Territory - by Dan Howarth
Holy Moly. I totally oversaw that I hadn’t written a review for Dan’s wonderful book Territory. I had committed the cardinal sin of leaving a rating with a “Review to follow” notation.
Unforgivable. Especially when you consider I devoured this in a day. So, here’s my best attempt at making up for it.
Territory is wonderfully immersive. Dan’s character work on his MC Jarl’s life is spot on – starting from a position of loss, his MC is fighting his own personal demons as he comes to terms with losing his best hunting dog. In the cold Finnish wastes, that’s almost a best friend relationship. Dan wrestles the reader into Jarl’s life, showcasing the incredible pressure all of the residents live under just surviving. Any imbalance or change to the environment can lead to loss of livelihood, suicide, and death. It’s a bleak, hard life, and one I couldn’t get enough of.
The paranormal elements here in the book are beautifully subdued, only really making an appearance late in the book. The sheer cunning intelligence of the wolves that threaten the village is enough to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The very real effects – such as suicide – from the introduction of wolves into the equation, provide all of the horror anyone would need to empathize with the villagers.
The introduction to a possible romance comes at exactly the right moment, Dan’s timing firing on all cylinders as we are swept along in Jarl’s life, hoping for a better tomorrow than the harsh today we live through.
In the afternotes, Dan explains the origin of the story, and its various incarnations, how it demanded to be expanded, and how it longed to come into its own. It’s a peek behind the curtain and a glimpse at the man, who I had the privilege of meeting at #chillercon this year, and who gifted me a copy of his book. Territory is a classic example of storytelling done right – of full immersion into a world so real, and differences can be written off as negligible.
I loved every second of it.
This was always a 5 ⭐read from the get-go, I can’t believe I overlooked my review, but am going to make up for it by shouting this as loudly and clearly as I can –
This book is exemplary. Go buy it, and lose yourself in it just like I did.
You can buy Territory by clicking on the appropriate amazon link, below:
You can visit Dan's website, HERE.
You can find Dan on Twitter, HERE.
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You can find Dan on Facebook, HERE.