my own honest opinions.***