Ballard invests a good deal of time developing his characters, and it pays off. You really get to know Carter and root for him to find the answers to Sarah’s disappearance. His friendship with Bill plays easy. And Ballard develops the small town West Virginia characters, too. It would’ve been easy to let them be two-dimensional stereotypes, but Ballard invests in their backgrounds to make their personal stories real.
While Ballard is playing in Lovecraft’s sandbox, he doesn’t play with his toys in quite the same way. Ballard sticks with his own writing style. Yes, he teases you with a survivor’s testimony, has you listen to some preaching about the unfathomable darkness, and flaunts mysterious objects.
It’s an interesting twist on presenting Cthulhu Mythos fiction and might serve as a bridge for psychological thriller fans to get a glimpse of the Old Ones.
All in all, it’s an entertaining and quick read.