The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea

The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea, Horror Fiction
Everyone knows the legend of the Jersey Devil. Some believe it is an abomination of nature, a hybrid winged beast from hell that stalks the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey searching for prey. Others believe it is a hoax, a campfire story designed to scare children. But one man knows the truth...

Sixty years ago, Boompa Willet came face to face with the Devil—and lived to tell the tale. Now, the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse. After all these years, Boompa must return to the Barrens, not to prove the legend is real but to wipe it off the face of the earth...

It’ll take more than just courage to defeat the Devil. It will take four generations of the Willet clan, a lifetime of survivalist training, and all the firepower they can carry. But timing is critical. A summer music festival has attracted crowds of teenagers. The woods are filled with tender young prey. But this time, the Devil is not alone. The evil has grown into an unholy horde of mutant monstrosities. And hell has come home to New Jersey...
I'm giving this a 4 out of 5, here's why:
As the title suggests, this book is all about The Jersey Devil. He with the scary goat/horse faced visage and foul breath, who haunts hapless humans out there in the Jersey Pines. After reading this story, I do believe his name suits him just fine. He is a horrible beast and the things he does made me shudder in revulsion. It takes a lot to do that to me but this book delivered in that department.

This is a crazy, gruesome monster book where the monsters are truly monsters and not some poor little misunderstood, mistreated creature who has been wronged by mankind. These things are Evil. The framework is about a family seeking out and seeking revenge on The Jersey Devil who did them a big wrong many years previous. What they find deep in the woods is far more terrifying and depraved than they ever could have expected.

Be warned, lots of people die in the most gruesome of ways, perhaps a small town’s worth of people. I do not exaggerate. Okay, maybe I do, but not in this case. The body count here is out of control and no living thing is safe, that includes animals and children too. It is a death free for all that is often pretty gross and unrelenting. I say this not to spoil your day or the book but only so you’ll guard your heart going in. This one is most definitely not for the faint of heart. Characters, oh-so-many characters, are introduced, given a little backstory and just when you start to fear for their lives and are secretly screaming at them to get the hell out of the woods right-this-second-you-dummies, they become a little snack for a hungry monster. This happens time and again which is probably one of my only complaints. Somewhere around the last third I became a little exhausted at meeting yet more new people knowing their fate was sealed up tight. It started to get a wee bit repetitive and predictable there for a bit but the end made up for it as secrets were revealed. I do love learning secrets.

I’m giving this a four because there aren’t enough truly horrific monster books out there in the world that have decent people at the core of the story and this one does both most excellently.

*I received an ARC from Netgalley. This never colors my review. If the book sucked, I'd have no problem telling you so because I'm a jerk like that.

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