horror,  Texas,  thriller

REVIEW: The Bright Lands by John Fram

Title: The Bright Lands
Author: John Fram
Type: Fiction
Published: 2020.
Pages: 450
Publisher: Hanover Square Press

“Kimbra had been around football long enough to understand that its players weren’t just boys throwing a ball: they were everything the men of this town used to be, or never were, the walking realization of every frustrated hope and squandered opportunity and dream.”

From the moment I saw the cover and reviews of The Bright Lands, I was intrigued. Don’t know why though, cause it was advertised as a queer horror/thriller, and being a scaredy-cat myself, these kind of novels are definitely not something I enjoy. But I felt drawn to it and wanted to give it a try.⠀

And what a ride this book was! Starting as a crime and mystery novel, combined with a small southern town vibe, it gives you enough of suspense to keep you invested and intrigued while reading. What is actually happening? What are The Bright Lands? And never mind how hard you try, you just cannot see where it all leads. ⠀

Then it just breaks loose into something unexpected. There are hints of paranormal, a bunch of strange and creepy stuff, and a ton of action. You will go through the last chapters so fast, reading but actually not believing in what your eyes and mind are telling you. It does get a bit too much at moments though, and I personally felt that here is just too many characters involved (maybe it would be easier if there was some kind of a list attached). ⠀

What I liked the most is the way it leads you into unknown and the way it paints the perfect small town filled with prejudices, bigotry, homophobia and corruption, all neatly packed up under a perfect cover. A lot of topics are addressed here, from being queer in a small community, bullying, domestic violence, drug abuse and rape, so be prepared. It is a lot to handle, but it is a good read I can recommend if you’d like something quite different.

MY GD RATING: 3.5 stars

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