ARC Review of Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman

Posted August 14, 2011 by Kara in Uncategorized / 2 Comments

Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Release Date: September 6th, 2011
Pages: 368
Genre: Adult, Horror
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Those Across the RiverThose Across the River by Christopher Buehlman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family’s old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.

A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols’s homecoming…


Those Across the River was totally not what I expected it would be. And I can’t really tell you why without revealing spoilers and I won’t do that, so I’m going to try to do the best I can.

The story was very suspenseful and eerie. I think that’s a good word to go with. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, but it sure was bloody. There was quite a bit of substance though. The plot ended up twisting in a direction that I didn’t particularly care for. It even got a little corny for me. But that’s my own preference. I think a lot of readers will probably like it. But to me the plot twist was disappointing. And I didn’t find it scary. Again, I can’t say why, but it became garish and unrealistic and the whole tone of the book changed.

Then there is my other complaint. The writing was weird. And not good weird, but weird, weird. A lot of the dialogue was awkward and unrealistic. There’s that word again, but nobody in the world talks the way that the characters in this story do. And I’m not talking about the southern dialect. That’s fine. It was the way the husband and wife spoke to each other. Most of it made no sense. I’d love to quote you a passage, but I can’t do that with an arc so you will just have to trust me.

The book wasn’t all bad though. I loved the setting and I adored the way the author wrote it. I loved the backwoods town of Whitbrow. I loved the characters, and the way they were written. I just didn’t like the way Frank and Dora communicated with each other. I loved the idea of the slave plantation and the angry slaves revolting and murdering the plantation owner. It was an original idea and I loved that, I just wish that the plot hadn’t gone in the direction that it did. But things can’t always go the way you want them to. It was still a great effort and like I said, it might completely work for others.

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Those Across the River

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