I just finished reading Forest of Blood, the first book in the Forsaken Forest series by author Sheri Williams. To sum it up in my own warped sense, the story read like Dark Shadows meets Destination Truth.
This story was a page-turner from the very beginning! What started off as a very Bronte-esque narrative of a young woman (Emmaline) being hired as a companion for young lady Anne Whitmore quickly turns Gothic as Emmaline joins her employer (Lord Benjamin) and two gentleman friends in an early version of a paranormal investigation for whatever ghost or creature may be lurking in the forest. When a mutilated body is found one morning on the edge of the woods, they know they are dealing with a dangerous creature and must double their efforts to find and kill the beast.
Williams’ writing style is very reminiscent of 19th century Gothic writers, without being as difficult to comprehend as such authors sometimes can be. Her prose easily sweeps the reader into the manor and then later into the forest where much of the action takes place. She is descriptive of the surroundings without taking the reader out of the story. I’m not much for a lot of blood and gore, which is an unfortunate necessity in a werewolf tale, but the author handles it well. While there is some violence and blood in the plot, because the story is told from the point of view of a fairly proper (though not overly so) young woman, the gory parts are not overdone. I also enjoyed the romantic elements, which were also written in a more Victorian and therefore understated manner.
I give Forest of Blood five stars! I’m looking forward to seeing more from this author!