This is why people read. Books like Lily. Books that knock your socks off. Books that excite you, scare you, fuck you up and leave you emotionally and physically drained.
The Nightmareland series has been reinforcing this expertise in my mind since its debut, Nightfall. What sets Lily apart from the volumes that came first? Well, for one, it’s the season one finale. What does that mean? The author, Daniel Barnett, has some twelve books planned, so this is the halfway point. There’s that, and there’s the way this particular volume comes to a goddamn cataclysmic conclusion. You’re going to be hurting after the hundred-page finale, I’ll warn you.
Of course, despite its natural stopping point, Lily is not the end for this series. It simply brings to the bridge to the next big journey. Sets up for the next big leap.
On that note, I’d like to point out the wonderful structure of the Nightmareland Chronicles. Despite its enormous size—we’ve already had over 1200 pages from season one—this series manages to stay strong from one section to the next. Every volume has a beginning, middle, and end. Every volume has their “oh shit!” moments and heartbreak. Every volume features rich scenes and locations and characters. This is the kind of feat Stephen King and few others have accomplished with projects of this size. And we’re only halfway! Other than the King, I can’t think of any author that has thrown so much content in my face and gotten away with it being a fantastic fucking time!
Which leads me to a spotlight on the author. Daniel Barnett is an amazing storyteller. And not just a storyteller—he can fucking write, too. Believe it or not, there is a distinction. There are authors out there that can weave wonderful stories but are poor writers. Barnett is the whole package. He writes like a pro, someone with a stack of bestsellers under their belt. How the fuck he is still publishing independently is beyond me. I know horror isn’t a favored genre in mainstream publishing but come the fuck on. Take notice!
I apologize for my foul-mouthed review that will have to receive some deep edits for any hope of approval by Amazon. But I’m passionate about this writer and this series. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get passionate very easily about a book or a writer. I can love a writer and what they publish, but that’s not the same thing about getting passionate. The Nightmareland series is the coming of a mammoth and it excites the hell out of me. Lily is a wild and horrifying ride that will leave you broken, bruised, and—dare I say—eager for more? It will make you a masochist.
You’ll even crave Mr. Horns.
~ Review by Aiden Merchant (Publisher at Snow-Capped Press and author of Horrific Holidays and Sickness is in Season)