book review, horror

Wild Hunters by Stuart R Brogan

Dog Soldiers against a horde of Norse creatures? Sign me up!

Five Royal Marine reservists are on regular maneuvers outside Glastonbury when a freak storm sees them sent in to help the residents stranded by the flood.

What follows is one hell of a night as trolls, dwarves, cat creatures and the undead are unleashed in the Wild Hunt – and who dares stand in the way of such terrifying creatures of legend?

Five brave Royal Marine reservists of course. They might be Glastonbury’s best last hope.

When I read the description of this book I knew I had to read it. I love Norse mythology, and the idea of reservists going against the Wild Hunt sounded so much fun!

The book opens well, setting the scene for the mayhem that follows, introducing the characters and giving hints of some sinister group that keep poking their nose into things that they should keep clear of.

Unfortunately, the novel doesn’t live up to its premise. The characters never rise above the cliche of their Irishman, Englishman, Scottishman descriptions. The fight scenes, despite one great sequence, are too similar to get excited about, the shadowy organization adds nothing to the narrative, and Glastonbury was either already abandoned or everyone slept through the whole thing, because the lack of people considerably lowers the stakes.

While Wild Hunters shares a lot with Dog Soldiers, it suffers from having too many mythological creatures. Werewolves are long established, with a wealth of lore the viewer already knows. Brogan populates his Wild Hunt with a great variety of beasties which I would love him to have explored, yet they appear as an unremarkable homogeneous army, with only the leader given any description.

The other problem are the reservists. In a movie, five good actors can be given nothing but smutty, racist jokes and still make you care about them. It’s much harder to invest in such characters in a book.

Despite this, Brogan gets a lot right. He has a German Shepherd in the novel, which almost made me give it an automatic five stars. I like how he dealt with the child character, and the hints of lore at the beginning of the book were great. It is because of these things, and his sweeping, cinematic style, that I wanted more from the book. It’s a fun romp with the Wild Hunt, but I know it could have been legendary.

I award Wild Hunters

Wild Hunters is available for $5.15 ebook and $13.99 print book on Amazon.

Thank you to Horrific Tales Publishing and the author for giving me an ARC of this novel, and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

4 thoughts on “Wild Hunters by Stuart R Brogan”

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