Publication Date: 9th June 2017
REVIEWED BY NEV
A copy of Pine Lakes was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Christopher Motz, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.
Well, that’s not strictly true. When I read what some people were saying about this book, I approached Mr Motz and shamelessly begged him for a review copy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This time it did.
I have only read a couple of short stories from Mr Motz before, in the excellent Collected anthologies put together by Kevin J Kennedy. I loved all of the stories that Christopher Motz put together, so it was a bit of a no brainer to pick this one up. But, that age old worry, could he transfer what he does in short stories to a novel?
This is what I thought of Pine Lakes.
Ted and Susan are on their way to the Pine Lakes Resort. They have been going there for years.
On their latest trip, a freak storm makes the driving conditions treacherous. Ted loses control of the car and after plummeting down a very steep hill, they are thankful just to be alive.
Or should they be wishing they had died instantly?
Our main characters in this one are obviously Ted and Susan. They have been happily married for years. Don’t get me wrong, they have had their share of traumas, and life has not been easy for them, but they are perfectly matched to be together. They both seem to be very timid people but extremely strong at the same time and all-round, damn nice people. When they have the accident in this story, they are both more concerned with the other’s injuries than their own. They are totally committed to each other. They are going to have to call on that commitment to get through what is coming.
The plot is very simple. Ted and Susan have the accident and need to free themselves from the wreck and get to the Pine Lakes Resort for help. Simple.
Nope. It isn’t. This is one of the most complex stories I have read in a long time. Not a confusing complex. It is very easy to read and very easy to follow the story. It’s complex because just when you think the story is going one way, Mr Motz puts a blindfold on you, spins you round repeatedly, then pushes you forward once more into the unknown.
I am going to do something I have never ever done in a review before. I am going to quote another review I saw of this book. The author of that review will of course remain anonymous:
“The plot was tight but predictable”
I’m sorry but what the hell book was this person reading? It certainly wasn’t the Pine Lakes that I read? The tight plot part is very correct but, predictable? There was nothing predictable about this book. I had no idea where it was going from one chapter to the next. There were things thrown at me in this novel that no one, I repeat, no one, could ever have seen coming.
I want to tell you about them all but to do that would give away some aspects of the story and that is something I just do not want to do.
There are so many different styles of writing in this book that it truly does have something for everyone. It has suspense emanating from every sentence. It has horror on every page. It has love and devotion between Ted and Susan oozing from its words. It has blood and guts and monsters of the human kind and unimaginable monsters from our world, and others, around every turn. Nowhere is safe. Do not, at any point, relax, you can’t afford to if you want to get through reading this book alive!
Christopher Motz is a writer that is going to be huge in years to come. I truly believe that. I have not read anything of his that has been bad. It has all been unique and fresh, and that is why I keep going back to his stuff. Pine Lakes is no exception. This book is full of many of the horror sub genres that we all love. Some of them you wouldn’t think would necessarily go together, but he has magically crafted this story so that they all fit together so well, and all add to the story.
I write this review on the 26th November. This late in the year, I think I should just go ahead and give Pine Lakes my top read of the year award.
It is that good and I don’t think anything will beat it.
☆☆☆☆☆ certainly gave me the willies!
If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Pine Lakes or any other books from Christopher. This not only supports us but also lets us know how many people actually like to buy books after reading our reviews.
Ted and Susan Merchant have been coming to the Pine Lakes Resort for nearly twenty years. In that time, their annual getaway has become a tradition, a peaceful week nestled in the picturesque mountains of northern Pennsylvania. For them, it isn’t just a simple vacation spot, but a magical destination where time slows, and they become one with nature’s magnificence.
When a freak summer storm forces Ted to lose control of their car and plummet off the road, they’re relieved just to have survived, but relief quickly turns to dread as they find out all too soon they’re not alone.
Strange lights in the forest, whispered warnings, the insurmountable threat of unseen forces lurking in the shadows; nothing could have prepared them for the horrors that lie ahead.
Escaping the wreck is just the beginning.
Is love enough to save them, or will they become the latest victims on the road to Pine Lakes?
Christopher Motz grew up on a steady diet of horror and science fiction from some of the genres biggest heavyweights: Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Laymon, William Hope Hodgson, Ray Bradbury, and Peter Straub. From a young age, Christopher was an avid reader and always had the goal to one day publish his own work.
His debut novel, “The Darkening,” marks the beginning of a journey that has been years in the making, but it’s only one step forward. The joy in writing is not knowing exactly where the journey will take you, where your characters will lead you, or how it’ll all turn out in the end.
This author’s story has yet to be written.
Christopher grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, and his work mirrors that way of life. His work is peppered with his own memories of growing up, the friends he had, the places he has seen. It makes for a very authentic atmosphere in his stories and creates a touchstone for others who have similar memories of their childhood.
While he spends most of his time writing, Christopher still finds time to read his favorite authors, along with up-and-comers in a variety of genres. “The best way to become a good writer is to become a good reader.”
Outside of writing, Christopher is an avid collector of classic rock and heavy metal records, and for the past twenty years has been a drummer in a variety of different bands. In 2011 he married his High School sweetheart, and with his step-daughter and dog, Oy, has started a new chapter of his small-town story.
With two novels and a number of novellas and short stories in the pipeline, there’s no telling where this story will go, but you are humbly invited to come along for the ride and see for yourself.
And for more about Christopher, visit his site, or find him on social media: