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Unknown

133
Unknown
It happens every year. A select few disappear, never to return. From The Falkland Islands to the Himalayas, Puerto Rico to England – humans are vanishing without trace or explanation. A young man, who’s lost everything, stumbles across an ancient secret. Can he unlock the mystery? Will he find those who need him? Can he escape the Unknown?
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About the Book

“Do you know why you’re stood here, Jake? This very minute?”

Suddenly unsure of himself, Jake hesitated. “No, why?” he shouted over the roaring wind.

“Because I wanted you to be. You are my gift to a friend. Now I must leave you.” He looked up at Jake, his red eyes penetrating the night. Jake’s mouth fell open as he swayed on his feet.

Smeets took two steps back, turning his head to the blackness behind him. “Enjoy him, Anya, for he is fresh and very healthy.” He walked backwards until he vanished from sight, the blackness swallowing him whole.

Jake took a step forward, dumbfounded. His mind a whirling maelstrom. He stopped in his tracks when another figure emerged from the void. He stared in horror at the figure, dressed in a dirty grey gown that fell almost to her white bony ankles, dark mottled blotches covering her bare arms. Her yellow eyes are searching out and finding Jake, who felt like the earth was tilting at a strange angle.

She smiled at the sight of him, her dirty canines filling her blackened mouth as she moved closer. He tried to movebackwards, tripping on a fallen log and crashing into the crook of a small tree. She sensed an advantage and moved to within ten feet of Jake, edging closer to him with shuffling feet. He wanted to turn and flee, back to his car, back to the safety of his house where he could bar the doors from all this. He then remembered his friend who lay dead on his lounge floor.

Not even his house would keep him safe from this. He was brought back to reality as two hands seized the lapels of his coat. He looked into the eyes of the woman as they bored into his. The yellow light seemed to dance like firefly’s, slowly taking away his fears. He welcomed the inevitable. He could almost see himself floating in a red river as her face filled his vision. He was at peace as her hands yanked apart the material of his clothing, exposing the flesh underneath.

Two things happened at that moment.

Firstly, his ears were filled with the deafening sound of her screams. Second, his eyes were blinded by a flash of light from below as he felt the hold on him released. The woman staggered backwards, her hands in front of her face, trying to fend off the piercing light that threatened to engulf her. Jake tried to rub his eyes and blink away the fuzzy shapes that floated in his vision as he suddenly felt a searing pain on his chest, followed by the smell of roasting flesh and burning hair.

He tried to grab at whatever it was that was causing the pain, his fingers touching the pendant that hung there. He pulled his hand away at the intense heat, flapping his fingers in the cold air. The bright light had dissipated enough for him to see that the woman had made it over to the glowing blue doorway between the two trees, one hand resting on the trunk as she tried to recover her resolve.

“Next time we meet, you’re mine,” she hissed before turning to trudge into the blackness.

 

 

Endorsements
This book is so different from any I've read. If you like to be spooked and feel your neck tingle, Unknown is for you! The story is 'meaty' with so many good scenes and subplots that eventually come together, and that's when the reader has an aha moment. Author Price takes his time setting his story up and I pictured him hunched over his computer as he wrote it, whispering,"Take your time dear Reader, have patience and you will be rewarded." And that's exactly what I felt as I began tying everything together, meeting characters for the first time and then meeting them again several chapters later. It does take a few chapters to get a grip of what's going on, but the author is forgiven because once you do, it is clear how everything meshes. It would be helpful to have clearer chapter headings so we know what year it was because this book jumps from the 1800s to the 1950s to present day, and at times it took a little work to recognize the scene. But the author did a great job of 'showing' and not 'telling' through his words:

"The forest seemed to pulse with life as the trees were set in a morbid dance."

"She looked into the eyes of the man who was too close for her own comfort, and her breathing stopped dead. His eyes now glowed yellow in the moonlight, his skin a deathly pallor of grey. When his lips parted, revealing massive curved canines, her bowels voided, splattering the ground between her feet. She knew what she was looking at."

I recommend this book to readers who love horror mixed with fantasy, folklore, other worlds and dimensions, spirits, beasts, and unique characters. Like I said in the beginning, this story is meaty!
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