That's how long it took me to read Syrenthia Falls by Alexander S. Brown. Two BLOODY days.
What an incredible book. I'm not saying that because he is my creepy brother. This was one of the best representations of the werewolf myth that I've ever read. The only other book that handled werewolves rather well was The Sticks by my friend Andy Deane, lead singer of Bella Morte. Syrenthia Falls blends sex, horror, gore, suspense, and teenage angst well and literally leaves you wanting more.
The story is thus: young Syrenthia is an outcast at Havensburg High School; no one wants to talk with her or even be seen with her, yet all that changes one day when a young girl named Sarah asks if she wants to sit at her table. Friendships are made and suddenly, Syrenthia no longer feels like a freak. She feels like a winner, even though Claudia and her bitchy friends feel compelled to call her Dyke Dog every time they see her. But Syrenthia doesn't care - she has friends! Yet, when her new friends suggest camping at The Falls, Syrenthia wonders just how "cool" her friends really are. For you see, The Falls is a place of legend - only those who wish to die visit the area, for a monster lurks in that patch of wooded bliss. A monster that feeds on the flesh and blood of humans. That one night turns into a never-ending night of pain and spilled blood, as Syrenthia and her friends are "introduced" to the truth - a werewolf. Of the group, only Sarah and Syrenthia come out alive, yet things are never quite the same for the two young women. While they live with survivor's guilt, the two also share a deadly secret . . . . Syrenthia was scratched . . . and is changing. And not for the better.
("Moonlight" by artist and dear friend, Mitch Foust - I have the canvas original - staring at it right now)
I met Alex several years ago at an event and have remained good friends since then. He is one of the few authors who can completely gross and freak me out with his stories. Like I said in my previous review, it takes a lot to gross me out. Alex can do it over and over again while grinning. Alex proves he is a master of horror with Syrenthia Falls, as he creates a TRUE werewolf. Yes, I will freely admit that I do enjoy a good "bodice ripper" that involves a hunky werewolf, like Beast of Burden by my friend Alexandra Christian, yet the creatures in Syrenthia Falls are anything but sexy. They are monsters, the source of myths and legends, and they have no mercy for anything that stand in their way. Alex handles his level of gore well in this book, giving just enough to make one cringe without going overboard to the point of rolling their eyes in disbelief. We feel compassion for Syrenthia as she initially struggles with her new "gift" and how the "gift" gives her advice to handle those who have wronged her. Yet, and I have to say again that Alex handled this well, Love is the ultimate weapon. Stronger than the sharpest claws or the powerful fanged bite. Love will conquer anything.
A while ago, Alex asked me to make a tea based on the book. After much discussion and reading, the Syrenthia Falls herbal tea blend was born through my company, Viridian Tea Company. The blend is linden leaves, chamomile, lemon balm, and spearmint and from what I've been told, it's quite popular. Now that I have finally read the book, the request to make a tea makes even more sense than before. Trust me on that one.
Job well done, my creepy brother. Miss you and love you. Just no stories with my phobia in it, okay?
Damn - I forgot he already wrote it. Damn.